Rising stars in re/insurance - FREE

Rising stars in re/insurance - FREE

rising starsGuy Carpenter

Working in Reinsurance: Collaborative, innovative and engaging

Members of Guy Carpenter’s Emerging Leaders/Young Professionals employee resource groups globally recently got together to discuss what appeals to them about working in the re/insurance industry and how it can attract more recent graduates. Here are the highlights of their conversation.

Guy Carpenter’s Emerging Leaders members have much to say about why this is a good industry to work in. As one said, “Working here, you realise how important reinsurance is to enabling global economic activity and helping people around the world quickly get back on their feet following disasters.” They are proud of the critical role risk management plays in the global economy. As one noted: “Re/insurance is the industry that acts as the oil for all other industries to function.”

When asked about the benefits of being in this industry, “working with great people” was at the top of the list. Even early in their careers they have collaborated with experts and decision makers from a wide variety of disciplines, including brokers, analytics experts, actuaries, catastrophe modellers and analysts, which broadens their experience and enables a holistic view of what’s going on in the market. The opportunity to travel and work with colleagues around the world, the wide range of roles available and the social aspect of the industry were also cited – “Reinsurance is built on trust and you engage with peers more than in most industries.” Another noted: “A positive culture exists, development and training is prioritised and the work is interesting.”

When asked why others should consider a reinsurance career, our colleagues praised the dynamic nature of the industry, and cited emerging risks such as cyber and driverless cars. “It is evolving all the time, and it is exciting to be a part of that evolution,” one said. The opportunity to do work that makes a difference is also key. “Millennials want to do good, and the work we do is helping create a better society,” one colleague noted.

How can the industry attract more young people? Our group thinks one approach is to raise public awareness of the role reinsurance plays, and better communicate the potential career opportunities and the collaborative nature of the work. They suggested making better use of the networks of young people already in the industry and creating a marketing campaign targeting millennials.

Crystal Sala Doughty

Vice President & Senior Underwriter, Markel Global Reinsurance

Reinsurance offers a very diverse set of career options due to the multiple organisational facets that need to coexist within one company. A wide variety of skillsets can be accommodated through marketing, claims handling, business operations, risk management, accounting, underwriting and the list goes on. When compared to other industries, those seeking a career path in reinsurance have multiple entry level routes to suit their interests and strengths. Growing up, my peers would often look to industries such as tech and investment banking as attractive places to find a career. I believe this is mainly due to the high publicity these industries receive. I was lucky enough to fall into a reinsurance career due to my background in actuarial science. This led to me finding a job in Bermuda, which is one of the most exciting and innovative re/insurance markets globally as well as being a wonderful place to live and work.

The industry is continuously evolving and requires ‘out of the box’ thinking when it comes to identifying trends or looking at how external factors such as climate change and capital market conditions are influencing the business. This continuous need for management of risk at a global level is very encouraging from a job security point of view.

Personally I have an affinity to supporting young women who are cutting their teeth in the industry, as there are still very few who rise above a certain level and many who may feel they can be pigeon holed by more traditional company cultures. Other industries have been progressing out of these traditional paradigms, which is encouraging for the future. I would love for the reinsurance industry to be a global leader in achieving more diversity and fairness in the workplace.

Damien Bartlett

Head of Protection Development, Scor

A good friend once told me that if you stay employed at the same company for more than five years then your future career development is materially impacted. I have been at Scor for nearly 15 years straight from university and would like to think that he has been proved wrong.

The important thing for me is to be in a role and organisation where you are continually being challenged and always learning how to improve. I have been lucky to have worked at a dynamic company such as Scor, which is continually striving to improve and deliver on its commitments. In this environment where there are ongoing changes, this always brings opportunities to take on new and more challenging roles.

I have had a variety of positions within Scor, ranging from corporate actuarial and pricing in my earlier days to the business development team which I have headed up for the last four years, focusing on developing our protection business for the UK and Irish markets. I qualified as an Actuary in 2007 and also received the ILAG (investment and life assurance group) Practitioner of the Year Award in 2014 for chairing the protection committee, and in particular for leading an impact study on the potential banning of commission payments for UK business.

I have recently been offered a secondment to our South Africa office for 18 months, starting in July this year. The aim here is to provide support to the local team and help implement our strategy to expand our presence in the market. This is a challenge due to the current established players who are leading the market, but one that I think we are well placed to address.

This is an excellent opportunity for me professionally and personally, and one I am really looking forward to.

Rachel Underwood

Assistant vice president, QBE Accident & Health

Many young people have the outdated misconception that insurance professionals are door-to-door salespeople selling expensive and superfluous goods. This is not the case, as opportunities in the insurance industry are as diverse as they are endless. Young people have a unique advantage in the industry right now, as new talent and ideas are highly sought after and valued.

I started out in insurance fresh out of college – a little unintentionally – but I quickly saw incredible opportunity if I was willing to work hard and build a knowledge base that sets me apart from other people. The work I do in the medical benefits space is so interesting: the healthcare landscape is constantly changing and I am privileged to have an opportunity to be involved in providing health cover, security and peace of mind to millions of people across the country.

Although the insurance landscape is evolving, a lot of the ideals, processes, and practices have remained relatively unchanged for decades. This can be intimidating for younger generations, especially if new ideas and suggestions are not encouraged or acknowledged.

