Argo Group CEO Mark E. Watson III believes the first half of this year really stands out when you compare it to how the company has performed in prior years.
“I think we just finished one of the best first halves of a year that we’ve ever had, in terms of evolving the Argo franchise or Argo enterprise,” Watson says.
But it goes beyond looking at the strong financial results, which include gross written premiums up 19 percent compared to the same period a year ago.
“What I’m most proud of and most happy about at the moment is, for a lot of people that have been at Argo awhile – and we’ve all been turning the crank – we’re just now starting to see the benefits of the hard work,” he says. “And I don’t mean our financial results. I mean creating a business that’s actually offering clients solutions instead of just being another market participant.”
While announcing Argo’s strong results, Watson acknowledged the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in Texas on August 25. “High winds and torrential rains continue to cause catastrophic damage and injury, and we all know that the effects will be felt for months,” he said. “We should recognize the courage and tenacity of our clients, colleagues and relatives in the storm’s path.”
Solid teamwork plays a role
Watson, who grew up playing sports, finds a lot of things in common between being on a team and running a business that can be applied to Argo’s success as reflected in the 2017 Argo Group Mid-Year Report.
“You’ve got to figure out how to do all the things that are really essential to running a business,” he says. “You’ve got to figure out how to work together. You’ve got to figure out how to manage your resources. Sometimes that’s who’s on the field and where.”
It’s no coincidence that Argo Group sponsors two sports teams – Artemis Racing, a professional sailing team, and Dragon Racing, which races electric cars in the Formula E series.
Argo monetizing investments, responding faster
Other things that have stood out for Watson during the first six months of 2017 include:
• The U.S. business was all about refinement, execution and really monetizing a lot of the investments Argo made in people, product and technology.
• On the international side, the big headline was bringing on all of Argo’s new colleagues from Ariel Re and making sure that process went as smoothly as possible.
• Argo has gone from being a very product-centric organization to a much more responsive organization.
Learn more in the 2017 Argo Group Mid-Year Report.