Burgess Returns to St. Pete with Disruptive InsurTech Enterprise

Former CEO of C1 Bank, Trevor Burgess, has returned to St. Pete to embark on his next successful venture.

Trevor Burgess is best known in the greater Tampa-St. Pete region for his leadership in the redevelopment of the Community Bank of Manatee to St. Petersburg-based, C1 Bank- a deal that led to the company's IPO on the NYSE in 2014 and purchase by Bank OZK (formerly Bank of the Ozarks) in 2016 for $402 million.

He gained even more acclaim as one of the first openly gay CEOs in the United States, ranking 17 on a list of the 100 most powerful LGBT executives in the world compiled by Outstanding, a nonprofit professional network for LGBT executives, and by the Financial Times.

In 2016, Trevor exited the spotlight and announced his resignation from the bank, embarking on a year-long sabbatical with his husband, Gary, and daughter, Logan. The group traveled to 13 countries and soon returned to Boston to be near family.

Within months, Trevor reconnected with Bill Martin, former president at Bankers Insurance in St. Petersburg, who now is CEO of Bunker Hill Insurance Group in Boston. Martin had co-founded Neptune Flood with current CEO Jim Albert as a new company that could save homeowners up to 25 percent on their premiums with faster approval times and greater coverage amounts. Martin recruited Burgess as an investor and soon after, he returned to the Sunshine City as Chairman of the company. 

Neptune utilizes advanced technology and predictive analytics to more accurately evaluate and price flood insurance.

"I did a lot of research on the industry and Neptune and became very excited about how technology could really change the way people approach a necessary financial service like flood insurance,’’ Burgess said in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times.

Neptune's sophisticated application and cost-effective approach distinguish it from conventional flood insurance procedures, as most policies in the U.S.are written by government. Neptune offers greater coverage, higher limits, and a reduced waiting period of only 10 days vs. the 30-day waiting period under the NFIP.

Neptune uses the same technology  as NASA to provide consumers with the most accurate and comprehensive elevation data in the world, allowing the company to offer lower rates to consumers. 

Trevor's return to St. Petersburg was a natural fit, as he continues to serve as Chairman of St. Petersburg-based TRB Developers, a diversified residential real estate development and consulting company. St. Petersburg's coastal environment proved an optimal training ground for the flood insurance provider. Even more, the hotbed of startups in the city's booming downtown made the relocation even smoother.

"St. Pete's livability, walkability, and energy had grown even more in the two short years since we left," Burgess said. "Not many cities have three $75 million institutions within minutes of each other."

St. Pete's newest museum, The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art, is a short walk to the renowned Salvador Dali Museum and less than a mile to Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital.

Today, Trevor serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Neptune Flood and operates the company out of a small office near St. Pete's downtown on 2nd Avenue South. The company has 8 employees and Trevor is extremely bullish about its future growth in the city.

"The word has certainly gotten out that St. Pete is a place where intelligent, technical workers want to be," Burgess said. "The arts culture and business environment is attracting international players and significant investment that allow us to grow and be successful."

In October 2018, Neptune was named among CNBC's Upstart 100, the annual list of the 100 most promising startups to watch.

Trevor envisions Neptune to evolve  as a tech company more so than an insurance provider, levering its combination of advanced analytics and industry expertise. As Florida's largest tech hub and the nation's second-fastest growing, the St. Petersburg business community welcomed another innovative startup to the area with open arms.

"Bob Glaser of Smith & Associates was instrumental in our move, helping us find our two offices and firming up our residential plans," Burgess said. " Bob and the entire community are so dedicated to forwarding the momentum of St. Pete's burgeoning business ecosystem. "

In addition to his roles with Neptune and TRB, Trevor serves on the board of Zeguro, a cyber-security insure-tech firm.  He has been awarded four fintech related patents, with seven more under application. 

"It has been special to successfully grow a company in one city then exit an industry, and return to the same city to do it all again," Burgess said.

To learn more about Neptune Flood, visit their website.

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