“We’ve always done it this way” is heard far too often in the insurance industry, and executives and senior leaders must realise the evolving industry begs for fresh ideas, regardless of how unconventional they initially seem. A lot of these good ideas are coming from the younger generations, and to ensure that we can close the talent gap, and attract the best and brightest young talent, we need to foster a culture of innovation and collaboration. That means being open to new technology, new ideas, and new ways of thinking. Keeping the status quo is not going to work in today’s ever-changing, instant, and fast moving landscape.

Helen Gemmell

Catastrophe Modelling Manager, Liberty Specialty Markets

I thought studying geography at Durham would be a good foundation for any career, but I didn’t consider the applicability of understanding natural catastrophes in a commercial sense until my final year. Shortly after graduating I gained an internship throughout the 2008 hurricane season in the Event Response team at RMS. It was clear to me that this was an industry I could enjoy and be successful in, and I’m incredibly grateful to Matthew Grant at RMS for giving me that opportunity, and starting my career. Following the internship I was offered a permanent role within account management where I gained a deep understanding of the merits, and limitations, of how models and modelled output were used within the re/insurance industry.

After five years at RMS, and seeking a new challenge, I moved to Liberty Specialty Markets in 2013 to manage the modelling of the direct lines of business. I was extremely fortunate to join a capable, ambitious team, that had the backing of senior management. As the organisation expanded, so did my responsibilities. By the end of 2015 I was leading all of catastrophe modelling. Since being at Liberty, I am particularly proud of establishing a partnership with the Institute of Hazard Risk and Resilience at Durham University – we sponsor two vocational dissertations giving us access to research, whilst students gain experience in a relevant commercial field.

Developments in technology have progressed modelling capabilities enormously, but applying these meaningfully to different lines of insurance is never straightforward. Catastrophe risk is dynamic, in both the evolving natural processes worldwide, and also new emerging risks that cross the traditional regional risk boundaries. These challenges keep me engaged on a daily basis in my current role as catastrophe modelling manager, and motivated to continue to progress the function at Liberty.

Nick Kirkham

Treaty reinsurance underwriter, Ascot

I have been a treaty underwriter at Ascot since joining from Aon Benfield in 2012. I write a composite book of short-tail specialty reinsurance and retrocession, covering marine and energy, non-marine and aviation. I write on a worldwide basis, covering the London market and global specialty re/insurance carriers.

I started in the industry at Aon Re on the graduate training programme, a year before the merger with Benfield. I spent my five years broking within the Global Re Specialty division, where I was fortunate to work with some of the best teams in the market. I gained strong technical knowledge and client relationships within the marine and energy and aviation teams, focusing on the London market, and spent three months in Bermuda working on the retro team.

Since making the transition into underwriting I have relished building new client relationships, particularly in parts of the world that are new to me. I have thrived from working with my brokers and using my multi-class expertise to structure deals to meet our clients’ needs, whilst being empowered to negotiate at the box. I have learned an incredible amount from the treaty team’s strong relationships, market presence and technical ability. We have been able to weather the soft market through providing our clients with stability, a broad product offering and leading over 50% of our book. In 2014 we won the Reactions Treaty Underwriting Team of the Year award.

I was awarded Reactions Young Underwriter of the Year in 2015 and received my ACII accreditation in 2015. I was at the Cranfield School of Management on the Talent Development Programme in 2011. Before this, I attended the University of Nottingham and received a BA (hons) Economics in 2007.

Neil Mathew

Insurance Analyst at Mercer

Careers in insurance are challenging, interesting, and rewarding. However, insurance companies have struggled conveying this message well to young professionals. When millennials were surveyed on potential career choices, only 5% of respondents expressed interest in insurance. Why is this?

For one, many people don’t know much about what a career in insurance usually involves. Many don’t realise that working at an insurance company could involve building catastrophe models or trying to assess new risks such as the likelihood of drone crashes.

To educate young talent on insurance careers, organisations need to be more active in the areas where young professionals spend a large portion of their time – online and in education.

Insurers need to build a stronger social media presence as well as engage with schools and universities to entice students earlier in the process.

Insurers will also need to overhaul their branding to potential employees. Benefits that attracted people to the industry previously, like stability, may not hold true anymore. But branding changes won’t be sufficient. Insurers will need to adjust their employee value proposition, career frameworks, and benefit offerings, if they are to compete with the industries such as banking and technology. They will need to rethink their policies when it comes to flexible hours, remote working, rapid promotion, and collaborative culture.

There is a huge opportunity for the industry to draw in today’s brightest young talent. Ninety percent of millennials want to use their skills for a good purpose. Insurance plays a vital role in helping society recover from harmful risks. It protects people from the devastating financial consequences of an accident and allows companies to take intelligent risks.

Insurance can be a perfect career for young professionals but the industry needs to move quickly to entice them.

Andrew DiLoreto

Associate broker, TigerRisk

The insurance industry is at a talent inflection point. In the next 10 years about 25% of the workforce will retire and it seems that the best and brightest college graduates don’t even have insurance on their radar.

