New McGowan Takes Helm of Insurance Agency

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


[Indianapolis, IN - August 31, 2010] - Hugh M. McGowan is taking the reins as president of McGowan Insurance Group, making him the third generation of McGowans to lead the 80-year-old firm. McGowan assumes his new role on Sept. 1, at which time his father, Hugh B. McGowan, will become chairman.

McGowan Insurance Group sells commercial and personal insurance, employee benefits, bonds, risk management, loss control and claims management. In 2009, the agency wrote $50 million in premiums.

While the agency works in a variety of industries – including contracting, distribution and manufacturing – and with clients large and small, Hugh M. expects much of its future growth to come from the life sciences, technology and alternative energy industries. The key to this growth, Hugh M. says, will be serving the needs of these cutting-edge industries with the same expertise, client focus and community focus that stand as hallmarks of McGowan Insurance Group’s success.

William K. McGowan, Sr., Hugh B.’s father, started the firm Nov. 30, 1930. Through a variety of industry changes, McGowan Insurance Group has continued to be a family-owned, independent company. With a family name practically synonymous with Indianapolis, the firm works from offices overlooking Monument Circle and the State Capitol at 10 West Market Street. It employs 31 people.

“Since my grandfather started the firm 80 years ago, we’ve had a reputation for excellent customer service and professionalism,” said Hugh M. McGowan. “We intend to maintain that excellence, but also innovate and become more technically savvy. We recognize that often times before we can become a good agent, we first need to position ourselves as a good resource.”

As chairman of the company, Hugh B. McGowan will actively participate in the agency’s new business development and continue with his industry and community involvement.

Although McGowan Insurance’s change in leadership comes at an economically challenging time, Hugh M. McGowan said he expects to continue to grow his family’s company and is optimistic about the future. After all, the firm has a history of success under even the most challenging of conditions: It was founded and flourished during the great depression.

Much of this has to do with the company’s legacy of giving back to the community and encouraging its employees to be involved in community service. The McGowan “Do Crew” coordinates service projects, including weekly Meals on Wheels deliveries, as well as donations of food baskets for the needy and adopting families during the holidays. McGowan employees are involved in more than 35 nonprofit organizations throughout the city.

Hugh M. McGowan

A 1993 graduate of Notre Dame, Hugh M. worked in the Department of Financial Institutions for the Chubb Group in Chicago before returning to Indianapolis in 1995, when he joined the family business as treasurer, vice president and a minority owner. In 1998, he was promoted to senior vice president and earned the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter designation.

Father and son have worked together closely over the last 15 years, most recently as partners and agency principals. Though he still maintains his own book of business, Hugh M.’s primary functions have been managing day-to-day operations as well as serving as the agency’s sales manager. He supports McGowan’s 11 outside producers.

Hugh M. is a past board member of the Central Indiana CPCU and is active in the Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana. He earned the IIAI Young Agent of the Year award in 2002.

President of the Notre Dame Club of Indianapolis and a member of the Family Service board and executive committee, Hugh M. serves on the City of Indianapolis’ High Performance Government Team as team leader overseeing human resources and benefits. A graduate of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series, he also is a member of the Penrod Society and Junto of Indianapolis.

Hugh B. McGowan

When Bill McGowan, Sr., passed away in 1977, his son, Hugh B. became president of the agency. At that time, it had four employees and wrote $1 million in premiums. The firm changed its name from McGowan & Brosnan to McGowan Insurance Group in 1995, when Hugh M. joined the agency. Hugh B. has guided the agency through 41 years of rapid growth with committed loyalty from long-term customers.

Hugh B.’s professional career has been filled with service. He’s active in the Indiana Independent Insurance Agents Association, having served as president of the local and state associations. He earned the state’s Agent of the Year Award and twice received the state’s Public Image Award. On a national level, he served as president of the 25,000-member CPCU (Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters) Society in 2004. He accomplished this by serving in various leadership roles on a state and regional level. He earned the Central Indiana Chapter’s achievement award for his contributions and professionalism. He was named an “Honorary Commissioner” by the Indiana Department of Insurance last year.

Past president of the Notre Dame Club of Indianapolis, he has served on a variety of community boards, including Cathedral High School (16 years) and Catholic Social Services. He is past president of the Serra Club of Indianapolis and the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). Hugh B. is a member of the Columbia Club, Economic Club, 702 Club, One Hundred Club, and the 500 Festival, where he’s served on various committees.

Among his many honors are the “Award of the Year” from the Notre Dame Club of Indianapolis, St. John Bosco Youth Award from the CYO, “Irish Citizen of the Year,” and Sagamore of the Wabash.

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