A Company That Gives Where It Lives

Argo's support for its local community has never wavered from its very beginnings.

Reprinted with permission from The Insurance Information Institute’s magazine, Impact

When the global specialty underwriter now called Argo Group was founded in 1948, its headquarters was a humble, one-room office in San Francisco. Within weeks, company employees had formed The Argoneers, a group that encouraged active social engagement and community support.

From the first year on, 95 percent of all company employees donated regularly to the United Crusade, forerunner of the United Way. And as the company’s operations expanded through the U.S., The Argoneers followed. In every community the company served, its employees gave back, starting a tradition of employee-led giving that has lasted seven decades.

Fast forward to 2017. Today, Argo Group would be almost unrecognizable to its original founders—given its growth and worldwide expansion. But the company’s commitment to local community support has never wavered. CEO Mark E. Watson III, who took the helm in 2002, put it this way: “At the outset, we declared our commitment to the communities in which we live and work. The model we chose back then was a combination of central programs—what fundraisers now call major gifts—and community events run by our staff, which the company also sponsored in part. Every time we opened an office, we trusted our local staff to help us know which local organizations and campaigns would enable us to help appropriately. Every community is different. Even as we’ve become a global company, it’s been sensible to allow much of our giving to be inspired by the local knowledge of our staff worldwide.” (To read the rest of the story, click here to download a PDF.)

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