When it comes to factors that make a good leader, a lot must be said for experience. Leaders can be innovative and can have a knack for making business decisions, but without any experience, they do not have a frame of reference for how those innovations or decisions will affect the company in the long run. That is why most leadership committees at companies are filled with seasoned veterans that have been around the block and know exactly what the outcomes of their decisions will be, not through intuition but by actually seeing these decisions play out in the past. That is why when Willis Towers Watson was searching for a new CFO late in 2017, they landed on the experienced veteran Michael Burwell.
Michael Burwell has been in the business and finance industry for almost 32 years, spending the vast majority of his time working for the public accounting and advisory firm PwC. In his time there, Burwell spent nearly 11 years doing audit work for clients. In audit, he was able to learn about the workings of several different types of businesses and watched how certain strategies played out over time. He was also able to get a firsthand look at how certain business decision made in prior years rippled through the financial statements in later years. This gave Burwell insight on how certain decisions can affect investors, clients, and other stakeholders of the financial statements.
At PricewaterhouseCoopers, Burwell also spent several years in transaction and advisory roles, something similar to what he will be doing at Willis Towers Watson. There he helped with due diligence work and other pre-merger activities, learning about why companies were chosen as targets and what these decisions will mean for the company in the future. He also worked with clients to determine the best course of action for them when they were having cash flow problems. During his time in transaction and advisory services, he learned about acquisitions strategies and was able to help clients get back on their feet. Go To This Page for related information.
Now Michael Burwell is starting a new chapter in his life as the CFO of Willis Towers Watson. Since WTW specializes in transaction and advisory services, as well as benefits and other services, Burwell has a vast knowledge of what WTW’s clients are looking for already. Because of his past experience, he will be able to determine the strategies that have worked in the past and the ones that will work in the future. He will help Willis Towers Watson and their clients succeed into the future due to his knowledge of the past.