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President, Healthcare Division
Jardine Lloyd Thompson L.L.C.
Mary Botkin spent eight years as a risk manager for Transworld Oil USA Inc. and Atlantic Petroleum before entering the health insurance brokerage business. She worked as a regional health care practice leader for Marsh Inc. and later Aon Risk Services before she joined JLT in 2003. In addition, she has been president and a board member of the Greater Houston Society for Healthcare Risk Management, a director of the Houston chapter of the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. and has served on the national board of directors of the Coalition for Affordable and Reliable Healthcare.
Q: If you had the ability to change one thing about the industry what would it be?
A: "I would reverse the McCarran-Ferguson Act. I would not have 50 states in charge of the way insurance is licensed. Just as risk retention groups have reciprocal licensing, the same should be true of licensed brokers. Once you’re licensed and registered with the NAIC, you should be able to transact business accordingly in all 50 states."
Q: What advice would you give young women entering the industry today?
A: "I would tell them to do their homework, to learn all they can learn about the way the industry works and to differentiate yourself as being a cut above. I also would advise them to put their creativity into play, because right now, the industry desperately needs creativity. Insurance companies and brokerage firms are becoming a highly regulated industry, which will require all of us to document the way we do everything. It is going to take creativity to be cutting edge in that highly regulated environment."
Q: Who has had the greatest influence on your career and why?
A: "My mother. She’s a very strong leader. I aspired to be like her. She told me that in order to be a good leader, you have to be a good follower. By that she meant that you have to walk a mile in other people’s shoes. Tell them where you want them to go, and let them use their talents and capabilities to get there their own way."
Business Insurance's report on "Women to Watch" is our attempt to identify some of the women who are leading change in commercial insurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields.