When I left as president of El Dorado and we decided to start our own general agency, I needed a good partner very quickly. It turned out that partner was my own wife. I needed someone who I trusted who could handle the money portion of things, the premiums. There is nobody better than Joan and luckily, she agreed. She is very good at handling money and very detail-oriented. She thought she might do it for 3-4 weeks but it turned into 20 years. To this day, she still claims that she doesnt know anything about the insurance industry.
When asked about a single lesson he has learned spending nearly 7 decades in the insurance industry, Jack alludes to proper management and keeping a pulse on your employees as the basis of any good company.
Well, I have to believe that the management of people has to be the core of any good business. You need to understand who is doing what so that you can create cohesion in the workplace. Hiring good employees and delegating tasks is crucial to consistency in business.
Jack hopes to see the current industry continue to grow with the exception that more family-owned, neighborhood type businesses (like Pacific Specialty Insurance Company) are established to dilute the reign of the major corporations.
My hope is that there remains the possibility for people to grow these smaller companies instead of having a few major names run the entire industry. I would love to see more entrepreneurial attitudes lead these smaller companies so that they can develop products and services that are not currently available proving that you dont have to be a large, corporate company to make a difference.
Today, Jack is still an active member of the board of the McGraw Group of Affiliated Companies.