Michael Crowley had been in the chief operating role of property/casualty insurance organizations for nearly two decades when he signed on to be an executive for Markel Corp. in 2009.

Executive Summary

With 35 years of experience on the retail brokerage side of the business, including several prior stints as a chief operating officer, Michael Crowley brings a different skill set—and a passion for sales—to his role as co-COO at Markel Corp. This article is part of a five-part series of profiles of COOs of P/C insurers.

But for all of those years—in fact, for his entire career in the insurance industry dating back to 1974—Crowley had been on the retail brokerage side of the business.

So how did his friend, Vice Chairman Anthony Markel, convince the broker executive to accept what Crowley knew would be a challenging role as president of Markel Specialty, and later the position of co-COO of the carrier?

“If I can do it, you can do it,” Crowley recalls Markel saying, referring to the fact that the company’s longtime former president and COO never worked in insurance underwriting.

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