Many industries hire large pools of bright eyed college graduates every year and employ a survival of the fittest method. A corporate training programme is an excellent place to start – it’s essentially an extension of college, but millennials have no interest in being a mindless crank on a giant assembly line in the big bureaucratic factory. We want to add value. We want to make an impact and we’re ready to get to work.

As a millennial I know that my peer group has a very different expectation of the workplace than the generations that came before us. Generation X and the Baby Boomers probably see us as impatient or even overzealous, but it shouldn’t be misconstrued as arrogance or entitlement, we’re just a very confident and ambitious group.

Yes, financial security and career development are still very important, but many of us will work two, three, or even four jobs in our first 10 years in the workforce. A healthy work/life balance matters, but we’re willing to work hard and long to achieve a common goal when we’re made to feel that the work is rich in experiences.

To attract the best and the brightest, the industry will need to change the way it does business.

At TigerRisk we understand that change is imperative and are implementing new ways to engage and develop new employees to grow our firm. The re/insurance industry is maturing with great acceleration. Big data, disruptive technology, and alternative capacity continue to flood the scene and with it will come a need for a broadening of talent and skill.

Samuel Berman

Associate Director of UK Institutional Sales, AXA Investment Managers

Samuel Berman joined AXA Investment Managers (IM) in 2011 and has worked within the UK institutional sales team for the last five years. Sam is responsible for promoting AXA IM’s investment solutions to participants in the UK re/insurance market. In this role he harnesses his strong communication and networking skills. He is incredibly passionate about this segment, believing there are opportunities for those who are forward thinking, not only on the investment side but also in areas such as technology and market innovation. This came into sharp focus when Sam attended his first Monte Carlo Rendez-Vous last summer, which was a great opportunity to interface directly with the broader re/insurance market.

Career highlights include Sam landing his first job in New York shortly after graduation on the back end of a call for advice, working for a small boutique servicing the family office space across North America. Subsequently Sam worked for Accenture as a financial analyst in 2009 then for Citi Group on the FX Trading floor. At the start of his career with AXA IM Sam worked on the broker desk supporting AXA IM’s wholesale business. Sam has a degree in Business Management & Computer Programming from Bournemouth University.

Sam is also a passionate cyclist, he races for a team and competes in various leagues across the South East. During his time at AXA IM he has also championed raising money for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation having raised circa £200k with five of his AXA IM colleagues.

David Amaro

AVP, Staff Attorney & Senior Claims Analyst, Hamilton Re

David Amaro, 29, joined Hamilton Re in September, 2014 as staff attorney and senior claims analyst, and was subsequently promoted to assistant vice president.

David, a Bermudian, started his legal training in London, first at Clyde & Co, where he rotated through various departments on a training contract, and then at Ark Syndicate, where he was an in-house solicitor, before returning to Bermuda to join Hamilton Re. David juggles his dual roles at Hamilton Re well, and can be relied upon to meet tight deadlines while producing a thorough and excellent work product.

Describing himself as a law “geek”, David is always up to speed on the latest legal developments, and has initiated programmes to share his knowledge through internal newsletters and presentations. In the claims area, David is trusted to work directly with brokers and to build the reputation of Hamilton Re as a responsive and commercial counterparty.

David is keen to build his wider network in the legal and claims community, and was recently appointed deputy chair of the Bermuda under 40s, a group of re/insurance professionals in Bermuda. As education officer of the Bermuda under 40s, David organised various events over the last year, a highlight of which was a panel featuring Hamilton Insurance group chairman and CEO Brian Duperreault, Arch CEO Dinos Iordanou and Minister of Home Affairs Senator Michael Fahy. In addition, he is the co-chair of the Bermuda Foundation for Insurance Studies (BFIS) alumni network.

David never turns down the opportunity to meet with visiting lawyers or attend a conference or seminar to gain knowledge and make connections. At Hamilton Re, David is a member of the Community Giving Committee and was chosen by Hamilton Re CEO Kathleen Reardon to participate in her emerging risks think tank.

We fully expect David to become the general counsel of a Bermuda re/insurer if he continues on his current trajectory.

Antoine Bdadouni

Senior Vice President, Guy Carpenter

Antoine Bdadouni, 30, is senior vice president within Guy Carpenter’s MENA team. His rapid rise to this position, having only joined the firm as an associate vice president three and a half years ago, is testament to his exceptional ability to bring new business to market; create bespoke and innovative reinsurance solutions and by so doing earning the high regard of both clients and reinsurers alike.

Antoine has achieved significant success in generating reinsurance opportunities across the Levant, GCC, North Africa and Francophone Western Africa. Fluent in English, French and Arabic, he has integrated seamlessly into the business culture in these regions, enabling him to gain both a thorough understanding of specific client needs, as well as securing their trust.

Working with a leading Lloyd’s syndicate, Antoine developed a new way and much more efficient mechanism for transacting political violence business in the region which has been successfully adopted by clients across the Middle East and North Africa. He is currently working on a warehouse protection scheme to tackle the exclusion of such cover from many treaties. Further, he has made significant inroads into generating new opportunities in Francophone West Africa through regular visits to Burkino Faso, Ivory Coast, Madagascar and Morocco, with interest in political violence as well as property and casualty business gaining strong traction in these regions.

