This episode features Michel de Lecq Marguerie. Michel, a most English sounding fellow with a most french sounding name, is one of the most creative deal makers I’ve ever met.
On paper his creativity shouldn’t surprise us: Michel is an accomplished musician, having won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music as a teenager. He was an unfocused student, however: “the rest of my education was pretty miserable.. I just wasn’t really engaged with it… I think I had a certain arrogance about music that I was involved in and assumed I was simply going to pursue a career in music like my father and like his father before him.”
Eventually realizing it wasn’t for him, Michel became singularly focused on supporting himself and managed to hustle his way into a job at Lloyd’s. Michel points out that hustle isn’t something that comes naturally to musicians and artists, and in music even he is a different guy: “On the music side funnily enough I would say I’m more on the passive side and actually I enjoy that”.
Michel in business was anything but passive, moving from London to Toronto to join the fledgling broker Beach & Associates. He found the feeling of an empty desk and the need to create something from nothing exhilarating. Eventually I asked “do you like pressure?” and this kicked off my favorite part of the conversation (around minute 52):
I do actually, I do. I think I like a bit of chaos as well… Since I left Beach, I think I’ve created more Chaos for myself. Which I.. I think I love it.
Michel’s love of high pressure situations made him a natural entrepreneur and he credits that path to unlocking his own super power (my words) of creative deal making.
In the interview we also cover what it means to be creative in reinsurance, how Michel’s interview while racing around London in a porche went and what it felt like picking up the pieces (literally) of his office after the IRA bombing of Bishopsgate.
Let none of these adventures mislead you. Michel is one of the most effective reinsurance brokers alive. Credit that to his unique perspective on problems and pressure extreme enough to forge incredible skill.