A 50-year history of innovation and service.
With a rich history of providing wholesale insurance solutions, we’ve demonstrated time and time again our goal of being trusted advisers to our brokers and agents.
The legacy begins.Herbert W. Kaufman establishes Burns & Wilcox and begins serving independent retail insurance agents and brokers from one office in Southfield, MI.
An auspicious idea leads to a narrowing of strategic purpose.Burns & Wilcox fully commits to operate only in the wholesale space. Mr. Kaufman recognizes that the retail and wholesale businesses were competing against each other. He realigns the organization to become 100% dedicated to wholesale insurance.
A pivotal acquisition leads to a primary position of strength.Burns & Wilcox acquires Service General. The acquisition expands Burns & Wilcox into personal lines, making it the largest Personal Insurance Wholesaler in North America, a position the company holds to this day.
Burns & Wilcox goes public.On September 6, coinciding with Mr. Kaufman’s birthday, the company begins trading on the American Stock Exchange.
The company expands to the upper Midwest and Plains States.Burns & Wilcox acquired Casualty Underwriters. The acquisition expanded commercial and specialty insurance reach in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Burns & Wilcox heads South.Burns & Wilcox acquired Floyd West & Company. Through offices in Dallas & New Orleans, the acquisition greatly expanded operations in the South.
Heading West.Burns & Wilcox acquired Rathbone, King & Seeley. The acquisition of the San Francisco-based company, founded in 1849, provided a leading West-Coast market for a wide variety of commercial coverages & many hard-to-place risks.
The solidification of Burns & Wilcox as a family run business.Second-generation leader, Alan Jay Kaufman, acquires 100% of the company by taking it private.
A new, key market is opened.The company acquires Kimbrell Insurance Group and rebrands it as the Burns & Wilcox Myrtle Beach office.
B&W goes international.Burns & Wilcox acquires Chesterfield Canada. The addition of the Canadian-based wholesale broker focused on specialty commercial risks marks Burns & Wilcox expansion internationally. The firm is rebranded as Burns & Wilcox Canada.
A wholesale commitment to wholesale.Burns & Wilcox Brokerage is established, an independent business unit solely dedicated to wholesale insurance brokerage.
Burns & Wilcox begins PGA Tour player sponsorship.Burns & Wilcox partners with 6-time PGA Tour winner Jimmy Walker.
Burns & Wilcox takes to the ice.Burns & Wilcox begins sponsorship of 11-time Champion Detroit Red Wings with the Burns & Wilcox logo emblazoned on center ice.
Burns & Wilcox furthers its reach inside the PGA Tour ropes.Burns & Wilcox adds another PGA Tour Brand Ambassador with 7-time PGA Tour winner Webb Simpson.
Burns & Wilcox crosses the pond.Burns & Wilcox acquires Barbican Protect and rebrands as Burns & Wilcox United Kingdom with offices in London, Manchester and Birmingham, England.
The Legacy of Our Founder
The Lasting Legacy of Founder Herbert W. Kaufman
Building North America’s largest private specialty insurance firm was no small feat. The empire that is now H.W. Kaufman Group started with the vision of one man—Founder, Herbert W. Kaufman. Through his leadership, Herb was able to grow the company from virtually nothing to the multi-billion dollar organization that it is now, with over 60 offices around the globe and more than 2,000 employees – while sticking to his core values. Now, his son Alan Jay Kaufman stands at the helm of the organization, and while Herb is no longer with us, his vision and dream live on within the legacy he built.
A pioneer in wholesale insurance
Blazing a trail in specialty insurance took determination, foresight, and years of hard work. Herb began his career working at his father’s plumbing and real estate development businesses, handling all financial aspects. This early role included maintaining insurance, and it was this aspect of the family business that spurred his imagination. Soon, Herb was looking for an opportunity in the industry.
In 1969, he established H.W. Kaufman Group and Burns & Wilcox. Herb first focused in retail insurance, but he quickly saw the potential of wholesale. After success in both areas, he recognized that the retail and wholesale businesses were competing against each other.
“Although retail was more profitable in the short term, my father had a long-term vision to grow wholesale and devoted 100 percent of the company to that direction,” said Alan Jay Kaufman, Chairman, President, and CEO, H.W. Kaufman Group and Burns & Wilcox. “While this was not popular or familiar at the time, he made a bold prediction that paid off. He was truly ahead of his time.” Read More