Antoine has also developed consultancy business opportunities where we are able to benchmark reinsurance protection for regional offices as part of their renewal discussions with the European parent company.

Antoine has recently established the first London Insurance Association for Arab speakers and at the time of submission has secured Lloyd’s CEO Inga Beale to speak at the inaugural meeting of the group at Lloyd’s where it is expected that over 70 members will attend.

Bhavik Desai

Senior underwriter, professional liability, Markel International

After Nottingham University, where he took a 2:1 in industrial economics, Bhav Desai joined the graduate scheme at AIG, a one year programme which kicked off with a five week class learning stint in New York, where he started to develop the core skills of the insurance business including underwriting portfolio management, risk rating, sales and presentation skills. As the secondment included graduate trainees from around the world, he also started to develop his contact network within AIG and to understand how business was transacted in different parts of the world.

He spent six years at AIG, latterly as assistant vice president and team leader for the London open market professional indemnity business.

Bhav joined Markel three years ago as an underwriter in its professional and financial risks division, focused on its professional indemnity business. Since his appointment, in a difficult market he has re-engineered the portfolio to maximise profitability while contributing significant growth.

A key part of this has been to diversify the business from traditional classes to miscellaneous and emerging risk classes including cyber insurance. He has restored profitability to the IFA account by improving programme structures and through rigorous risk selection. This has been a real achievement in a difficult economic and political environment, to which others have responded by leaving the market. Bhav has also broadened Markel’s geographical reach beyond the London market, through new coverholders and distribution plays.

He was appointed senior underwriter in early 2015.

Jeremy Campagno

Senior Broker, ES Risks

Jeremy Campagno is thoroughly testing himself and his abilities in a foreign country and complex insurance market. After only five years in the industry, Jeremy is now broking complex, international risks and has positioned himself for further opportunities.

Jeremy is a senior broker at ES Risks; operating in English and Italian languages in addition to his native French.

Having completed his international business masters’ degree, Jeremy returned to Milan - the location of his internship - and joined the insurance industry in 2011.

After a very successful first year, for the next step in his career Jeremy needed to move away from the financial crisis in Italy. He took an opportunity in London, joining one of the largest multi-national brokers.

Jeremy believes the London insurance market is “the place to be”. He thrives on the challenge of working and competing among the highest levels of technical skill and expertise in our industry.

Living and working in a new country presents challenges; Jeremy joined ‘Les Français de la City’, a French group in the London market. He now co-manages the group of 113 members and arranges monthly events.

Jeremy’s first role in the London insurance market was placing Italian PI risks. In this client- and underwriter-facing role, he established important London market relationships and importantly his own credibility.

In 2015, Jeremy joined Lloyd’s broker ES Risks as senior broker, with responsibility for placing complex multi-million euro risks originating from across Europe.

Jeremy’s success is partly due to his ability to combine technical knowledge with commercial understanding of both clients and underwriters.

His ability to speak a number of languages presents further opportunities, as does his constantly improving abilities and market relationships.

Jeremy has achieved so much in a relatively short insurance career – and has perfectly positioned himself to rise even further.

Adam Podlaha

Head of Impact Forecasting at Aon Benfield

Adam is the head of Impact Forecasting at Aon Benfield, overseeing a team of 85+ catastrophe model developers who are responsible for over 100 models spanning 12 perils and 60+ countries. In addition to managing the team, Adam is committed to helping insurers and reinsurers to find the right solution for their challenges. This includes collaborating with various governmental and non-governmental institutions to deliver the best quality models, finding ways how to effectively quantify and visualise uncertainty and making catastrophe modelling platforms more open. He joined Aon Benfield in Prague as a flood model developer in 2003 and holds a PhD in physical geography from Charles University in Prague.

In addition to Adam’s infectious enthusiasm for his job, he is also passionate about his hobbies outside of work. These include diving – for which he holds an advanced diving certification and regularly visits the Galápagos Islands to dive with schools of hammerhead sharks – and flying. He is currently taking lessons for his private pilot licence and has aerobatics in his sights to pull some Gs!

Allan Cohen

AVP, Actuary, Hamilton Re

Allan Cohen, 30, is assistant vice president, actuary, at Hamilton Re. Allan joined Hamilton Re in May 2014.

Prior to joining Hamilton Re, Allan was an actuarial consultant in the risk and consulting services practice at Towers Watson since 2010 in their Hartford and Bermuda office.

Allan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts and is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

Since joining Hamilton, Allan has delivered a solid work product on everything that has been asked of him. This includes M&A support, as well as reserving and specialty pricing/accumulation management.

For five months during 2015, Allan was a key player on the team assembled to oversee the due diligence and then integration of Hamilton’s Lloyd’s operations following the purchase of the Sportscover managing agency and syndicate. This included performing actuarial work, coordinating with external consultants, working with underwriters to develop key inputs, documenting results and presenting to management, Lloyd’s and the board.

Flying back and forth for five months between Bermuda and London, he juggled his responsibilities with aplomb. Nothing fell through the cracks.

Allan articulates his work effectively at both management reserve meetings and at board audit meetings. His contributions involve both doing the work and, at the same time, building/improving the framework and tools that make doing the work faster and more accurate.

Perhaps the most telling sign that Allan truly is a rising star is that Hamilton executives in Bermuda, London and the US all put him at the top of their lists for consideration.

