HighCap Financial is always proud of the integrity, generosity, and consideration that our advisors exhibit not only with their clients, but with their communities. A prime example is Erv Woller who, along with his partner Bob Anger, have funded the Heins Woller-Anger Scholarship for 30 years through the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s (UW-Madison) School of Business. The goal of the scholarship is to not only promote the industry by providing financial assistance to select students in the Risk and Insurance Department, but also to honor the late Richard Heins, a former UW-Madison Risk Management professor whose passion for risk management was infectious.
Erv, who was a student of Dick Heins while at UW-Madison, is still impacted by the professor’s intelligence, dynamism, and desire to attract others to the industry. According to Erv, “Dick was prolific, impressive, and extremely charismatic. He was department chair, had a PhD, a LLB, an MBA, CPA, and a CPCU. Before UW, he taught at UCLA, and later became Chief Executive Officer at Cuna Mutual in Madison. He even co-authored the risk management textbook we used at UW-Madison.”
Dick was instrumental in growing UW-Madison’s Risk and Insurance Department. “He was a salesman. He brought in a lot of kids that might not have decided to go into our industry had it not been for Dick selling them on the fact that insurance is a good industry to be in and a very noble calling. That was the impetus behind honoring Dick with a scholarship.”
The Heins Woller-Anger Scholarship was established in 1990 and funded equally by Erv and Bob. Shortly after its inception, the partners bought an insurance policy on Dick’s life, contributing the premiums along with other funds annually. When Professor Heins passed away in 2013, the policy proceeds helped fund the value of the endowment.
The scholarship is presented annually to high-achieving risk management and insurance students. Besides GPA, other factors are considered when deciding recipients, including on- and off-campus activities and membership to professional organizations. Seventy-five actuarial and risk management students have received the award to date. In 2019, five students received $2,000 each for a total of $10,000 in grants.
By cementing Dick Heins’ legacy through the Heins Woller-Anger Scholarship, Erv and Bob have created a legacy of their own. Not only have the partners supported select risk and insurance students, they’ve continued Dick’s dynamic passion, promoting the industry to future generations through their own philanthropy. According to 2001 scholarship recipient Jeffrey Cardenas, President and Principal of Wisconsin-based insurance agency, Vizance, the importance of the award was substantial. “Thanks to the generosity of the Heins Woller-Anger Scholarship, I realized my goal of having an impact on the insurance industry in Wisconsin. The skills that I learned while attending University of Wisconsin-Madison prepared me for a career in risk management, and I’ve been honored to mentor dozens of other insurance professionals over the last 17 years.”
But Erv is humble about his and his partner’s generous and lasting contribution to the industry and their community, instead shifting focus back on the professor for whom the scholarship was established. “Once in a while you meet a person and the sheer force of their charisma, their sheer presence changed those around them. That’s the way Dick was.”