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After growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, and attending the University of Kansas, Brad Swift embarked on a sales career working for the Los Angeles Clippers before moving to another sales position in Chicago. After a few years, he was drawn into the insurance sector, in which his father worked on the agency side for 38 years, and specialized in wholesale casualty. He joined Burns & Wilcox in 2017.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?
Keep asking questions. Our marketplace changes weekly, coverages change and carriers pull in and out of certain markets, so you always have to have your finger on the pulse. The more you know, the better you can be at your job.
What should the industry do to attract more young people to work in it?
I don’t think I’ve spoken to anyone on the commercial side that doesn’t enjoy what they do. We see different things every day, so it keeps the market interesting. You just have to do whatever you can on the marketing side, whether it’s on the charity side or visiting colleges to recruit young talent and trying to better explain to them what we do versus what they think we might do.
What is something about you that would surprise people?
One of my dad’s co-workers grew up in the same small town in Iowa where the actor Tom Arnold is from, so when I was at college, I randomly reached out to (Mr. Arnold) and said, “Could I come out to L.A. and be your personal assistant for the summer?” and he said, “Yes.” I traveled all over with him doing movie shoots.
All-time favorite movie?
What is your favorite meal?
Pizza, of course.