Clare Barley

Chief Risk Officer, Asta

Clare Barley (33) has recently been promoted to chief risk officer, becoming one of the youngest CROs in the London market. She is an ambitious and talented actuary, who combines an exceptional technical understanding with an ability to build in-depth relationships with clients. As CRO she manages a team of four and her key responsibility is managing and developing the Group’s integrated risk framework and functions, as well as its eight managed syndicates.

Alongside the demands of this role she takes on additional work to help raise Asta’s profile externally. She is chair of the Actuarial Profession Emerging Risk Working Party and is currently producing a paper for the profession, designing a pragmatic framework for managing emerging risks. This will include approaches for the quantification of emerging risks - an area where there is currently very little published thinking. Clare has also presented at both the 2013 and 2014 GIRO conferences. In 2013 she presented two sessions, one on the role of the CRO and one on behavioural finance and in 2014 she presented on the Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (ORSA).

Following the completion of her masters in mathematics at the University of Warwick Clare joined Mercer as an actuarial consultant. She qualified as an actuary in 2010 and joined Lane Clark & Peacock, where she spent just under four years, before joining Asta in April 2014. Since joining Asta as a risk manager she has progressed rapidly and been promoted twice. Following the resignation of the CRO, she proved herself more than capable to assume the role herself following a rigorous interview process.

Clare is well respected in the market and embodies the kind of talent that Asta is proud to support and nurture.

As a reflection of her ability and expertise, she was recently appointed to the Managing Agency Board, making her the youngest board member in the history of the company.

Toby Marshall

Assistant Underwriter - Credit and Political Risks, Argo

In 2011 Toby Marshall (29) joined ArgoGlobal as part of the first intake of its graduate trainee scheme.

Completing his ACII in 18 months, he worked in ArgoGlobal’s Paris office before joining the newly-established credit and political risks team in London in late 2013.

He made an immediate impact, helping to integrate the legacy books from ArgoGlobal’s acquisition of Travelers’ Singapore and Shanghai business and obtaining Lloyd’s approval to continue this business.

Keen for more challenges, Toby then focused on ArgoGlobal’s under-performing terrorism facilities.

After an extensive market appraisal, the 2014 facility was not renewed and Toby introduced ArgoGlobal into a new facility. Income was $1m in 2015 and is anticipated to double to $2m in 2016.

Toby gained authority in political risks in 2014 and, following the departure of the class underwriter, quickly found significantly greater responsibility thrust upon him in 2015.

Despite his limited experience, he surpassed expectations, gaining the support of reinsurers and demonstrating to Lloyd’s that they should allow ArgoGlobal to continue in this area while a new class underwriter was recruited. In the interim, Toby was responsible for writing new and renewal business and also helped to negotiate a significant return premium from reinsurers.

In 2015 Toby single-handedly continued to maintain and service the existing book of business and broker base, as well as keeping management and reinsurers informed on exposure levels (circa $400m), ongoing claims and premium income.

He was then part of a team that secured a reduction in reinsurance costs of over $1m on a higher anticipated premium income base for 2016.

He was also responsible for ensuring that all reinsurance and other measures were in place for the new class underwriter to hit the ground running on arrival in January 2016.

George Beattie

Underwriter – Crisis Management, CFC Underwriting

George, 26, began his career in insurance in 2011 on the Willis Graduate Scheme. Whilst at Willis, George worked in the kidnap and ransom, accident and health and casualty teams. He also spent time working as a project manager during the launch of Faber Global – Willis’ facultative reinsurance and specialty lines platform. Following the graduate scheme, George joined the product recall team in Faber, acting as a coverholder broker for one of the largest automotive component recall books in the London market and undertaking business development work in Asia.

George is currently an underwriter at CFC Underwriting – a Lloyd’s managing general agent and early pioneer of cyber liability and other emerging risks. George helped to establish the crisis management offering at CFC; the team offers global recall solutions to companies operating within the food & beverage, automotive and consumer products industries, amongst others.

George has an undergraduate degree in history from Birmingham University and also passed the Law GDLS conversion at Birmingham Law School. He obtained the ACII within 18 months of joining the industry by taking up to four exams per sitting and has recently been elected to Fellowship by the Fellowship Board of the Chartered Insurance Institute. His Fellowship dissertation was entitled ‘How much of a Threat Does Alternative Capital Pose to the Traditional Reinsurance Market’.

Jeffrey Cron

Business analyst, Berkley Re Direct, a WR Berkley Company

Jeffrey began his career with Zurich Insurance in 2008 as part of the firm’s Global Associate Program, a 12 month international leadership development programme. Jeff focused on financial planning with rotations in Zurich, London, Chicago and New York.

Over the next six years Jeff focused on large commercial management and transactional liability, underwriting directors’ and officers’, employment practices liability, fiduciary, and representations and warranties.

Jeff has a BS in Business Administration from St Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and while working full time he completed his MBA from New York University Stern School of Business with a concentration in finance and strategy.

Currently, Jeff is a contributing member to the product development and professional liability team at Berkley Re Direct (BRD), a WR Berkley Company. Jeff is leading the D&O and EPL initiatives as well as contributing to the Berkley concept of Ideation.

