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Area vice president
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
While James Martinez works with a diverse client base ranging from chemical and real estate firms to hospital and nonprofit organizations, his goal is consistent: helping them control their insurance costs and protect their assets. His successes include working with a self-insured employer to cut its workers compensation costs by more than $6 million.
What is the No. 1 concern in your specialty?
It has been two years since we had a horrid hailstorm in Colorado, and everyone has been a little antsy about it. I think extreme weather events are a huge concern, whether it is a direct loss to human life or to businesses, but also the indirect losses such as to businesses’ supply chains. Unfortunately, it seems those extreme weather events are more common.
How do you see your job changing over the next 10 years?
Businesses are going to be looking to brokers who are able to help them make better decisions on: Is my rate competitive or am I paying more than my competitors? Am I buying too much in limits?
What advice would give you someone starting out in the business?
Finding people, whether it is clients, colleagues or carrier partners, who have tremendous experience in the industry and listening to them. There are a lot of intelligent people in our business who have seen hard markets before and have seen the impact of consolidation on insurance carriers.
What surprised you about the insurance industry?
I didn’t realize how crucial the industry was to the economy. I didn’t realize that insurance companies provide businesses with the opportunity to take focus on operational risk and allows them to transfer certain risks to the insurance company to allow them to focus on growth.
What is your favorite meal?
In the insurance industry’s battle for talent, there are plenty of incumbents to fight over.