Profit, purpose and paying it forward – with Derek Thomas, Chief Strategy Officer, Galway Holdings

“Culture is mission critical in this space. We are a people business, we’re professional services”, says Derek. “Our messaging really is people first.”

Derek shares his career route from the non-profit sector to the insurance industry.  Following roles with Chubb and Aon, he joined Epic in 2013 as Chief Strategy Officer and says, “I really wanted to join an organization in growth mode. My job was to drive profitable growth”

Highlighting Galway Holdings’ structure and the growth trajectory the business has been on, Derek discusses growing organically and through M&A activity and its impact on values and culture as the team has grown from 300-4000 employees.

“Our goal is to double the size of our firm over the next 5-7 years. The market conditions are pretty challenging in some ways but we are laser focused on profitable organic growth.”

Derek highlights building DE&I in to the fabric of the business, identifying talent from diverse communities and the importance of training leaders as the business expands.

“Our organization and our operating companies, we are seeking diverse talent. We have to make sure that our leadership is ready to embrace and invest in diverse talent and culturally, once people join the firm, we have to really back up everything that we say on the recruiting side.”

For senior executives seeking to join a business like Galway, Derek advises them to be prepared, operate with passion, desire and establish their professional messaging and differentiation.

Derek counsels hiring managers or recruitment leaders to think outside of the box when it comes to attracting the best talent.  

“Ask people questions more than just work, try to get a feel for who they are. What is their drive or what is their motivator?”

Derek concludes by advising fellow leaders to pay it forward.

“Treat people like you want to be treated. If you wanted opportunities when you were young, provide opportunities. If you were a benefit of mentoring, mentor people. It’s a new day. We’re dealing with people that have had different experiences. We’ve got to figure out how to lead in a new way.”

Find out more about Galway Holdings and its growing brands here or connect with Derek Thomas on LinkedIn.

The Insurance Coffee House Podcast is hosted by Nick Hoadley, CEO, Insurance Search, the Executive Search Consultancy for growing Insurance and Insurtech businesses around the globe.

To discuss identifying & attracting the very best talent to your team or being a podcast guest, reach out to Nick via nick.hoadley@insurance-search.com

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