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FINANCE/INSURANCE


THOMAS S. GAYNER CO-CEO, MARKEL CORP., GLEN ALLEN


Gayner oversees investing activities for Markel Corp., a Glen Allen-based Fortune 500 holding company that has nearly 19,000 employees worldwide. Markel, which Gayner joined in 1990 to


form Markel Gayner Asset Management, holds insurance, reinsurance and investment opera- tions worldwide.


In 2019, it had a record year, with


revenue rising 39.2% over the previous year to $9.35 billion. The pandemic appears to have slowed growth, with Markel reporting $9.7 billion in revenue during 2020. “We are grateful and amazed by how our employees responded to the global pan- demic and continued to serve the needs


of our customers, trading partners, sharehold- ers and each other,” Gayner wrote with Co-CEO Richard Whitt in announcing the 2020 finan- cial report. “Markel enters 2021 well positioned to continue the momentum of our excellent fourth quarter.” Before joining Markel, Gayner was a vice president of Davenport & Co. and a CPA at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. He sits on the boards of Graham Holdings LLC, Colfax Corp. and Cable One, where he serves as lead inde- pendent director. Gayner also is a member of the Virginia Retirement System’s Investment Advisory Committee, which is responsible for making investment recommendations to the state agency’s board.


JEFF GRINSPOON MANAGING DIRECTOR AND PARTNER, VWG WEALTH MANAGEMENT AT HIGHTOWER ADVISORS, VIENNA


Grinspoon founded VWG in 2011 with two of his Morgan Stanley colleagues in response to the shiſt in wealth management services following the Great Recession. He started his career with Legg Mason. This year, the firm, owned by Hightower


Advisors, has more than $1.6 billion assets under management and has been ranked on Forbes’ Top 100 wealth advisers list. Grinspoon has also made Forbes’ and Barron’s top adviser rankings. With bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business from the University of Maryland, he serves on the board for the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. Grinspoon also has dedi- cated time toward charitable work for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.


SIMON HAMILTON MANAGING DIRECTOR AND PORTFOLIO MANAGER, BAIRD/THE WISE INVESTOR GROUP, RESTON


In addition to overseeing Baird/The Wise Investor Group’s portfolio, Hamilton is also host of the small Reston firm’s “Wise Investor Show” and “Midweek Update” podcasts, which offer insights into how the market is behaving. Before joining the firm in 2007, Hamilton was vice president of investments at Smith Barney and previously filled the same role at Ferris, Baker Watts in Baltimore, his hometown. For several years, Hamilton has been named a top financial adviser by Financial Times, Forbes and Barron’s. In his spare time, he serves as Vienna Youth Soccer’s vice president of travel soccer.


WHAT MAKES ME PASSIONATE ABOUT MY WORK: Seeing in real time how my efforts can produce both quantifiable and psychological positive outcomes for real people and their families


WHAT I WAS LIKE IN HIGH SCHOOL: I was around the edges of everything. Smart, but not the smartest; on the sports teams, but not the best athlete; went to the “cool” parties, but wasn’t the first to be invited!


HOBBY/PASSION: Youth sports — I love coaching, organizing, and watching my kids and their friends compete.


BEVERAGE OF CHOICE: I’m a simple man: a fine lager.


FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM: Baltimore Ravens 82 VIRGINIA 500


BEST ADVICE FOR OTHERS: Don’t be shy to apologize for something you’ve done wrong, and don’t be loud about something you’ve done right.


FIRST JOB: Selling credit card processing equipment


HOBBY/PASSION: My family is my passion.


NEW LIFE EXPERIENCE: Eating at a restaurant (been a long time)


MOST RECENT BOOK READ: “The Code Breaker,” by Walter Isaacson


WHAT I’VE LEARNED: Our health is the single most taken-for-granted thing.


ONE THING I’D CHANGE ABOUT VIRGINIA: A wider bridge coming over the Potomac


H. HITER HARRIS III MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CO- FOUNDER, HARRIS WILLIAMS & CO., RICHMOND


Thirty years ago, Harris co-founded a global investment banking company specializing in mergers and acqui- sitions with a friend from Harvard Business School, Christopher


Williams. Today the firm has more than 400 employees across eight global offices and operates as a subsidiary of PNC Financial Services. The company, which advises companies buying or being sold to other corporations, promoted more than two dozen people to more senior positions in its offices in February, with particular focus on energy and health care sectors. A Hampden-Sydney College alum who was a kicker on the football team, Harris serves on the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges board and the University of Richmond board of trustees. He also was inducted into the Greater Richmond Business Hall of Fame in 2015.


WHAT MAKES ME PASSIONATE ABOUT MY WORK: Throughout Harris Williams, our professionals are dedicated to fostering long-lasting, trust-based relationships with clients and colleagues alike. Everything we do at Harris Williams is intended to foster lasting relationships. Watching those relationships deepen and grow over the past 30 years has brought me great joy and makes me very proud of what we have accomplished together.


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