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2017 Break Out Awards, South: Jeffrey D. Howard

Posted On: Jun. 5, 2017 12:00 AM CST

2017 Break Out Awards, South: Jeffrey D. Howard


Vice president and shareholder

Gillis, Ellis & Baker Inc.

New Orleans

Age: 32

An accountant by training, Jeffrey D. Howard moved into the insurance brokerage sector in 2011 when he joined Gillis, Ellis & Baker Inc., where he specializes in the identification and management of accounts’ complex environmental exposures. Previously, he worked at Ernst & Young L.L.P., where he specialized in audits of oil and gas exploration and production companies, and has a master’s in accounting from Texas Christian University.

Best advice you’ve been given

The best advice I’ve been given came from W. Anderson Baker III, our president — that everything matters. One of the things we focus on is there are no small tasks or small requests, because the slightest error in adding a car or amending coverage could cost someone their business.

Top industry concern

My top industry concern, one, is the growing difficulty in commercial auto, what will happen in that space in terms of availability and rates from an immediate standpoint. Also, the continued evolution of cyber and data breach coverage, the fragmentation of that market, its constant new entrants and the differentiation in coverage forms. I would say that makes that area just an ever-changing landscape.

How do you unwind?

Usually jogging with my dog.

Hobbies and interests

Kayak fishing with my wife, deer hunting and working with the Friends of Cabildo, which is a museum I’m on the board of. It’s a part of the Louisiana State Museum, and it’s where the Louisiana Purchase was actually signed.

Something people don’t know about you

I would say as much as I go fishing, I’m horrible at it. People think I’m out there every weekend, but it’s largely to moderate or little success.


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