Pat Yannotta and Jack Cowie IV – a client’s winning combination

Feb 28, 2022

We’ve just opened up a new office in Manhattan. Headed up by Patrick Yannotta and Jack Cowie IV, it will act as our hub for our commercial real estate clients, both in New York City and across the nation.

Pat and Jack have both spent a decade in commercial real estate. Pat, on the investment sales side, getting into the detail of some of the biggest deals in New York City and the surrounding boroughs. And Jack, as an insurance agent, handling equally complex projects nationwide.

Together, they’re a unique formula that can help us advocate for clients like no other agent on the market.

Bringing a level of service and analysis that’s been missing from the NY market

Given their chosen careers, it was no surprise Jack and Pat eventually would cross paths and work together. But the circumstances of that first project they worked on and the discovery they took away from it was a lot more unexpected.

Pat had a client in New York who ran into a big problem, where, almost at the eleventh hour of closing, they realized their insurance broker had made a major error that could potentially jeopardize the deal.

And when the brokerage couldn’t clear up the mess they were in, Jack was luckily on hand to find a solution.

As they debriefed from that first encounter, it was obvious they’d exposed a culture of complacency in the NY commercial real estate insurance market – brokers were falling short of the level of analysis and service these billion-dollar projects demanded.

Pat: “For clients, insurance is the second or third most expensive line item from a soft cost standpoint, so it can’t continue to be ignored and put on the hamster wheel. That’s our focus in New York. Making sure everyone’s taken care of, and not over or underinsured.”

Combining the best in risk and real estate expertise

Pat’s been in the commercial real estate sector for 10 years, working as a sales agent in New York for three industry powerhouses: Massey Knakal, Cushman & Wakefield, and, most recently, Jones Lang Lasalle. Over that time, his team has closed more than 400 transactions, coming in at an aggregate value of over $12.5 billion.

He’s also been mentored by Bob Knakal – one of the most respected real estate figures in New York, who’s sold more buildings than any other broker in the city.

As Jack says, “It’s like having a real estate investor in our team. 10 years spending time with these developers means he can see it through their eyes, so we’re always keeping our client’s priority our top priority.”

Taking that client insight and pairing it with Jack Cowie’s insurance acumen and tenacity and we’ve got a team that can really make sure they’re representing our client’s best interests.

Again, Jack’s spent a decade working in the commercial real estate industry, but on the insurance side. He plied his trade at USI, where he learnt how to insure some of the biggest projects across the country and gained a deep understanding of the different regional problems and how to solve them.

He then left USI for Varney in search of more autonomy – he’s still working on the same sized projects, but he’s able to choose where to go and who to work with, and give clients a much more personal level of service.

Being right by your side, every step of the way

Pat explains: “We see ourselves as an extension of an investment or development team. We’ll review their strategy, help them come up with a path forward, and make sure they’re not getting taken advantage of or overlooked by the requirements thrown their way.”

Jack follows up: “Pat’s knowledge of a client’s timeline and process means he can guide me into those places where I need to be to negotiate, and we can be more proactive right from the get-go.”

Our size relative to our expertise allows us to be really creative in a short space of time too. Having a team of 120 people behind us means we can compete with the big brokers out there, but we’ve also got that ability to be flexible when our client hasn’t got time to waste.

Head over to our Real Estate page to learn more

If you’re interested in finding out how Varney can work for you, get in touch with Pat and Jack directly with any questions.


To find out more about the various insurance and risk solutions we have to help you protect what’s important to you, contact us today.