A cornerstone of BRD is thinking outside the box of traditional reinsurance with a strong focus on new products, distribution and service to meet and surpass customer needs.

The innovative and entrepreneurial style that BRD instills in its culture has been critical to its success.

The fact that no idea is off the table is one of many reasons Jeff finds WR Berkley to be an exciting and cutting edge company.

Guy House

Senior underwriter, property open market, specialty, Markel International

Guy’s 2:1 in Economics from Durham in 2008 didn’t get him the job in investment management which he might have had in mind, as his success was shortly followed by the global financial crisis and a rout in the availability of positions in many financial sectors. So, instead, he joined the Markel International graduate trainee scheme, starting as a trainee underwriter on the international property treaty team.

After two years, and having completed his ACII certification, Guy was promoted to assistant underwriter and started to work with divisional managing director Robin Ungless on the US and London market retrocession book.

In 2012 Guy was promoted to underwriter and moved to property open market as number two on the team. In this role he played a major part in the consolidation and development of the book. 80% of capacity was targeted for the US with the balance in the southern hemisphere. Highly risk managed accounts were selected, with core occupancies including real estate and offices, municipalities, schools and hospitals, and warehousing and light manufacturing. Appetite was for low excess layers or occasional primary business, depending on client and occupancy. Guy was responsible for managing the book for seven months while a replacement to head the business was recruited.

 Subsequently Guy focused on increasing the amount of primary and lead business written and in broadening Markel’s broker visibility through a series of targeted marketing meetings and attending broker led conferences. He’s also been involved in strengthening client relationships through a programme of site visits. As a result four of the top ten brokers have grown their business with Markel in excess of 400%, and Markel is now a highly regarded Lloyd’s lead in property.

In 2015 Guy was promoted senior underwriter.

Meghan Merris

ARM and director of Aon Benfield Facultative

Meghan Merris, ARM and director of Aon Benfield Facultative, manages the property facultative teams for the Midwest and West Coast regions of the US and oversees facultative clientele in Bermuda. Meghan works closely with her clients, strategising how they can utilise facultative support to maximise their growth goals and delivering global reinsurance capacity to best fit their needs.

In addition to her management and facultative production responsibilities, Meghan leads a new team for Aon Benfield dedicated to the construction of automatic facultative structures. Tailoring unique reinsurance facilities for each of Aon Benfield’s clients, Meghan and the team integrate the benefits of facultative reinsurance within treaty and analytic solutions. The team’s proactive approach to examining facultative as part of clients’ reinsurance buying strategy delivers maximum value and enables client growth.

Meghan has mentored the rising brokers on her team and is engaged in networking within the industry. She has held a “Women in Leadership” event for two years running, bringing together both young and established women leaders in the re/insurance business, creating a forum to discuss their experiences.

Meghan’s career started in 2004 when she joined Aon Corporation’s rotational development programme, a training curriculum consisting of team rotations and industry-related classes. It was through this experience that Meghan’s interest in property was established. She was part of the Aon Risk Services (ARS) national property retail broking team for four years. Following her position at Aon, Meghan was a retail broker for Willis where she was accountable for the stratification, marketing and placement of multi-national property insurance programmes. Meghan is a Certified Associate in Risk Management (ARM), has a Bachelor in business administration degree from Loyola University Chicago.

Laila Khudairi

Head of cyber, Tokio Marine Kiln

When Laila Khudairi graduated from Warwick university she undertook an internship with an insurer in the company market in London. During this period she spent two days shadowing a broker at Lloyd’s and immediately knew she would love to work there; everything from the atmosphere in the building to the traditional face-to-face style of business and the diverse fast-paced environment convinced her that it would provide the kind of professional challenge she was looking for. She was immediately interested in the interpersonal nature of the Lloyd’s market, as well as the range and complexity of risks it addressed. It was these qualities that motivated Laila to join Tokio Marine Kiln (TMK)’s graduate scheme and, she believes, what differentiates the Lloyd’s insurance market from other areas of financial services such as banking or asset management.

Laila joined the graduate scheme at TMK in 2009 and has since been instrumental in developing the company’s response to increasing cyber threats. She is now a leading expert in corporate cyber insurance specialising in cyber liability and cyber business interruption. Under Laila’s leadership, TMK’s cyber book has expanded rapidly with new products developed to tackle emerging cyber risks. This culminated in her being promoted to deputy underwriter of the enterprise risk division in 2015.

Laila has been nominated for multiple underwriting awards including winning the under 35 award at the Lloyd’s 2015 Innovation Awards for her ‘cyber with reputational harm’ product. She is also a seasoned commentator on cyber issues having penned multiple articles on the topic and speaking at conferences around the globe.

Musa Adlan

Director, Aon Benfield

In 2008, Musa joined Aon Re Singapore as an analyst where he performed both catastrophe modelling and dynamic financial analysis.

He was promoted regularly and readily accepted a series of increasingly responsible positions throughout his tenure at Aon Benfield.

In 2011, Musa moved into treaty broking and became the placement broker for selected accounts in Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia and Brunei.

He travelled extensively across these territories to develop business, maintain relationships and also took on the responsibility of spearheading re/takaful technical and business development strategy which reached a high in 2015 when he successfully placed the first alternative risk transfer retakaful in ASEAN.

