Jay Reavis’ insurance career began with a pair of sunglasses.  

Reavis, at the time a 19-year-old University of Iowa finance student working a summer mall job, was ringing up a pair of sunglasses for Doug Reichardt, then the CEO of Holmes Murphy & Associates Inc. 

“I got his business card for the sunglasses warranty,” Reavis recalled. Noticing who he was, “I asked him if they had internships.” 

Although Reavis was too young for the insurance brokerage’s internship program, Reichardt referred him to Dan Keough at a subsidiary company, Innovative Captive Strategies. At the time, Reavis figured he would work there until the following year, when he would be old enough to intern at the parent company. 

Instead, Reavis has stayed at Innovative Captive Strategies, where he is currently responsible for leadership, growth and expansion of group captive programs at the company, which was launched in 1999. 

“My parents at a young age instilled that hard work is the key to success – it’s that simple,” said Reavis, who also credited the three partners at his company for their mentorship. “I figured out if you didn’t have goals, you had no idea what you were working toward.” The next goal he’s working toward: becoming a shareholder of Holmes Murphy within the next couple of years. 

Reavis travels about 40 weeks a year to consult with clients across the country and internationally about captive insurance. Nevertheless, he still makes time for his passion for helping children. 

In the past year, Reavis and a group of his friends launched Professionals for Charity, a group of young professionals seeking ways to directly help others by conducting their own fundraising events throughout the year. In 2013, the group raised money to sponsor a Make-A-Wish Foundation wish for Justin Chey, a 13-year-old battling cancer.

Reasons he’s a Forty:

• He excels in the highly complex alternative risk management marketplace of captive insurance and leads in representing his firm in that market.  

• He has an M.B.A. from the University of Iowa and holds several professional designations.

• He speaks to University of Iowa students annually at risk management and captive insurance classes

• He co-founded and raises money through Professionals for Charity. 

• He made a decision to remain in Iowa rather than move to Chicago. 

Return to Forty Under 40