Season 3 - Ep. 15 | Planting Long-Term Investment Seeds with Markel Group CEO Tom Gayner

Redefiners Podcast
Hosted By:
October 18, 2023 | 25 min
Thomas “Tom” Gayner
Markel Group

Season 3 - Ep. 15 | Planting Long-Term Investment Seeds with Markel Group CEO Tom Gayner

What do you get when you combine values-centered leadership with a long-term view of investing? In Tom Gayner’s case, you get an incredible recipe for success! As CEO of Markel Group, Tom helped grow the company over three decades from a relatively small insurance company into the diversified global conglomerate it is today. No wonder Markel Group is often called a "Baby Berkshire." In this conversation, Tom shares his career journey from teenage investor to CEO and how he dealt with various challenges along that path. He’ll talk about how the Markel Style crafted in 1986 has been so critical to their success and continues to serve as the organization’s north star today. Key to that success, Tom shares Markel’s four criteria they use to make investment decisions, including how to define a fair price on a deal. He also talks about his view on the pendulum of investment optimization versus satisfaction. And if you ever wondered how the low interest rates of the past decade encouraged risky decisions, you won’t want to miss Tom’s insightful analogy of interest rates as a form of curfew. So enjoy this episode and get to bed at a reasonable hour!

We’ll also hear from Kurt Harrison, a Managing Director in Russell Reynolds Associates New York office. Kurt digs into our latest Divides & Dividends report to explain why even though sustainability progress is being made, there are four sustainability gaps CEOs must bridge.

If you enjoyed this episode, you might also like these Redefiners episodes: 



Thomas “Tom” Gayner

Thomas “Tom” Gayner has served as Chief Executive Officer of Markel Group since the start of 2023 and was co-Chief Executive Officer prior to that since 2016.

Markel Group is a holding company with operations in insurance, services, industrial operations. Markel Group is listed on the Fortune 500 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, with more than 70 offices in 16 countries.

Tom joined Markel Group in 1990 and oversees all investing activities. He is also responsible for Markel Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary which acquires controlling interests in manufacturing, technology, and service companies.

Prior to joining Markel Group, Tom served as Vice President of Davenport & Company LLC of Virginia and as a certified public accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Tom serves as Chairman of the Board of the Davis Series Mutual Funds and on the boards of Graham Holdings, The Coca-Cola Company, and Markel Group. He is a member of the Investment Advisory Committee of the Virginia Retirement System.

Tom is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the Lawrenceville School.

Listen on

alt-text alt-text alt-text