In 2012, he was promoted to associate director and selected by the CEO to relocate to Malaysia to turn around and strengthen the local office.

Musa’s strong background in analytics, complemented with his passion for delivering top class client focused service, led the team to achieve a five year revenue target within two and half years and flag broker appointment for seven out of eight tenders till date.

Aon Benfield has significantly increased its treaty business market share from 15% in 2012 to an all-time high of 25% now.

In 2015, Musa was promoted to director and he continuously seeks to improve and defend our local competitive market position by leading, developing and empowering our local analytical and broking talent to maintain our high service and technical advisory standard.

In addition, Musa completed his diploma in Islamic finance from Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in 2012 and his CFA exams in 2015 to become a CFA Charterholder.

Charlie Jarman

Associate Director, Willis Towers Watson

Charlie is an associate director in Faber Recall, part of Faber Global, a specialist trading division of Willis Towers Watson. Faber Recall specialises in bespoke recall placements within the food and beverage, automotive component parts, pharmaceutical and consumer products industries.

Charlie is one of the youngest associate directors at Willis Towers Watson, which is testament to his work ethic and maturity, having begun his career at Glencairn (now Faber Global) in 2011. He has played an instrumental role in establishing Faber Recall as a global centre of excellence in London, supporting Willis Towers Watson’s domestic and international offices. Charlie has also been a driving force in helping Faber Recall become one of the fastest growing and leading product recall teams in the London market. With a worldwide remit, Charlie’s technical underpinning has been an invaluable asset, and has assisted the team in building a successful business platform, delivering bespoke product recall programmes, for clients across the globe.

Charlie also engages in a variety of strategic projects outside his day to day job, and is involved in both wording development and analytics initiatives, he has also written articles in a number of internal publications.

Charlie studied his undergraduate degree, Geography, at the University of Birmingham, gaining a BSc Hons (2:1) in 2009. He then went onto read Real Estate at the Cass Business School, gaining an MSc (Merit) in 2011.

Hal Shaw

Marine claims specialist, Aon

Hal is a marine claims advocate within Aon Global Broking Centre, London. His responsibilities involve handling all lines of marine claims, including hull and machinery, marine and port liabilities and cargo and project cargo.

Since joining Aon Risk Solutions in 2012 he has been involved in numerous high profile accounts ranging from cruise lines and petrochemical clients.

His focus is on international clients with large and complex risk exposures and is regularly travelling to present Aon’s tailored claims service to clients in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America.

Hal was the first ever claims advocate to be selected for an international secondment, spending six months of 2015 in New York City and Miami.

Upon his return from the USA Hal was promoted and is looking to start building his management skills.

Hal became an associate of the Association of Average Adjusters in 2013 and will be studying towards his CII qualifications.

He is actively involved in the market and is seen as an approachable and knowledge member of the team as well as being identified internally as future leader.

Outside of work Hal is actively involved in his community as a mentor for young people with mental health issues. He has supported Chelsea FC for over 20 years and enjoys travel, outdoor pursuits, the theatre and spending time with friends and family.

James Hastings

Managing director, professional and financial risks, Markel International

At the age of 35 and with just a 12 year career in insurance, James Hastings is a leading player in the London professional and financial risks (PFR) market. An operational underwriter, he has been managing director of Markel International’s $150m PFR business since 2013 and has been responsible for reinventing the business, overseeing the development of new lines, integrating teams, recruiting, and putting in systems, such as a policy quotation portal, to maximise underwriters’ availability for high value tasks.

On the back of these and other developments the business is expected to have grown profitably by 20% and improved its combined ratio by 10% in three years since his appointment.

From an appointment as a trainee at Hiscox in 2003, James became a full underwriter for the company by the age of 24, with responsibility for the London market technology professional indemnity account, encompassing broker relationship development and business growth. While he was in this role the account’s premium income grew by c20%.

In 2005 James was headhunted by QBE to work in specialist liability on its Lloyd’s syndicate, focusing on developing its specialist professional indemnity book. He was solely responsible for developing a set of professional and financial lines products for emerging risks which, recognising that indemnity wasn’t all that was needed, provided access to specialist firms to provide 24/7 response services to insureds following a data-breach or IT system hack.

James split Markel’s business into four units: professional indemnity, management liability, financial institutions; and created a new, emerging risks unit. The underwriters in each team were given responsibility and made accountable for growth and broker relationship development.

James has been a member of the IUA digital risks working party, the LMA cyber liability forum, the professional indemnity forum and a speaker at AIRMIC and C5 conferences.

Janice Hamilton

Chief financial officer, ANV

Janice joined ANV as part of the acquisition of Jubilee Managing Agency in December 2013, which was previously owned by Ryan Specialty Group. Jubilee Managing Agency was responsible for managing Lloyd’s Syndicates 5820 and 779.

Upon merging Jubilee with ANV´s UK operations, Janice quickly distinguished herself as the finance director of the combined operation, displaying equal parts a “steady hand” at the wheel in her talent as a leader and executive, in addition to being creative and agile in her thinking and understanding as a financial professional and strategist.

Janice ensures an effective regulatory framework exists with quality monitoring in accordance with both independent and governmental regulations (Solvency II, PRA/FCA, Lloyd’s, Companies’ House, HMRC, etc.)

