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Associate vice president and managing director
Burns & Wilcox Ltd., a unit of H.W. Kaufman Group
Bryant Steele joined the insurance industry after graduating from Michigan State University with an economics degree when an insurer he met at a career fair offered him $500 more than a rival employer. Since that point, Mr. Steele has not looked back. After working for a couple of big retail brokers and moving to Chicago, he joined wholesaler Burns & Wilcox Ltd. in 2014. He now manages five lines of business across three Midwest offices.
What is the No. 1 concern in your specialty?
The wholesale space is built on expertise, so the biggest concern for me is when people are accessing the wholesale space, or accessing excess and surplus lines markets, and they are not doing it for expertise. We need to continue to define our role as wholesalers as experts in the E&S field and not just as a capacity play. The generalist in wholesale will have a lot of trouble in the future.
What surprised you about the insurance industry?
What surprised me the most then is the same thing that surprises me most now, and that is how talented our younger generation is. Everybody seems to have preconceived notions on what a young professional is, but I think there is a ton of talent under the age of 40 in our business, and it’s no longer an old-boys club. There are a lot of people with some incredible ideas, and those ideas are being embraced by the industry. The young talent in our business is incredible.
What is your favorite app or gadget?
Alexa. I ask her everything. I don’t Google anything.
What would you/do you binge watch?
I don’t binge watch a ton, but “Shark Tank” is something I never miss.
What is your favorite meal?
Coney Island hot dogs and Jet’s Pizza — they remind me of Detroit.
In the insurance industry’s battle for talent, there are plenty of incumbents to fight over.