Q&A with Dan Spragg, President of Berkley Select

Photo of Dan Spragg

As President of Berkley Select, Dan Spragg joined the company in 2019 with a robust background in commercial insurance spanning over 33 years.


Dan lead Berkley Select in celebrating our 30th year milestone anniversary in 2022. Here he talks about his career trajectory along with his perspective on why a career in insurance is a wise choice based on stability, growth and opportunity. For those that are graduating this spring, Dan has some advice for the class of 2023.


“Commercial insurance does a great job of training and developing talent, giving those with the right attitude and drive ample opportunities to succeed and be rewarded in every way, including financially.”


Dan, you have an impressive 33+ years in commercial insurance experience. What made you choose this line of work and what keeps you motivated and tenured in Lawyers Professional Liability (LPL) and Management Liability (ML) specifically?


I think the reason I chose commercial underwriting soon after college was my curiosity about how things worked in this industry. When I understood that I would be able to look into the financial and inner working of all kinds of businesses the insurance industry insured I was hooked. Also, the intense training and high level of responsibility given to young underwriters at the time I was starting was rewarding.

Migrating to the Professional and Management Liability space came natural to me, as an attorney with an economics degree. The detailed financial analysis required in a management role in ML and LPL is challenging and I am proud to help protect professionals of all types so they can confidently service their clients. The quality of our distribution partners and clients in this space also have made this a great segment to work with.


This spring, a mass amount of students are graduating college and entering the workforce. Insurance appears to have a lot of career opportunities in underwriting, claims, IT, operations, marketing, finance and more. That said, what are some of the benefits you would note to those who decide to follow a career in commercial insurance?


First, I think the sheer size and diversity of the insurance industry is misunderstood. US net premium last year was over $1.4 trillion dollars and the industry employs more than 2.8 million people. The opportunities to match your interests and skill sets are endless.

The industry is also critical, allowing the entire economy to efficiently manage risk and make investments for the future. This makes insurance one of the most stable sectors of the economy over the past 150 years, with a proven track record of often remaining resilient throughout economic recessions with little implications to staffing reductions or interruptions in business.

Lastly, what matters to most is how employees in this industry can develop professionally and be rewarded. Commercial insurance does a great job of training and developing talent, giving those with the right attitude and drive ample opportunities to succeed and be rewarded in every way, including financially.


Can you tell us more about your leadership style and how you keep your teams motivated?


For me, leading is about having a clear vision of the future with the team and to always be learning along the way. I try to keep up on leadership books and recently spent a week at the Ross School at University of Michigan at their Strategic Leadership Training. There is always something to learn and it sparks new ways to think about our business.

We recently began executing on a process here at Berkley Select called Rapid Results (from the book by the author Robert. H. Schaffer by the same name), as a way to try new ways to experiment and innovate through short term “sprint” projects. The underlying objective is don’t be afraid to try and learn.


You recently joined the Advisory Council for Gamma Iota Sigma. Can you tell us more about what Gamma Iota Sigma is and your responsibilities as part of the Advisory Board?


Yes, W. R. Berkley Corporation is very excited to be a sponsor of Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS) and I am proud to be our representative on the advisory board this year. GIS is a collegiate business fraternity focused on the insurance industry. Some of the students are studying actuarial science, risk management, and insurance at some of the top insurance programs, but most are pursuing other majors and become involved in GIS because they have some interest in the opportunities presented by the insurance industry.

GIS is a great access point for the industry to get the message about the many career opportunities available to college students exploring their options in a risk management career. The students I have met through GIS are incredibly bright, sharp and focused on success.


Congratulations on Berkley Select meeting a milestone 30-years in 2022! What is your vision and plan for the next 30?


Most of the next 30 years will be driven by our great team of leaders after I ride off into the sunset after retirement. No matter who is in charge, I think our vision and plans will be the same. We will focus on what our distribution partners and insureds need to be successful and provide target returns to our ownership.

We will continue to challenge the status quo and innovate utilizing data in new ways to forecast future risks and customer needs. We will be disciplined and consistent in our approach so that our customers know what they can expect from us and can be confident we will be here when they need us. If we do all that right, I know we will continue to grow and be an even more impactful part of the markets we serve.


When you are not here at Berkley Select, what hobbies do you enjoy?


My hobbies include traveling with my family, skiing, sporting clays, golf, boating, and generally any time I can get outdoors.


Lastly, what is your favorite quote?


“Surround yourself with people that push you to do better. No drama or negativity. Just higher goals and higher motivation. Good times and positive energy. No jealousy or hate. Simply bringing out the absolute best in each other.” – Warren Buffett

Back to Homepage