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2017 Break Out Awards, West: Matt Nicholas

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MATT NICHOLAS

Client advocate

Willis Towers Watson P.L.C.

La Jolla, California

Age: 36

Matt Nicholas got his industry start with a summer job in personal lines while in college, but he moved to commercial insurance when he decided to make it a career. He worked at Bennett & Porter Insurance in Scottsdale, Arizona for eight years before moving to Willis Towers Watson P.L.C. in 2011 to co-lead a property/casualty real estate and construction team.

Top industry concern

The possibility of technology replacing personal relationships. We are seeing a lot of that in personal insurance right now, and I’m hoping it doesn’t transition into commercial insurance because commercial insurance is a lot more complex and I don’t think that clients can get a full understanding of their potential risk and the coverages they need to protect themselves by following along and answering questions on a computer screen.

Best-kept secret about insurance

The hours are flexible and the pay is performance-based. I’ve always kind of liked getting paid on the results of my efforts, not just the time I spend at a desk. In a way it’s like owning your own business and working for yourself, but without all the stresses of the overhead.

How do you unwind?

I hit the gym most of the time, and in the summer months I play beach volleyball and surf at the end of the work day. That’s why I moved here to San Diego, and it’s a nice contrast to the primarily brain activity that we do all day in our industry.

Hobbies and interests.

Travel, beach volleyball, golf surfing, live music, friends, good food and sailing.

Something people don’t know about you

I’ve been known to carry an inflatable chicken costume in the trunk of my car for impromptu use at parties.

 

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