Lifestyle Personal Lines the May 2017 issue

Bret Quigley, Chairman and CEO, Prime Risk Partners

I was the kid who had the lemonade stand.
By Chris Hann Posted on April 27, 2017
Did you grow up in Georgia?
I was born in Florida. My father was a Navy officer, so we moved frequently. I lived up and down the East Coast, in Europe and California. Most of my life was in the D.C. area. That’s what I think of as my hometown. My three siblings still live there.

How often did you move?
Through third grade, we moved seven times. And then we stayed in northern Virginia.

Moving so often must have been difficult.
You have to make new friends quickly. In many ways that’s a good and useful skill.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I’m not sure I knew, but my mother always told me I would go into sales. I was the kid who had the lemonade stand. I sold newspapers starting at the age of eight. I sold donuts door-to-door at one point. That was tough—it’s a perishable item. I was always selling. What’s funny is I actually thought I was going to be the next great American writer. I was an English major at the University of Virginia, but then I took some business courses, loved them and switched to a business major.

What do you do when you’re not working?
Most of my time revolves around family and church. Most of my charitable giving is around the church or mission work. I like to read and run. And I like to golf. I would like to say I’m a good golfer, but it’s not true. I’m more enthusiastic than skilled.

This year Rachel and I will be celebrating our 30th anniversary. We have two sons and two daughters, ages 11 to 26, and one granddaughter.

Any shown an interest in insurance?
Despite my best efforts, no. That’s not to say it’s too late. I’ve always encouraged them, just as my parents did, to find something you like and you’ll probably be pretty good at it.

You own a farm in northeast Georgia. We have 50 acres. We rent the pasture out to a gentleman who keeps cattle on it. There is no Internet, no cable, no TV. It forces us to unplug and hang out as a family. It’s on the middle fork of the Broad River, so we go kayaking and tubing on the river. We ride ponies and our ATV. We play board games at night. It’s a forced way of unplugging.

Was that part of the idea?
Oh, absolutely—to get back to reality.

What’s your favorite city?
Probably Chicago. Part of it is my wife’s family is still there. I have grad school friends there. And I like to get deep-dish pizza.

You founded Prime Risk Partners in 2014. Tell me about your business.
We’re approaching $90 million in revenues and have more than 400 employees. Our focus is on growing organically, but we will continue to grow through acquisitions as well. Besides Georgia, we’re in New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. We have 14 offices total.

What surprised you most about being the boss? First, I don’t really think of myself as “the boss.” Yes, the buck stops with me, but I view myself as one of the partners. What is most gratifying, but not really surprising, is how my partners are really stepping up to the plate and driving our organic growth. Our partners, our producers, our leaders, they have bought into organic growth whole hog.

What would your co-workers be surprised to learn about you?
That I actually do know how to relax.

What gives you your leader’s edge?
Partnering with really talented people and letting them do their thing.

The Quigley File

Favorite Movies: Braveheart, Shawshank Redemption

Favorite Actor: Clint Eastwood

Favorite Musical Group: The Beatles

Favorite Beatle: Paul McCartney

Favorite Writer: Tom Clancy

Favorite Book: The Bible

Chris Hann Associate Editor Read More

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