Zeb Holt

Gallagher

Area President

South Florida
We’re continually coming up with new products and services.

How I got my start

In college, I was interested in commodity trading and stocks, and I thought my career would be in investment banking. I didn't really know much about Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. or the insurance industry, but after meeting with representatives on campus, I had a gut feeling that this company could have everything I was looking for, so I accepted a slot in the Summer Internship Program. Well, it turns out my gut was right on. The rotational nature of the program exposed me to all aspects of the company, and the more I learned and saw, the more I knew Gallagher was for me.

You get to work with producing brokers as they go about their jobs. And what I noticed, and what appealed to me, was the independent and entrepreneurial nature of the job and company. Two people could approach similar situations in two completely different ways, and both would wind up successful. So after my nine weeks, I was completely sold on Gallagher. So much so that in my senior year I didn't set up a single interview or entertain other offers from other companies.

My current role

I am the Area President for South Florida and Managing Director of the Gallagher Alternative Risk Niche. I lead a highly specialized team of commercial and public-entity retail brokers based in southern Florida as well as leading Gallagher's alternative risk solutions niche practice group.

My growth and advancement

After the Summer Internship Program, I spent four years building up a book of business with one of our retail units. Then, thanks to my hard work and success, I was approached with the opportunity to go to Artex in a leadership position. I would say that in that aspect, I'm not unique. I'm kind of the typical success story that happens every day at Gallagher - you start out as a college intern with no real knowledge and then, through hard work and growing your book of business, all these great opportunities present themselves.

At Gallagher, it really is your accomplishments that matter most. If you look at other companies within our industry, I think my position is normally held by someone with many more years of experience. But because of my track record, the company tapped me for advancement despite my age and, I have to say, that says a lot about the company and makes for a really exciting and fulfilling place to work.

What gets me going every day

It has to be the challenge. I think with great opportunities come great expectations. We're constantly pushing ourselves to do the best job we possibly can for our clients every single day. And every day our clients' businesses are changing, so we have to keep up. We're also a very innovative division within a company that's known for innovation. We're like the lead dogs, continually coming up with new products and services and introducing them into the marketplace - so that's very exciting.

What our culture means to me

Today, we're a global operation with more than 16,000 employees worldwide, so you wouldn't think you could maintain or enjoy a consistent culture across the board. But, surprisingly, that's not the case at Gallagher. I believe that our culture - and by that I mean basically how we treat people, both internally and our clients - is our secret sauce and our competitive advantage in the marketplace. We're a huge, globally successful company, but you wouldn't know it by our interactions. Every office has a warm, close, tight-knit feel to it, and there's a collaborative spirit that dictates and defines how we do business with each other and with clients.