Michael Burwell is the Chief Financial Officer at Willis Towers Watson. Before this, He worked at Pricewaterhouse Coopers for 31 years. At PWC Michael Burwell served for 11 years working on audit clients in the assurance practice. In 1997, he started the PWC Detroit transaction service after being admitted to its partnership. He was then asked to take on the leadership of the company’s central region. He was named the Chief Financial Officer of PWC US business in 2007 and Chief Operating Officer in 2008.
Michael is a certified public accountant with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Michigan State University. He was named the Alumnus of the year of the University in 2010. He became the Vice Chairman of Global and US transformation in 2012. In this position, he created change and optimized organizational effectiveness in internal functions such as Technology, Finance, Human capital and Global Strategic Sourcing.
Michael’s day starts at 5 am. Even when he is traveling, he begins by making the bed. He says this makes him feel like he has achieved something. He then proceeds to ride his Peloton bike, either at his home or where he can find one. He reflects on the months at the beginning of every month and the week at the beginning of every week. Michael Burwell has tried every day to bring ideas to life. He has given colleagues in his organization a proper evaluation and light so that their beliefs are not buried. He believes the next big ideas are found in his organization, and it is his responsibility to bring it to life.
Michael Burwell is excited by InsureTech. The ideas that are emerging are interesting all the way from the B to C in the marketplace. He has spent a lot of time monitoring this through the Plug and Play relationship. Every exciting change and connections have been observed consistently. Michael attributes his mindset to his increased productivity. When a great mentality is mixed with useful technology, then it makes great people even more productive.
Michael advises the young people not always to follow consensus but rather embrace collaboration. He acknowledges the growth of micro-communities and the how the technologies that support them are critical. Michael thinks the best qualities of a leader are in being a good listener and building the right networks. He has managed to grow his business by being positive and relentless. The best thing one can do when they fail is by picking themselves up and taking on a new challenge.
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