Arthur J. Gallagher & Co, an international property and casualty brokerage, was recognized for the second year in a row as one of the 2013 World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. The award is given to 145 companies internationally that outperform their industry in the realm of ethical business practices and ethical industry leadership. Founded in Chicago in 1927, AJG has grown to be the third largest broker of insurance to U.S.-based clients, according to Business Insurance Magazine.
AJG delivers value to their clients by planning and administering cost-effective human resource risk management programs as a broker, consultant, or third party administrator. With revenue nearing $2 billion in the U.S. alone, it’s easy to see how successful their ethical approach to insurance brokerage has been.
Ethical From the Beginning
“The culture at AJG is the result of eighty-five years of commitment to integrity and reinforcement of that commitment,” says Tom Tropp, VP of Corporate Ethics. “The Founder was an unusual man who chose to start his own firm, in part, because of some of the practices he observed in other firms at the time.”
The culture of AJG has been preserved from those early times by Arthur J. Gallagher’s two sons, John and Bob Gallagher, who cemented their father’s philosophies in a document named “The Gallagher Way.” The document is available in AJG’s annual corporate responsibility report.
The Gallagher Way
“The Gallagher Way is a list of 25 things that, we believe, as a group of people, we should do,” says Tom Tropp. “We believe that Compliance tells us what we must do; Ethics tells us what we should do. The Gallagher Way is the statement of our ethical convictions and it hangs on the wall in every office, everywhere in the world.”
Among these 25 items are, “Never ask someone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself,” and “People work harder and are more effective when they’re turned on—not turned off.” The Gallagher Way shows AJG’s commitment to mutual respect and ethical behavior, not only for clients, but for their employees as well.
Stakeholders in the Community
In additional to their employees, AJG views people residing within all communities in which their business operates as stakeholders. The Gallagher Foundation was set up to match personal contributions of employees to qualified charitable organizations, together donating more than $15 million between 2006 and 2012. Employees of AJG have been involved in donating over $1 million to the Red Cross for recent disasters including the 2004 Indonesian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, the 2010 Haitian Earthquake, the 2011 tsunami in Japan, and Hurricane Sandy.
The Future for AJG
In the future, AJG intends to maintain their honesty and integrity by continuing to follow The Gallagher Way.
“New employees will be introduced to the AJG culture when they join, and those that like it will stay,” says Tom Tropp. “We will continue to grow in size but we will maintain our unique culture; it is our highest commitment.”