Firm News

Will Davis Honored With Insurance Council of Texas' Raymond Mauk Award

July 16, 2010

From the Insurance Council of Texas:

Will Davis, partner with Thompson, Coe, Cousins and Irons, LLC, was presented the Raymond Mauk Leadership Award Thursday, July 15, in Austin, at the 18th Annual Mid-Year Property and Casualty Symposium.  Davis becomes the thirteenth recipient of the prestigious award.

The Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) presents the Raymond Mauk Leadership Award at its Mid-Year Property and Casualty Insurance Symposium each year.  It is the Council's highest honor and is intended to bestow recognition on those whose labor has made a significant difference in the business of insurance.

A native of Austin who graduated from Austin High School in 1948, he declined a football scholarship from Texas and soon found his way to Baylor University.  It was a good fit to say the least.  He was a running back on the Bear football team that lost a close game to Georgia Tech in the 1952 Orange Bowl.  Off the field he was an organizer of the first student government at Baylor and its first president.

At Baylor, he received his law degree serving as editor of the law review and graduating cum laude in 1954.

After graduation, Davis began his legal career as an assistant attorney general of Texas.  He was actively involved in the 1955 and 1957 sessions of the legislature that made many needed changes to insurance regulation, including the establishment of a three-member state board of insurance that directed the work of a single insurance commissioner.

In 1957, he became the general counsel of the insurance department and for the next three years he helped implement the new laws, including new capital requirements.

Davis has represented clients before the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the Texas Department of Insurance and other state agencies.  His advice and counsel is sought on investments, financial activities, acquisitions, mergers, reinsurance and affiliate transactions under insurance holding company laws.

In 1970, Davis was responsible for drafting the legislation regulating insurance holding company systems.  He also played a major role in the rewrite of the Texas Insurance Code.  In 2003, he was instrumental in passing Senate Bill 14, the bill which moved Texas from the benchmark rate system to a file and use system.

Davis served as president of the Baylor Alumni Association and chairman of their board of regents.  He was one of the original founders of Austin Community College in 1971, and served three terms as president of the board of trustees of the Austin Independent School District.  He was also president of both the Texas and national association of school boards.

In 1991, the Austin school board decided to build a new elementary school in north Austin.  Without his knowledge, people living in the neighborhood that would be served by the school successfully circulated petitions to have it named after our honoree.

About the Award
The Raymond Mauk Award honors former Texas Fire Commissioner Raymond Mauk and annually recognizes someone who has made a notable contribution to the Texas property and casualty insurance industry.

Mauk enjoyed a long and distinguished career and held many positions of leadership within his company and industry organizations.

More than 70 years ago, Commissioner Mauk was convinced that fundamental change was needed to protect the insurance buying public and the integrity of the marketplace from the misapplication of rates and forms.

To accomplish his goal, Mauk envisioned the creation of a central checking office that would enforce good business practices and audit the insurance industry's paperwork for errors and competitive greed.  Often facing great opposition and the traditional resistance to change, Mauk labored for two years to build support from both agents and companies.

By February 1935, Mauk's leadership had led to the successful establishment of the Texas Insurance Checking Office, an institution, which continues to serve the Texas industry today.

The Insurance Council of Texas is the largest state insurance trade association in the country consisting of approximately 500 property and casualty insurers writing business in Texas.