Former certified public account, Mike Burwell, is the current chief financial officer of leading global brokerage firm, Willis Towers Watson. Prior to assuming this esteemed position with Watson; Burwell spent over three decades at iconic financial behemoth, Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP (PwC). During his more than three-decade tenure there, Burwell wore many leadership hats: including, eleven years in its’ business auditing and advisory services and eventually, working his way up to the Chief Financial and Operating Officer of all US business transaction services for the firm. Burwell was also instrumental in building and expanding Pricewaterhouse internal shared services in his role as Global Vice Chairman.
Burwell, who received a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Michigan State; was brought on as CFO in 2017 when the global NASDAQ-traded brokerage firm’s former Chief Financial Officer Roger Millay retired in 2017. Willis Towers Watson, whose current incarnation came about as a result of the 2015 merger “of equals” between London-based Towers Watson & Company and the Willis Group Holdings; can trace its’ origins as a global risk advisory and insurance brokerage firm as far back as 1828. The company, which operates in more than 140 countries and employs more than 40,000; boasts that it specializes in designing and delivering solutions for both individuals and institutions and “manages risk, optimizes benefits, cultivates talent and expands the power of capital to protect and strengthen…”
Michael Burwell attributes his long-term career success to various personal ideologies that he has implemented along the way; among them, he believes it’s important to support those who may come up with great ideas that may be traditionally ignored or overlooked by many organizations. He has made it a priority to provide an appropriate platform so that those ideas “see the light of day so they do not stay buried.” Burwell is also big on doing more with less and is a staunch proponent of using technology to maximize productivity. He has been known to share useful apps with peers and employees and is always seeking new ways to increase productivity and improve the overall workplace environment. He believes strongly that technology can only make “great people even more productive.” Go To This Page for more information.
Michael Burwell went on to offer this advice on some of what he believes makes an ideal leader: he says while collaboration is important; it doesn’t always equal consensus and that you can’t allow yourself to be bogged down in the minutiae of trying to please everyone. Though his leadership roles have often required that he make those hard-final decisions; Burwell believes strongly that being a good listener and always having a positive outlook, are also necessary components to creating a successful and strong network that makes those hard-final decisions less so. Michael Burwell professes these simple beliefs have profoundly assisted in his career successes and have greatly contributed to his steady and continued ascension in the industry. Asked about his favorite quote on what leadership really means to him; Burwell doesn’t cite the many business titans most would expect, he instead quotes his daughter: “There is only one place to look for leadership and that is in the mirror.”