Markel Corporation's senior vice president and chief financial officer Richard R. Whitt will give a talk on Thursday, Nov. 13, as the Wachovia Distinguished Speaker in the Pamplin College of Business.

Whitt earned a degree in accounting at the Pamplin College of Business in 1987. His talk, “Keys to Success,” starts at 3:30 p.m. at the Holtzman Alumni Center’s Alumni Assembly Hall on Virginia Tech’s main campus in Blacksburg.

A member of Markel’s executive committee, Whitt oversees several functional areas in the company: capital management, financial reporting, information technology, treasury, legal and regulatory, actuarial, and rating agency and banking relationships. He also works on operational issues and acquisition opportunities.

Whitt joined Markel, which markets and underwrites specialty insurance products and programs to various niche markets, in 1991. Promoted to controller in 1994, he served in that role until 2001, when he assumed the position of vice president, treasurer, and controller. In 2003, he joined Markel International in London as executive vice president and chief administrative officer.

Whitt previously worked at KPMG’s audit practice. His community activities include chairing the 2008 American Heart Association Heart Walk for Central Virginia and serving on the board of Junior Achievement.

The Wachovia Distinguished Speaker series in the Pamplin College is made possible by a grant from Wachovia Bank. Past speakers have included senior executives from Wachovia, GE, IBM, Ralph Lauren, KPMG, Siemens Corporation, ChoicePoint, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.