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WILLIAM NICHOLS Chief operating officer, Amwins Brokerage

Amwins Group Inc.

Charlotte, North Carolina

A background in investment banking and finance gave William Nichols an acquired knowledge of mergers and acquisitions and insurance. In 2007, when he was looking for a change in venue, a friend at Amwins suggested he look into the company. Mr. Nichols was hired as head of M&A and has never looked back.

What’s your top tip for working remotely?

Take a break. You can go from meeting to meeting, but unlike the office there’s no walk in the hallway and no conversation opportunities because we overschedule ourselves when we’re at home. You go from meetings to the dinner table and there is no time to decompress. Take a moment to breathe. I wish I had done more of that.

What’s your advice on navigating the current insurance market?

Manage expectations — don’t wait until the last minute for surprises. People live in fear of delivering bad news, but it has to be delivered at some point.

So, managing expectations and explaining the facts behind the situation to clients is important. We sit between retailers and underwriters, and we don’t want to surprise anyone at the last minute.

How will your work change going forward?

I don’t think a permanent remote situation will persist for our business, but some meetings and conversations may not require travel. I do hope video persists and that people don’t revert back to just using the phone, because it’s nice to be able to see a face.

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I married my high school sweetheart. My parents also met in high school and got married, so it must be a family tradition.

What’s one habit or hobby you adopted during the pandemic?

Family dinners. Because there has been less travel, there has been more time for dinners with the family. I’ve also enjoyed cooking and grilling.