Lifestyle Personal Lines the July/August 2023 issue

Nezih Hasanoglu Jr.

Chief Growth Officer, M3 Insurance, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
By Chris Hann Posted on July 17, 2023
You didn’t pick up a football until you were a sophomore in high school, yet you got a full ride to play wide receiver at Vanderbilt. How does one get so good so fast?
My father came over to the states as an immigrant from Istanbul, Turkey. Obviously, in Europe, soccer is a very huge sport. So I played soccer for most of my life. When I got to high school, they kept asking me to try American football. I had a quick conversation with my father, who recommended that I give it a try. I happened to be good at it and was fortunate enough to receive a couple offers. Vanderbilt is not only in a highly competitive conference, but, more importantly, it’s a fantastic academic university.

Favorite Vacation Spot: Turks and Caicos (“I’m a big scuba diver, and they’ve got fantastic scuba diving.”)

Favorite Season in Wisconsin: Fall(“We get some tremendous color in Wisconsin. It’s a really refreshing time in the state.”)

Favorite Wisconsin Sports Team: “I’m going to say the Bucks, although we didn’t meet expectations this year.”

Favorite Musical Group: Dave Matthews Band (“We got to hang out with Dave for a little bit after a concert in 2003. My wife was in the music business at the time, so she was able to get us some backstage passes. I’ve got high expectations now.”)

Favorite Movie: The Gladiator

Favorite Documentary Series: Formula 1: Drive to Survive

Favorite Actor: Tom Cruise (“Old school and does all of his own stunts.”)

Three Favorite Places To Take Out-Of-Town Visitors: A Bucks game, the Milwaukee Zoo, The Legends Club for Golf.

It’s got to be tough when you play the likes of Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Auburn each year.
You could not take any days off. It required a tremendous amount of preparation and focus.
Do you think you take anything from your football experience into your business career?
We’re in a very competitive industry. I was able to carry over that preparation into my insurance career. To some degree, football allowed me to prepare competitively for the career that I ultimately got into.
You mentioned your dad was an immigrant from Istanbul. Have you been to Turkey?
I’ve been to Turkey several times. I have one uncle who lives there now. It’s a phenomenal city. We often catch a soccer game or two when we go back. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world.
What would an East Coaster like me most likely get wrong about Wisconsin?
It’s a very hospitable state. I think of Milwaukee, specifically, as an underrated city. It’s got a lot to offer the young professional. It’s got major sports teams. It’s got a great art scene, great restaurants, and one of the largest music festivals in the world with Summerfest. I think it’s definitely worth checking out.
Dale Van Dam, a friend of your father, got you into this industry. Tell me about him and his influence on your early career.
There’s a lot of great things I can share about Dale. Dale had been tapped to develop our Milwaukee office, and he quickly went on to grow that office. When I started, I got to spend a lot of time in the field dealing with customers and prospective customers and carriers with Dale. So I had a front-row seat with someone who was highly respected not only in the community but in the industry. I got to learn a lot from Dale, in sales and in life.
You’ve been in the business for nearly 20 years. What has kept you in the industry?
The insurance industry is extremely dynamic and intellectually stimulating, and that intellectual stimulation has kept me very interested. You couple that with being part of a company that has a great culture and is continuing to invest and continuing to grow at a rapid pace—that keeps things pretty exciting.
How would your co-workers describe your management style?
If I had to pick a word: collaborative.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
To become licensed in our industry takes, like, a week. I would look to make the licensing requirements lengthier and more formal. I think that could provide some benefit to the overall industry.
What do you think gives you your leader’s edge in this industry?
No matter what scenario I’m faced with, I try to start from a baseline of is there a model or a template that we can use to build off of. I think that’s what gives me my edge. The ability to fall back on a model or a template to start to make decisions from—I think that’s important and sometimes underestimated.
Chris Hann Associate Editor Read More

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