Discover the story of James W. Crystal, an outstanding legacy of leadership in the insurance broking community.

He talks to Alex Wise about the importance of family, doing the right thing when it comes to meeting the needs of clients and some of the challenges facing the global insurance industry. He also shares his love of art and history and a passion for travel that continues to broaden his mind. But most of all we hear about a deep love of family and the importance of maintaining respect and family values in work and private life.
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President and chief executive officer of Mount Sinai Health System (New York)

Kenneth L. Davis

Jim Crystal has been a member of our board of trustees for well over 20 years, and during that time has been enormously committed and of incalculable value. He has provided wisdom and insight into some of our most pressing problems. When he speaks at board meetings the respect he has earned cause all to focus on what he says, and what he says is always counsel of the highest quality.In addition, Jim has been the long time chair of the audit and compliance committee of the board of trustees. The work of this committee is critical. Healthcare delivery, and running an academic medical center, is a very complicated business fraught with risk. Over the course of his chairmanship board chairs have come and gone, but all who have been in that capacity retain Jim as the chair of this important committee. They all realize how indispensable he is.

CEO, BGC Insurance

Steve Hearn

Jim is someone I have turned to many times during my career for advice both for me professionally and corporately. At times of challenge, at times of great opportunity, Jim has never been hesitant in offering his wise counsel to me. I value above all our friendship.

Executive Vice President, Chubb Group President, North America Commercial and Personal Insurance

Paul J. Krump

As a businessman, I have known and worked with Jim for decades. Like most top-tier insurance executives, Jim has an insatiable curiosity - he is always questioning “how” things work. On the other hand, he is unique in our industry because he is a true strategic thinker and is also always questioning “why”. After Jim has thoughtfully considered an issue, he takes a strong opinion, but is always willing to listen, learn and adapt. Jim is tough, but he is not malicious in action or intent. He just likes to win.As a person, two things immediately jump to mind when I think about Jim Crystal - first, he is a family man. Spend quality time with Jim and you will hear stories of love and admiration for his wife, children and grandkids. Second, Jim is a proper gentleman. I have never seen Jim not stand for a lady nor can I recall a time he forgot to send a handwritten “thank you” note.I am proud to be one of his underwriters and more proud to be his friend.

Chairman & CEO, CNA Financial Corporation

Dino E. Robusto

Jim Crystal is a titan of our industry. His leadership, professionalism, expertise and importantly, drive and passion for excellence allowed him to build one of the most successful brokerage operations in the U.S. Jim is unique because of his breadth and humility in relating to people and businesses. He effectively serves the needs of a single home policyholder and the largest risk managers of global enterprises. Similarly, he is advisor to CEOs of the largest insurance companies, yet always finds time to court the individual line underwriter to ensure he could provide the best, fastest solutions to all his clients. He effectively competes against the global brokers and their extensive value chain, often beating them at their own game; yet, here too, he could present the Crystal value chain as intimately as a small independent agent he also competes against.This comfortable dichotomy of approachability and effectiveness sets Jim entirely apart from all his industry colleagues. He is an inspiration to thousands of professionals, and I count myself as one of the fortunate to have worked with him for three decades.

AIG, President Distribution Partners Accident & Health

Ralph Mucerino

Jim has been a friend and colleague for much of my four decades in AIG.He has continued the "Crystal tradition" of excellence and creativity and is an industry stalwart. He has always been a reliable partner and true friend. The work that Jim and his wife Jean have done on the board of Mt Sinai Hospital is indicative of their concern for society and those in need. I will always treasure my relationship with Jim.

MDS Group CEO, Brokerslink Chairman

José Manuel Fonseca

No one can be indifferent to Jim Crystal. I shall never forget the extraordinary presentation he made to the Brokerslink Conference in Madrid in 2012. He was “crystal clear” and in an original way, showed the importance and very special contribution that people and knowledge make to broking and the wider business world. The name “Crystal” truly means “insurance broking”.

AIG President & CEO

Brian Duperreault

Jim is the penultimate professional and possesses an unmatched knowledge of our business. Jim is a charismatic leader and believes in "leading from the front". He is passionate about the business, his customers and his people. Jim is also a kind and compassionate person who is active in many charities. I am privileged to call Jim Crystal my friend.

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