WIN Magazine - Fall 2011 - (Page 30)

In the WINWIN -ners Circle Tony Markel – Vice Chairman, Markel Corporation HE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION of Managing General Agents presented Tony Markel its highest honor during the 2011 annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. – the Vincent Donahue Lifetime Achievement Award. In bestowing the award, AAMGA’s 2010-2011 President, Mark Rothert, of Ron Rothert Insurance Services, CMGA in Portland, Ore. stated Mr. Markel was selected as only the ninth recipient of the honor in the association’s 85-year history. “His advocacy for excess and surplus lines insurance and unqualified commitment to the managing general agency distribution network has earned him the respect of the wholesale insurance industry,” he said. “He has achieved international renown for his innovative insurance products and outspoken attitude, while maintaining his down home sensibilities.” WIN Magazine talked with Markel recently about his career and his personal views on the state of the marketplace. WIN: You have been honored with the highest award the AAMGA bestows on an individual. What does this recognition mean to you, both personally and professionally? Markel: I’ve been very fortunate in my career (and my life for that matter) to have achieved virtually all of my goals and have received some very gratifying recognition for it. Certainly, none of these awards or accolades means more to me than the Vincent Donahue Lifetime Achievement Award. To be only the ninth recipient of this award is truly an honor and the fact that I personally knew, respected and worked with the previous eight honorees makes it all that much more special. I think this award is also recognition for Markel Corporation, its support of, and dedication to, the Wholesaler/MGA. WIN: As you cross into the “lifetime achievement reward” phase of a long and successful career, do you think about the legacy you wish to leave behind? How 3 0 | v i e w t h i s i s s u e a t | T do you want to be remembered, on a personal level, by your clients and customers? Markel: To be honored with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” requires at least one attribute … OLD AGE. But, seriously, I am in the “twilight of a mediocre career” and I hope that I am, or was, seen as honest, straightforward, consistent and easy to work for and with. I truly hope that I will be remembered as someone who got things done with good leadership skills, a strong work ethic and, most importantly, enjoyable to work with. We’ve accomplished a lot at Markel over the past 50 years and I get a great deal of satisfaction for having played a part in the growth and success we’ve enjoyed. I would also hope that I’ve helped to leave a legacy of dedication to the “Markel Style” to the new, very accomplished leadership at Markel. WIN: Markel Excess & Surplus is highly respected, not only by wholesale agents, but also peer E&S competitors. What do you consider to be the core business practices Markel uses to maintain its strong (and enviable) relationships throughout the wholesale marketplace? Markel: I appreciate the intimation that Markel is a respected organization, and I think it is. If we do have that broad-based respect, I think it comes from consistency of approach (and messages), strong communication with employees and customers alike, an honesty and integrity that can be counted on by all constituents, and a sensitivity and commitment to our distributors, the wholesalers/MGAs. WIN: It seems like current soft market conditions are a sad re-run of the same movie we’ve seen before. Do you agree this market cycle is essentially the same as its predecessor in the late 1990s? If “yes,” why do the participants (insurers, brokers and insureds) repeat the same behaviors yet expect a different outcome? Markel: I don’t necessarily agree that the ups and downs of the market cycles will continue as they did in the seventies, eighties and nineties, but I clearly, and emphatically, insist that the current suicidal pricing and low or non-existent returns on equity cannot continue

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of WIN Magazine - Fall 2011

The Impact of Catastrophes on Capacity in an Uncertain Market
Reshuffling the Deck: MGAs Respond on Holding, Folding or Doubling Down
Mergers & Acquisitions – MGAs Continue to be Attractive Targets for Insurers Seeking to Deploy Capital
Standards in a Non-Standard Market: Advice for Wholesale Agents & Brokers
An Overview of Solvency II: What it Means for the Wholesale Insurance Market

WIN Magazine - Fall 2011