Q: How did you end up getting into the insurance business?
A: I graduated from college and, like a number of people in this business, was looking for a job and ended up in insurance. I started on the company side and quickly moved over to the wholesale side.
Q: How has Burns & Wilcox Brokerage gotten to the point it is at today with opening a new office?
A: Burns & Wilcox Brokerage is part of the Kaufman Financial Group, a multinational specialty insurance organization. Burns & Wilcox Brokerage was founded to offer a specialty brokerage operation to complement the company’s other entities. That’s what I’ve been charged with building. We have opened 6 offices, Atlanta being the most recent over the past 8 months.
Q: I know you added three specialty property brokers to the Atlanta office – is that going to be the main focus going forward?
A: No, our plan is to be an organization that has the full complement of broker services nationally. Our intention is to create this at each of our geographic centers. We will have property, professional and casualty expertise within each office. In addition, we’ll have a national property practice group leader, a national casualty practice group leader and a national professional practice group leader. We’ll have various experts throughout the country as we continue to hire people, whether it is healthcare, transportation, construction, or energy. Atlanta will be a full service operation, it just so happens that our first three hires were property experts.
Q: What do you see for the future of Burns & Wilcox – more expansion?
A: Right now we’re in San Francisco, Orange County, Dallas, Atlanta, Tampa and New York. I see us definitely being in Chicago and Los Angeles in the short term. The goal is to go at this strategically and get the right people on board in the right place, not necessarily to be a billion dollar organization tomorrow.
Q: What’s the best piece of career advice you have gotten?
A: One thing I did when I was starting out was to find a mentor, someone to look up to and learn from. Second, remember that insurance, like any business, is a relationship centric business - it is important to develop and maintain solid relationships at every stage of your career.
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