She also oversees the management of treasury operations including banking relationships, treasury management and debt.

Janice is responsible for maintaining effective financial planning and analysis including budgets, forecasts and results analysis.

She also actively participates as a board member of ANV Syndicates, while representing the company on all financial matters to the internal and external stakeholders.

She started her career at Ernst & Young in Chicago and was promoted to senior manager at Ernst & Young LLP – EMEIA Insurance Audit – London where she, among other things, managed the planning and execution of financial statement and internal control audits.

Janice’s core intelligence, energy, vision and perspectives have allowed ANV to be just as agile in its finance operations as it has been with its underwriting and corporate development.

Patrick Bernie

Syndicate Technical Financial Controller, Syndicate Finance, Sompo Canopius

Patrick Bernie joined Sompo Canopius in October 2011 as syndicate accountant. He was previously at Aviva Life and Pensions Ireland, having trained and qualified as an ACA with PwC Dublin.

Patrick was appointed Syndicate 958 financial controller when that syndicate was acquired by Sompo Canopius late in 2012. In 2015 he was promoted to syndicate financial controller for all Sompo Canopius managed syndicates active at the time (958, 4444, 6115), meaning that he had responsibility for all syndicate finance reporting.

As syndicate financial controller, Patrick has had a key role in implementing a major project that transformed Sompo Canopius’s finance function, overhauling its operating methods and reducing reporting times. This means that the team is now able to provide high quality information more efficiently, creating great value for the business and enabling more proactive management decisions.

Patrick has also overseen a restructure of the syndicate finance team, showing great determination and leadership to deliver a large volume of change required to become Solvency II compliant on time. His efforts enabled the company to cut its reporting times to hit the 2015 accelerated deadlines for Solvency II.

David Maclean, head of finance, comments: “Patrick has made a significant contribution to the finance department overall, with a strong focus on employee engagement and developing a positive working culture, which is reflected in how well regarded he is by his colleagues. He is also respected across the market and represents Sompo Canopius on the LMA Finance Committee.

Tom Bennett

Special Assignments: Operations & Projects, Xchanging

Tom Bennett works on strategic projects at Xchanging, the insurance business technology and services provider. Tom joined Xchanging in 2015 from British Telecom, where he became COO of a large acquired enterprise at 28 and parted as a general manager of innovation in 2014. Using the skills he acquired at BT, Tom’s contribution to the modernisation programme of the London market has been invaluable.

Since joining Xchanging in May 2015, Tom has demonstrated leadership in four key areas. Firstly, he led the rationalisation of a part of the business where he quickly established himself as the go-to person and decision maker. In this role, he demonstrated his ability to grasp problems quickly while identifying areas that had been overlooked. During the project, Tom displayed genuine leadership qualities, gaining the respect of senior executives working on the programme. This work has resulted in significant savings. In parallel, Tom was enlisted as the interim operations director for the Xchanging Broking business.

Tom has been the driving force in leading Xchanging’s contribution to the London market Target Operating Model (TOM), to modernise the London Insurance Market. Applying previous experience from his time at BT, Tom is continuously pushing Xchanging to deliver a truly transformational proposition for the London market. He is also very proud to have been part of the U35 community providing ideas and enthusiasm into the LM TOM programme.

Tom is now playing a lead role in the acquisition of Xchanging into CSC. Already, Tom has used his end-to-end business experience to draw out key dependencies that will make the transition a success. He is also fronting the work stream to bring a new combined value proposition to the London market and beyond.

Paul Wilkinson

Group Catastrophe Exposure Manager, Catastrophe Management, Sompo Canopius

Paul (27) started his career in 2011, joining Sompo Canopius after gaining a 1st class biological sciences degree from Oxford University. His initial role was as a catastrophe risk analyst focusing on binder account modelling, however, since late 2013 he has worked in the position of group catastrophe exposure manager, working predominately on the exposure management and model implementation stream of the catastrophe management function. Whilst working at Sompo Canopius Paul has achieved a postgraduate qualification in geophysical hazards from UCL.

Paul has been rapidly promoted from a graduate-level position on arrival into a key role within Sompo Canopius, where he is now responsible for catastrophe exposure management across the Group. Key projects have included leading catastrophe model implementation, outward reinsurance model build testing and the RDS and LCM submissions to Lloyd’s.

As Paul was placed into a newly generated role, his single minded drive and strong communication skills were essential to forge a dedicated exposure management function. In doing so he developed a close working relationship with actuarial, reinsurance and risk teams, and is a popular face within Sompo Canopius.

Aside from exposure management Paul’s interests lie in making pies and dominating table football.

Marek Shafer, head of catastrophe management, comments: “Paul is a key member of the team, with a strong sense of focus and understanding of how our work has an impact across the group. It is a testament to his ability and enthusiasm for the role that he has been promoted so quickly since he joined us and I am sure he will continue to be invaluable to Sompo Canopius in the future.”

Latest Issue

March 2018

March 2018 cover  

In this month's Reactions

  • Rising Stars
  • Asset management review
  • Zurich to acquire QBE LatAm
  • Blue Marble Microinsurance
  • IFRS implementation
  • Swiss Re Haegeli interview



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