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B E R K S H I R E H AT H A W AY G U A R D I N S U R A N C E C O M PA N I E S

“We’re growing every year by 20-25% which shows that this is not a steady state company” — Sy Foguel, CEO and President, Berkshire Hathaway GUARD

in 2012, the organization changed hands again and became a whollyowned subsidiary of National Indemnity Company, which is part of the Berkshire Hathaway Group. “Today, we are a $1.6bn company,” Foguel adds. COO Carl Witkowski, who has been with the company in different roles since 1989, adds that before gaining the backing of Berkshire Hathaway, GUARD first had to forge its own path in the insurance market. “We were a small regional company and there

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aligning the organization to achieve

were two key things we had to offer:

meteoric growth.

superior service and efficiency,” he

The CEO, Sy Foguel, joined the

observes. “Our retail agents are a key

company in 2007 when the group

part of our DNA – they’ve been our

was acquired by Clal Insurance

distribution force.” Like any small

Enterprise Holdings Ltd., an interna-

operation, efficiency has always been a

tional insurance group of which he

well-versed mantra at GUARD. “We

was Executive Vice President. “At the

needed to be efficient to survive

time the company was writing around

as a company and so our expense

US$200mn of Workers Compensation

ratios needed to be managed,”

premium in a dozen states,” he recalls.

he continues. “When we were later

“Our vision from day one was to use the

acquired, it was a great example of

company as a platform to become a

when preparation meets opportunity.”

one stop shop for the insurance needs

Critically, as the insurer has continued

distributed by our agents. We started

on its upward trajectory, it has taken

to introduce additional lines of coverage

care to retain this same start-up

and built all the infrastructure.” Later

philosophy and mentality.

APRIL 2019

Profile for Business Chief USA

Business Chief USA Magazine – April 2019  

Business Chief USA Magazine – April 2019