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2015 40 Under 40 Broker Awards: Tanner Burns


Area president

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Age: 29

Tanner Burns knew nothing about the insurance or brokerage industry when he came across the Gallagher Sales Internship Program on the University of Kansas' website.

Intrigued, he applied for and secured an internship with Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in 2007, which sold him on the industry and enticed him into a full-time position after graduation because of the interesting work, its potential income rewards and the spirit of teamwork within the company, he said.

“I thought it would be a great place to learn the business,” he said.

Kelly Johnson, director of strategic operations for Alpharetta, Georgia-based transportation and logistics company Coyote Logistics L.L.C., is one of his clients. Before being acquired by United Parcel Service Inc. in July, Coyote was growing into a $1.8 billion business. Mr. Burns impressed company officials with his vision for a new insurance program, Mr. Johnson said.

“I can't say enough about Tanner's expertise and knowledge of the industry and his bringing us creative solutions,” Mr. Johnson said.

The intense personal attention Mr. Burns gives to his clients has led to a 98% retention rate.

Mr. Burns recently developed an exclusive cargo policy form for logistics clients because existing contracts left them liable for too much risk, with the first policy written in January.

In July, Mr. Burns was promoted to run Gallagher's prominent Houston-Galleria office in Houston, where he spends much of his time recruiting and coaching promising talent.

“I think it's important that I'm direct,” Mr. Burns said. “People were always direct with me, and I always appreciated that — being direct and being understanding at the same time and giving good feedback that is immediately constructive. I built my career on that guidance, and I intend to give that back.”