jessica melville

jessica melville
MEET Malcolm Johnson

Lead Associate Broker, New York City

Team Transactional Solutions Team, Mergers & Acquisitions

Segment Corporate Risk and Broking

Location New York City, U.S.

Year hired 2016

University Columbia University, BSc in Financial Economics and Middle Eastern Studies

Personal skills or interests

I enjoy traveling, watching films and reading about New York City’s history and architecture. I am also an advocate for racial justice and equality.

Can you tell us about your history with Willis Towers Watson?

I joined Willis Towers Watson as a member of the first ever Corporate Risk and Broking Graduate program in 2016. This was my first real job out of college and also my introduction into the insurance industry.

As a graduate, I started out on the Metro New York (MNY) Construction Team and then moved into the Financial Institutions Team for eight months. Currently, I’m a Lead Associate Broker in the Transactional Solutions Team within Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A).

Can you tell us about the day-to-day responsibilities of your job?

As a Lead Associate Broker, my primary responsibilities consist of assisting our private equity and strategic buyer clients in purchasing Representations & Warranties (R&W) insurance policies on a variety of M&A deals. I work closely with our Senior Brokers in every part of the transaction timeline, from pursuing new business opportunities, to placing those opportunities in the insurance marketplace.

Alongside my role within M&A, I am involved in a series of initiatives focused on our company’s Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) efforts, both inside and outside of the workplace. It is an incredibly rewarding feeling to be able to take my passion and advocacy for racial justice and equality and turn it into something tangible for our community. For example, I co-lead Willis Towers Watson’s MNY Multicultural Inclusion Network, which celebrates the cultural diversity of our company, and helps educate colleagues on differences in race, ethnicity, religion, language and culture.

Additionally, I am one of the national leaders of the Willis Towers Watson National African-American Insurance Association partnership, and I also co-lead the Retain & Develop workstream for Black, African-American and Latinx Talent.

What are the key challenges of your role? How have you overcome them?

Having a R&W insurance policy in place is a task that requires a great level of detail and that depends on the specifics of the private equity deal. This is why sometimes we have a very busy and tight schedule, however it’s always a great feeling when the deal closes and we know that we’ve delivered the best possible job for our client.

What training and development opportunities have you received in your role?

When I first started as a Willis Towers Watson graduate, I had no formal training in insurance and I was relatively unfamiliar with the responsibilities of an insurance broker. This is why I spent my first few months as a graduate getting to know and understand the insurance industry and learning the vocabulary and terminology that we use on a day-to-day basis. I also was able to get my Associate of Risk Management and Associate of General Insurance certifications through the program, which provided a lot of educational training on risk management.

How would you describe the culture at Willis Towers Watson?

One of my favorite things about the culture at Willis Towers Watson is our colleagues’ willingness to share their knowledge. Senior leaders are very approachable and happy to provide their insights and advice to more junior colleagues. I also like that the company’s culture is based on prioritizing and recognizing teamwork, which leaves no room for one-upmanship.

What do you like best about working at Willis Towers Watson?

What I like the most about working at Willis Towers Watson is that we have all of the resources and opportunities that a global company has to offer while still having the close knit feel of a smaller organization where colleagues are encouraged to interact with everyone, including senior leadership.

Was there anything that surprised you about your role or the company?

One of the things that surprised me the most is our unwavering commitment to I&D, which makes everyone feel comfortable in bringing their true self to work. Also, I really like the fact that all colleagues have the opportunity to lead and take part in the company’s Inclusion Networks as well as to get involved in Willis Towers Watson’s global and regional I&D initiatives.

What is your hope for your career in the future?

I’d like to continue making a positive and significant impact on Willis Towers Watson’s I&D initiatives in the future. Maintaining an inclusive workplace environment is beneficial for all of our colleagues and it also allows us to deliver the best possible solutions to our clients.

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone considering employment with Willis Towers Watson?

Just do it! The insurance industry has been a well-hidden gem in the world of financial services for a long time, but there are incredible opportunities for career development and growth for people of all educational, professional and personal backgrounds.