John E. Cay, III has more than 40 years of leadership experience in the insurance industry and a lifetime of service to the civic and non-profit sectors.
He most recently served as Vice Chairman of Wells Fargo Insurance Services, the world’s fifth largest insurance brokerage firm. After retiring from Wells Fargo in 2012, Mr. Cay began serving, once again, as Chairman of Palmer & Cay.
In 1970, Mr. Cay joined his family-owned insurance agency in Savannah and was named President and CEO in 1972. Under Mr. Cay’s leadership, Palmer & Cay grew into one of the largest and most respected privately-held insurance brokerage firms in the nation. In 2005, with Mr. Cay serving as Chairman and CEO, the original Palmer & Cay successfully negotiated its merger with Wachovia Insurance Services (now Wells Fargo Insurance Services).
A tireless supporter of civic, community and non-profit organizations, Mr. Cay has served as a board member, director, or chairman for more than 30 organizations during his career. He has a number of philanthropic interests, including the arts and education, historic preservation and healthcare. Mr. Cay has also served on the boards of one NASDAQ and two NYSE companies. Currently Mr. Cay is actively involved in launching Savannah Harbor, a mixed use community on Hutchinson Island across from downtown Savannah.
A native of Savannah, Mr. Cay attended Savannah Country Day School and graduated from St. James School, a preparatory school in St. James, Maryland. Upon receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Mr. Cay began his career in the insurance business as an underwriter with the New York office of Home Insurance Company.