An interview with Mark Boucher, the man at the head of Endurance Worldwide
What four adjectives best describe yourself?
Professional, committed, informal and honest.
What qualities do you most admire in other people?
Loyalty and wisdom. I think particularly loyalty. I believe in team building and having team members who are committed to that team. So loyalty is therefore a very important quality for me.
What qualities do you most dislike in other people?
Firstly, a lack of commitment. I am a firm believer in the fact that if you are going to do a job, then do it properly and show your commitment to the company. Secondly, indecisiveness. In the decision-making process, I accept that there is a time-frame in which this process may occur, but if at the end of that period a decision has not been reached then I become particularly frustrated.
What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started in this industry?
I guess the big one for me is having an understanding of the concept of "team". Both in terms of how to build a team, how to bring together groups of individuals who perhaps possess different skill sets to create a strong and winning team, and also in terms of how to work as part of a team, to be a team player.
What was the last thing that completely surprised you?
The announcement that Hank Greenberg had stepped down as president and chief executive officer at AIG. We are talking about the world's largest insurance company, an individual who had been at the head of his company for decades and a company that is probably the toughest competitor for us in the market. That was quite a surprise.
What motivates you on a Monday morning?
I would have to say that I see Monday as being no different to any other day. I really, really enjoy my job! I work basically seven days a week anyway, so in that sense why would Monday be any different?
Whose job would you most like to have and why?
I would like to be the head coach of the England rugby team. I think it is a difficult job, but I would set myself a very clear first objective as head coach - to win the World Cup in 2007 in France. I feel that dealing with and motivating the players, building a coaching staff, handling groups such as the media or the RFU (Rugby Football Union) would altogether prove a great challenge.
What is your biggest regret?
Never having learned a foreign language, although having said that I am now about to begin studying French. While English is the global language of business, particularly in insurance, I think it is somewhat arrogant to always expect others to speak it.
What are you most proud of having achieved?
I am most proud of having been involved in the building of Endurance. While I have worked in many great companies in my career, I have never really been involved from the very beginning as I have been with Endurance.
I am proud of having been one of the first five or ten employees brought on board right at the beginning in Bermuda, and having been a part of building a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange which today has a reputation for "doing the right things".
I remember when I used to fly back to London from Bermuda and meet up with Simon Minshall and Jon Godfray at my house on a Friday morning to discuss business plans.
Having been involved with Endurance right from day one through to the company which it is today makes me extremely proud.
What factors have enabled you to get where you are today?
Hard work, a commitment to the objectives which have been set, and a strong sense of belief in what I am doing and what I am helping to build.
I would also mention my tenacity, never being willing to accept "no" for an answer. And add to that a drive, an ability to keep going. I think that these fairly basic strengths have helped me get where I am today.
- Mark Boucher is chief executive officer of Endurance Worldwide Insurance Ltd.