In today’s Four on Friday, we talk with Hunter Amos, vice president of Lockton Companies in Atlanta, about his career path and how he thinks the Georgia Bulldogs will fare this football season. Many thanks to Hunter for his time.
Your prior experience had you at Flag Bank, Colliers International, and now Lockton, what made you jump career paths?
Amos: I’m very grateful for the opportunity I had at State Bank and truly believe that if you want to be in banking, State Bank is the best bank to work for. I still have a lot of very close friends over there and we keep in touch but I had an itch to go and try to build something. When I started at Flag Bank out of college, getting in on the “ground floor” and trying to help grow the bank is what I always enjoyed most. That same itch is what lead me to change career paths.
Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, Lockton has a huge presence in the Midwest and Western U.S., but I felt like there was an opportunity to grow their brand in the Southeast. On top of that, while we already have a number of great real estate clients, I’m really focused on trying to build out a first-class commercial real estate platform in the Southeast. Insurance is a completely different industry than banking but there are a lot of similarities. I’ve always thought the key to both businesses is to be client-focused and figure out the best way to solve their problems.
What type of benefits, above providing insurance, do you provide your clients/commercial property owners?
Amos: One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about this job is trying to add value to clients outside of just the insurance world. Having been in commercial real estate for the majority of my career, I feel like I have a strong network of principals, investors, lenders, developers, and brokers. Figuring out what a client’s needs are and trying to help connect them to the folks that might be able to help is extremely satisfying to me. It could be anything from equity and debt to just getting them in front of someone that might be able to help lower their bottom line.
Why did you decide to join Lockton?
Amos: I knew I wanted to try to stay in commercial real estate. A friend of mine and I looked at buying a small construction clean-up company to try and grow it, but at the end of the day it just wasn’t something I could get excited about. Insurance has always been appealing to me but I wanted to go somewhere that had a large platform where I would have the resources necessary to really handle all of a client’s needs. I also didn’t want to go to a large institutional/publicly traded insurance company where it sounds like decisions are made by people you’ve probably never met. Lockton really seemed to have the best platform for everything I was looking for. It’s the largest privately owned insurance brokerage in the world, but it has a very entrepreneurial feel and great, knowledgeable people. It’s been a great first year and really can’t imagine ever leaving.
It’s known around the Hartman Simons office that you’re a big Georgia football fan. How do you think they’ll end up this year?
Amos: It’s a little too early to tell at this point but I really like where the program seems to be headed. We hated losing [Mike] Bobo but hopefully [Brian] Schottenheimer can pick up where he left off. There are some question marks but I think we’re a quarterback away from competing for the SEC Championship. I’m hopeful that missing piece (Jacob Eason) will step on campus next year and be as good as everyone thinks he’s going to be. So, just like all Georgia fans believe every June, we’ll probably win the East this year.