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2019 Reflections & Insights

From The Desk Of Our President, David Wilson

Posted in Professional Development

Author: Cathy Baldwin

It’s 2020 – A new year and a new decade beginning as well as a major milestone for JM Wilson – The Centennial of our company!   At the end of 2019, I sat down with our President, David Wilson, to reflect on the last six months and gain insights for the upcoming year.

Anything exciting to mention for JMW from the last half of 2019?

2019 ended up being the best year in JM Wilson’s history. We’ve seen continued growth in submissions and premium volume in all lines of business that we write: commercial transportation, binding property & casualty, brokerage, personal lines, and surety. During the last quarter, we brought on a marine specialist and are excited to once again be writing more in this class. With the states, we are in and the markets we can offer, being able to offer the expertise in marine underwriting will be a great opportunity in 2020.

What has been the biggest change in the marketplace during the last half of 2019?

We are finally seeing a slow increase in pricing in a few lines of business. Trucking continues to respond to an increase in losses while pricing in property and casualty is slowly increasing.

What other changes do you see having an impact on JM Wilson?

Mergers and acquisitions continue at a rapid pace. At the same time, we see new agencies being formed. As always, the insurance business evolves on a daily basis. It’s exciting to see more colleges and universities creating Insurance and Risk Management programs that seem to attract and prepare the next generation for a career in insurance. JM Wilson continues to have success in hiring talented people entering the workforce with a solid knowledge of our industry.

What will JM Wilson be focusing on internally for the first half of 2020?

Three things: Technology, Training, and Celebrating.

With technology, we will continue to explore more efficient ways to do business with our agents and carriers. Our new website was launched at the beginning of December, so we’ll spend some time tweaking that with the feedback we receive. Our customers also rely on our teams to be knowledgeable, so training is another area of focus. We train our underwriters to be experts in their specialties and a resource for our agents. 2020 will be a year of celebration for all of us at JM Wilson as we mark our 100th year in business!

What is the forecast for the marketplace during the first half of 2020?

Trucking remains a tough market. Property and casualty pricing will increase in certain classes and territories. The growing economy will help our bond department. Personal Lines also appears to be tightening in some regions and classes – in particular, homeowners. And Marine business will be an area of concentration for us this year.

We are celebrating our 100th Anniversary this year. What do you attribute to JM Wilson’s longevity and success?

As an intermediary, we have partnered with both agencies and companies with the goal of satisfying the needs of both. That requires solid relationships and trust. I believe the reputation we have within our industry is a big factor in our success. Even though we are celebrating, we can’t spend too much time patting each other on back – there is always more work to be done!

Who has had a significant influence on you throughout your career in Insurance?

Warren Buffett. He has grown Berkshire Hathaway through discipline and wisdom. He doesn’t listen to the crowd when making business decisions.

Do you have a favorite quote by Warren Buffett?

It’s hard to pick just one. Here are some of Buffett’s quotes that I particularly like.

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