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Where will the insurance industry find the leaders of tomorrow? That's been an ever-more-urgent question as baby boomers retire in increasing numbers. The insurance industry has to compete with other industries, some of which appear to be considerably more interesting and glamorous in the public eye, for the talent without which no industry can prosper or even survive.
Fortunately, the leaders of tomorrow — and some of today — have already entered the ranks of the insurance brokerage business. Finding and cultivating such people isn't easy. Brokerages and those they hire must take the time and make the commitment necessary to cultivate the next generation of leaders.
And there's no single source for the pool of talent from which the leaders arise. As this year's profiles attest, some come directly out of college, often from risk and insurance programs or from other academic disciplines. Others come from within the insurance industry, both from competitors or from the underwriting side of the business. Still others start in outside industries.
The most outstanding among the new talent bring new perspectives to dealing with brokerage issues of all sorts, whether traditional insurance placement services or those involving new challenges such as cyber security.
Truly standout performers among these emerging leaders are being recognized by Business Insurance's 40 Under 40 Broker Awards program, which was launched in 2013.
Business Insurance readers nominated young brokers from four regions of the United States: Northeast, South, Midwest and West. The nominations underwent a thorough review by a panel of Business Insurance senior editors. They considered a series of criteria in evaluating the nominations, including recent professional achievements, influence in the marketplace and leadership qualities, and spoke with clients and managers who endorsed the nominations.
The honorees, who are broken out by region, all had to meet the age requirement of being 40 or younger on Oct. 1 and will be honored at a series of regional receptions.
Each individual recognized has unique qualities and experiences that helped earn him or her the recognition as being a 40 Under 40 broker. Many of those recognized have developed a considerable store of specialized knowledge over their careers, making them in-house experts within their organizations. Of course, such specialized knowledge translates into the highest client service, which anticipates and meets clients' needs in a way no one else can.
In addition, many of the young brokers recognized this year demonstrate a commitment to continuing education and participating in professional groups. Such a commitment can lead to earning professional designations such as the chartered property and casualty underwriter or becoming involved with local or national industry groups.
Such qualities, combined with a commitment to the highest ethical standards, mark the young broker destined to become an industry leader.
It's a safe bet that most if not all of the young brokers recognized in the 40 Under 40 Broker Awards program today will play key roles in charting the course of the brokerage industry for decades to come. The brokerage industry should be well-served by their leadership abilities.