Influential women in re/insurance: re/insurers and brokers
OF OF 2017
Company: AmWINS Group
Job title: General counsel
2008: General counsel, AmWINS Group
2006: Vice president, assistant general counsel, BB&T
1998: Associate, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice
for AmWINS, and it significantly increased the size of our
business. As a company, we had to become more sophisticated
in the way we operated, and as a result, my role within
the executive team expanded significantly. I was faced with
new challenges and gained a greater exposure to the business
aspects of insurance. For me, it represented my progression
from an M&A lawyer to a true general counsel.
What has been the biggest challenge you have encountered?
I am probably expected to insert a professional challenge here,
but frankly, my recent breast cancer diagnosis and treatment
make any professional challenge I have faced to date pale in
comparison. However, as a result, I grew professionally in
that I was forced to delegate more responsibility to others
and focus on bigger-picture issues. It confirmed to me that
I work in a very supportive and talented team environment,
and I am now a much better delegator.
If you had chosen a different profession/career path, what
would it have been?
I began my professional career as a nurse, so I’ve already
experienced taking an alternate career path. However, if I
wasn’t practising law, I would like to do something artistic,
such as painting or photography.
Donna L. Hargrove has served as general counsel of
AmWINS since April 2008. She is responsible for identifying
and managing all compliance and legal risks of the company,
rendering legal advice and helping the leadership team
understand the legal implications of the business operations
of AmWINS and its operating subsidiaries. Prior to joining
AmWINS, Hargrove served as corporate in-house counsel for
BB&T Corporation and was a dedicated legal resource to its
subsidiaries engaged in the business of insurance, including
BB&T Insurance Services, CRC Insurance Services, McGriff,
Seibels & Williams, Amrisc and American Coastal Insurance
Earlier in her career, she served in private practice with
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice concentrating in mergers
& acquisitions and general corporate matters. Hargrove holds
a BSc in nursing from the University of Tennessee and her
Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina.
Why did you choose to work in this industry?
When I entered law school, I initially intended to practise
medical malpractice defence, mainly because it seemed to be
an obvious fit in light of my nursing degree. However, once
I got my feet wet in law school, I discovered that I really
enjoyed the analysis, drafting, and negotiation involved with
transactional work, so I left my nursing degree behind and
focused on corporate law. As a young associate at Womble
Carlyle, I handled a large number of mergers & acquisitions,
with a particular focus on clients in the insurance industry.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Shortly after I joined AmWINS, the company acquired
Colemont Brokerage Group. In my new role, I was much
more involved in the pre-acquisition process and business
aspects of the transaction than I had been in prior positions.
The Colemont acquisition represented a very large deal
“Once I got my feet wet in law school,
I discovered that I really enjoyed the
analysis, drafting, and negotiation
involved with transactional work.”
38 | INTELLIGENT INSURER | 2017 www.intelligentinsurer.com