Michael Burwell is great at finances, but he’s also an excellent listener.He says that everyone has something interesting about themselves or an interesting idea.If we all take the time to listen and to engage in conversation with another person, we could learn some pretty amazing things.When Burwell wakes, however, the first person he listens to is himself.At 5am, his wakeup time, Michael Burwell mentally goes over his plans for the day.He also uses this time to decide what he needs to do for the rest of the week.If it is the beginning of the month, the Chief Financial Officer is making plans for the entire month.Planning ahead is how he stays on top of things, and he does it all while riding his Peloton bike.Although he is an excellent listener, Burwell knows that you can’t take every idea into consideration.It is great to collaborate and working together can even lead to some excellent breakthroughs.However, often times collaboration can lead to failure.
Burwell has experienced firsthand how working with others can lead to disappointment.When he and a team over at Willis Towers Watson were working on a new technology, Burwell decided to cut the cord on the invention.He and others had already invested millions of dollars into the technology, but the CPA decided that things needed to be brought to a permanent halt.He had begun researching market trends and learned that it wasn’t a good time to present that particular technology.The people with whom he was working were not happy about Burwell’s decision, but the CFO’s 31 years of experience in financial and professional services led him to make that bold move.To this day, Burwell still stands by the choice he made to end work on the technology.
Michael Burwell has a bachelor’s Degree in business administration from Michigan State University. He held multiple prestigious positions at Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP before replacing Roger Millay as Chief Financial Officer at Willis Towers Watson.Burwell joined Willis Towers Watson with over three decades of experience in the financial services industry. He says that he is thrilled to be working with WTW because the company is known for its inclusive culture and for putting clients first.Willis Towers Watson’s Chief Executive Officer, John Haley, says that he is happy to have Burwell on board and is confident that the CPA can help WTW to see even more success.
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