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Entrepreneurial Spirit

Marcus Henderson’s clients have taught him how to be a better advisor.


It was June 20, 1989, on the showroom floor of an auto dealership. It started like any other day for Marcus T. Henderson Sr., LUTCF, who was the finance and insurance manager for the dealership, but it was not to end that way. Bill Mason, the general manager for American General Insurance in Nashville, walked into Henderson’s office to finance a car for his daughter, and in the process caused a seismic shift in Henderson’s professional and personal life.

Because Mason already had three cars on his credit bureau report, Henderson thought it prudent to check out his income to see if it could support payments on another car. Henderson was shocked; Mason had “earned more money by June that year than you could believe possible.” Intrigued, he probed Mason for more details about his profession.

On Mason’s referral, Henderson, a Nashville native who graduated with a degree in economics from Tennessee State University, checked out a number of companies that offered investments as well as insurance. He settled on John Hancock, which is still his primary company.

In 1995, Henderson, who was 28 years old at the time, opened his own firm, Henderson Financial Group Inc. It was a natural progression; he had always had a vision of what his business would look like, and knew the agency environment he was working in was not conducive to the high-end clients he wanted to have. “We have a very nice, high-end office for our clients… I wanted clients to walk through the door and not decide if they were going to do business with us, but how much business. I wanted that to be their initial thought when they entered.”


Being an entrepreneur is a comfortable fit for Henderson; he grew up with a lot of strong entrepreneurs around him, including his father who was a Methodist minister. That influence is evident in his practice. His business niche is helping other successful entrepreneurs, specifically physicians, dentists and, of course, pastors—whom he affectionately calls entrepreneurs for God.

Those clients have also taught him an important object lesson. “Working smart in the life insurance business means making sure you have complete and total control of your time,” Henderson says. “I’ve learned that from my doctors and dentists. They see patient after patient after patient. They don’t make a whole lot of money per patient; they just see 30 a day. If we were to see 30 clients a day, we would make the same kind of money they make. What happens with us is that we’re always looking for that big ticket and not just seeing the people and enjoying the result.”

Henderson has put this lesson to good use, and his track record as a 13-year Qualifying and Life member of MDRT with three Court of the Table qualifications is testament.

Just check my schedule
His life outside the office is busy as well. There is the charitable work he does for his church as well as the hard work he puts into NAIFA—this coming year he will serve as president of NAIFA-Tennessee.

Spending time with his family is also a priority for Henderson. Remarried this past November, his new blended family includes three 13-year-old daughters, and two sons age 9 and 10. With a life that hectic, his saving grace is his schedule. Everything gets put in that schedule, from business appointments to soccer games. He even schedules his Thursday night dates with his new wife, Yolanda. And as fate would have it, she is Bill Mason’s daughter—the very same daughter he had come to buy the car for.


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