July 3, 2022
Technical Assurance, LLC

The Partners

Partners, Ed Arens and Philip Baker have helped facilitate and manage elaborate and challenging bond and insurance programs for more than 30 years.  Our goals and objectives have always been the same, to work and perform with the diligence necessary to help our clients make economically sound business decisions.


Edward Arens  - Co-Founder, Technical Assurance, LLC

In 1981, Ed graduated from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University.  With an academic concentration in accounting and finance, Ed accepted an underwriting position with a leading surety writer, The United States Fidelity and Guarantee Company, (USF&G), and soon after, a senior underwriter's position with the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company.

In 1986, The Lockton Companies decided to expand their operations and open an office in Houston.  Ed accepted an Executive Vice President position where he worked until 1999, when Summit Global Partners, (SGP) acquired the office.   Ed continued with SGP as Sr. Vice President and National Surety Practice Leader until  2004 when SGP was purchased by USI Southwest.   Ed continued in an executive capacity until 2007 when USI announced a definitive merger agreement with Goldman Sachs (GS), a transaction valued at approximately 1.4 billion.  It was at this time that he and his long time business partner, Phil Baker, co-founded Technical Assurance, LLC.

Ed’s expertise with Technical Assurance is multi-leveled and multi-faceted.  He has worked with numerous construction companies under a variety of organizational structures and has a working knowledge of construction, accounting, cash flow analysis, trending, and contract review.  As such, he is capable of providing strategic assistance to large construction companies, as well as, assisting smaller emerging contractors and industry business development programs.   

Ed is well respected in the construction industry and is a member of several surety organizations including the National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP), and the Surety Association of America (SAA).  Ed is also an active member in numerous contracting organizations including the Association of General Contractors (AGC), the Houston Contractors Association, (HCA), and the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA).


Philip W. Baker  - Co-Founder, Technical Assurance, LLC

In 1978, Phil became a fourth generation graduate of Texas A&M University. Having been raised in a family owned construction company, it was natural for Phil to join his family's roofing business and apply his business management and psychology degree to assist the company.

In 1980, Phil left the family business and went to work for Travelers Surety until 1983, when he was heavily recruited for the supervisory underwriting position at The Hartford Insurance Company.   Over the course of the next 3 years, Phil more than doubled Hartford's Houston surety writings before accepting an Executive Vice President position with the Lockton Companies, and responsibility for the development of their Houston office.

After 13 years as Executive Vice President of the Lockton Companies, Summit Global Partners, (SGP), acquired Lockton's Houston office, only later (2004) to be purchased by USI Southwest.   Phil continued in an Executive Vice Presidents capacity with Summitt and USI until 2007, when USI announced a definitive merger agreement with Goldman Sachs (GS), a transaction valued at approximately 1.4 billion.  It was at this time when he and his long time business partner, Ed Arens, co-founded Technical Assurance, LLC

After over 30 years in the surety business, Phil continues to work closely with his client companies and assist emerging and developed contractors to design and implement their business plan.  His working knowledge of both surety and construction make him uniquely qualified to represent his client companies by offering assistance in both business development and the strategic planning process. 

Phil is a member of a number of surety and construction professional organizations including The National Association of Surety Bond Producers (NASBP), The Surety Association of America (SAA), The Association of General Contractors (AGC) and The Houston Contractors Association (HCA).

Shelly Bolender, Managing Partner

Shelly graduated from Sam Houston State University with a B.S. in Business in 1991.  She began her Surety career in the Northeast assisting with the formation of a new regional surety company, Atlantic Alliance.  Soon after meeting her husband and missing Texas, she relocated back home and continued her Surety career with Amwest Surety and Universal Surety before opening and managing a local office for Atlantic Alliance.  

Continuing her development in the industry, in 2006 she accepted a new challenge assisting Ed Arens and Phil Baker in opening the office for Technical Assurance.  Shelly was integral in the start of Technical Assurance as she was responsible for all aspects of the initial set up including the licensing process, surety company appointments, and internal accounting.  After successfully getting the agency established, she opened a local office for International Fidelity Insurance Company which grew to become one of the largest contract bond offices in the country.  In 2014, she returned to a thriving Technical Assurance to manage the Agency and assist with internal and external operations.