An exemplary leader, Joe Plumeri is Chairman and former Chief Executive Officer of Willis Group Holdings, an international insurance broker. His unique vision transformed Willis Group, a company nearly bankrupt when he first began, into an unrivaled success story. Mr. Plumeri is a legend within financial services circles, driven by his 30-year career at Citigroup and his 12 year tenure in the insurance industry, where he was named among the “Top 25 Living Legends.”
Known for his ability to move thousands by his inspirational speeches and talent for transforming the way companies think and operate; Joe Plumeri is the man who can. When Joe finished the commencement address at the College of William and Mary, his alma mater, in 2011, it was instantly hailed by the New York Times as one of the best speeches of the year. The legend of that speech continues to live online, taking its place as of the 300 "Best Commencement Speeches, Ever" as catalogued by National Public Radio.
The Passionate Principles of Leadership: Ten Strategies To Ensure Success
A visionary business leader, Joe Plumeri spent over 30 years at CitiGroup, Inc., working as a top executive at its predecessor companies and heading CitiBank North America. As CEO of Willis Group, a global insurance broker, Mr. Plumeri catapulted the company into an international powerhouse, abandoning old strategies to lead Willis to unprecedented success. With a diverse business career spanning nearly half a century, Joe Plumeri is an authority on how to get businesses not only to survive—but thrive.
Anything Is Possible: How To Unlock Your Potential and Achieve Your Dreams
From his childhood streets in Trenton, NJ to the New York City skyscrapers and global capitals of world commerce, Joe Plumeri has always been passionate about pushing himself to be better, and bringing out the best in others. In this inspirational speech, Mr. Plumeri offers his personal recipe for growth and success, sharing advice about overcoming obstacles--and getting the best out of your life.
Under Joe Plumeri’s leadership, Willis strengthened its position as one of the world’s leading insurance brokers through sector-leading organic growth and operating margins, strategic expansion, a dedication to transparency and passionate client service. Appointed in October 2000, when Willis was privately owned by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, he successfully returned the company to public ownership in 2001. In 2008, he spearheaded Willis’ $2.1 billion acquisition of Hilb Rogal & Hobbs (HRH), the largest insurance brokerage deal in the last decade.
During his tenure, Mr. Plumeri cultivated a One Flag culture of teamwork centered on the Willis Client Advocate® model and Glocal service, delivering the breadth of Willis’ global expertise through more than 400 local offices in nearly 120 countries. Those offices include The Willis Building in London, opened in 2008, and Willis Tower in Chicago (formerly known as Sears Tower), which was renamed in 2009. Willis Tower is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.
Joe Plumeri was a leader in the insurance industry in an era of unprecedented change. Over the last decade, he pressed for greater transparency, client service and innovation throughout the industry. He led the fight against contingent commissions, the controversial year-end bonuses insurance companies pay brokers for increasing premium volume and profitability – payments which can lead to conflicts of interest. In 2004, Willis became the first and only insurance broker to abolish the practice of accepting contingent commissions for retail clients and the first to establish a Client Bill of Rights.
Prior to joining Willis, Mr. Plumeri had a 32-year career at Citigroup and its predecessor companies. As CEO of Citibank North America, he led the integration of the consumer businesses at Citicorp and Travelers Group. He also served as Chairman and CEO of Travelers Primerica Financial Services, Vice Chairman of the Travelers Group, and President and Managing Partner of Shearson Lehman Brothers.