Entrepreneurial Energy

More than 50 years have passed since Jack Lockton began cold calling companies, selling surety bonds and insurance. That spark of entrepreneurial energy created what has become the world’s 9th largest insurance broker and the largest privately held independent insurance broker, Lockton.

After Jack graduated from the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 1964 with a degree in Economics, he worked for Glens Falls Insurance Company, specializing in surety bonds for contractors. Two years later he got the itch to shift careers. "I was attracted by the entrepreneurial opportunity and the money," Jack said.1

A Natural At Sales

Jack was a natural at sales. "I’d sell to the guy next to me while I was pumping gas, to the lady I’d pick up my laundry from, to the guys at the Jaycees," Jack said. But if you were to ask Jack, he would say that it was the people, the players on his team that generated the firm’s fast-track growth.

Jack’s ability to recruit top talent, as he saw it, was a natural extension of his ability to sell insurance.

Our philosophy here is that we keep selling until the deal gets done. I take the same approach with recruiting."

- Jack Lockton, Founder 

Passion For Client Service

Jack recruited like-minded insurance professionals and created a business philosophy that helped create an insurance brokerage powerhouse. 

His passion for client service is reflected in Lockton’s WE LIVE SERVICE!® motto and value-added services tailored for each client. That passion and his success at building the business earned Jack many honors:

  • Ernst & Young Service Industry Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1992
  • Insurance Industry Leader of the Year in 1995
  • Henry W. Bloch School of Business Entrepreneur of the Year in 1996
  • Regional Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000
  • Outstanding Directors Award from the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Achievement in 2000
  • Junior Achievement, Kansas City Business Hall of Fame

And he gave back to the community in many ways which earn him recognition for his philanthropy, including the Distinguished Citizens Award from the Heart of America Council of the Boy Scouts of America in 2000 and the Woodrow Wilson Center Award for Corporate Citizenship in 2003. Jack also passed along his passion for the community to his company; all of Lockton’s offices are involved in many charitable organizations.

Kansas City Growth

Jack also committed time and energy to Kansas City growth projects. He was a member of the Board of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, the University of Missouri at Kansas City, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas City Area Development Council, the Midwest Research Institute, the Kansas City Crime Commission, and the Kansas City Area Economic Development Council. In recognition of Jack’s love of the arts, the Lockton family donated to Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum for the construction of the John T. "Jack" Lockton III Gallery.

Giving Hope and Comfort

In 1998, Jack was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He fought the disease with fervor and became involved in giving hope and comfort to other cancer patients. He and his wife, Cheryl, established the Lockton Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. They donated a garden outside the windows of the Cancer Center Memorial Garden at the Vail Valley Medical Center. They also set up the Compassionate Oncology Pharmaceutical Benefit Program, which assists patients with the costs of chemotherapy. 

Jack's Legacy

Jack’s legacy is engrained in Lockton’s culture. Jack’s spirit lives on through Lockton’s Associates; Lockton’s culture is based on Jack’s philosophies of client and community service, working hard and supporting Associates. He started the company as a privately held business, and the family plans for it to remain independent. Jack’s brother David is at the helm of the company and Jack’s sons Stephen, Ron and Don work as Producers for the firm and serve on the Lockton Board of Directors. 

"Jack was a guy who believed that the way you succeeded in business was by providing the very best product to your customers," Tom McDonnell, former CEO of DST Systems and a long-time Lockton client said. "His personality and commitment has been transmitted to a very significant number of people who continue to have an ongoing impact."3 

1R.S. Musser, "Top Dog," Ingram’s, March 1993, pp. 29-31, 59
2R.S. Musser, "Top Dog," Ingram’s, March 1993, pp. 29-31, 59
3James Dornbrook, "Jack Lockton’s persistence helps ensure his legacy in KC," Kansas City Business Journal, April 13-19, 2007.

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See our Client Stories