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WOMEN OF INFLUENCE These 27 women are raising the bar on gender equality in the industry


Consumers want coverage – but who should be responsible for providing it?


Chubb’s chief digital officer on how to blend innovation with the human touch


As the Facebook scandal puts new focus on data security, are your clients adequately covered?

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Staying relevant as clients change


nsurance brokers are accustomed to predictions of doom – hints of a loss of relevance in the face of insurtechs, comparison websites and other disruptors. What they’re less accustomed to, however, is one of their own suggesting that the industry as a whole is losing ground with its clients. Yet that’s what Aon CEO Greg Case suggested shortly after announcing that he had extended his contract through 2023, which will keep him at the helm of the second largest brokerage in the world for 18 years. “If I ask you, how is the risk industry doing in terms of relevance to the global economy, you have to say we’re becoming less relevant,” Case told The Financial Times. The examples he gave were stark. Take cyber insurance: Case pointed out that the industry is writing US$3bn in premium at a time when clients in the US alone have reported US$450bn in losses. Insurance, it seems, has focused on selling products rather than innovating – and now it’s being faced with clients who have seen significant changes in other areas of their businesses and lives and expect

Don’t just sell insurance: Be your clients’ risk expert, guide them on mitigation and become an essential part of their business insurance to keep up. Case suggested that businesses want insurers to respond to a “broader definition of risk” and said his company is trying to provide more data and analytics to meet that demand. But what about the smaller broker who lacks the resources of a major player like Aon? The solutions for progress are there if you look for them: Leverage the data you have at your disposal to make strategic plans for your business, be flexible and accessible with a mobile website and social media that can respond to clients who no longer work straightforward 9-to-5 hours, delve into new products, understand your clients’ businesses on a deeper level, and find a niche that becomes your speciality. Don’t just sell insurance: Be your clients’ risk expert, guide them on mitigation and become an essential part of their business – and leverage the available technology in doing so. Selling insurance policies should always be part of what you do. But now clients want more, and you need to give it to them – before someone else does. The team at Insurance Business UK

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Sharing responsibility









In the brave new world of the sharing economy, who should cover whom? AS INSURERS continue to grapple with the challenges of covering the sharing economy, one thing that’s clear is the burgeoning demand for insurance on these platforms. In a recent survey conducted by Lloyd’s, the majority of respondents felt that more transparent coverage would expand the number of customers using sharing economy websites and apps like Airbnb and Uber. At present, only



of consumers expect insurance protection when using a sharing economy platform

of consumers said the risks of using the sharing economy outweigh the benefits

16% of those surveyed had used such a platform, but 70% said they’d be likely to if they knew insurance coverage was part of the deal. Meanwhile, the majority of respondents also believed transparent coverage would increase the number of people willing to offer services on these platforms. Indeed, 70% of those surveyed said they would consider sharing an asset if it was protected by insurance.


of consumers said they’d be more likely to use sharing economy services if insurance was offered

The platform (Airbnb, Uber, etc.) The provider (Host, driver, etc.) The consumer (Renter, rider, etc.)

WHERE DOES THE RESPONSIBILITY LIE? When it comes to the question of who should protect the risks of both consumers and providers in the sharing economy, opinion varies considerably around the world. However, there was a common thread: Few respondents considered it to be the duty of the consumer.


of sharing economy providers felt insurance coverage would attract more customers

Source: “Sharing Risks, Sharing Rewards,” Lloyd’s Innovation Report, 2018



Consumers in the sharing economy are woefully unaware of their protection: Nearly half assumed the platform they used provides insurance coverage, although less than a third actually checked.

Lloyd’s found a disconnect among the parties involved in the sharing economy when it comes to insurance coverage: More than half of consumers believe sharing economy platforms should bear the responsibility of providing protection, while 80% of companies believe that either the consumer or the provider should be responsible for securing coverage.








20% 10% 0%




I assumed there I looked in detail Insurance was specific to ensure there never even insurance was specific occurred to me coverage but did coverage not look in detail




I did not care if there was any coverage

Source: “Sharing Risks, Sharing Rewards,” Lloyd’s Innovation Report, 2018





The consumer

The provider

The platform Source: “Sharing Risks, Sharing Rewards,” Lloyd’s Innovation Report, 2018



























Source: Sharing Risks, Sharing Rewards,” Lloyd’s Innovation Report, 2018

TAKEN FOR GRANTED Consumers expect to be protected when they take part in the sharing economy: A full 97% believe some sort of risk protection is afforded for consumers and providers should something go awry. However, their perception of how much protection is provided varies. TO WHAT EXTENT DO YOU BELIEVE SHARING ECONOMY SERVICES PROVIDE RISK PROTECTION FOR THE USER?

Provide complete protection

Provide no protection at all

THE IMPACT OF INSURANCE Although most sharing economy platforms don’t consider providing insurance to be their responsibility, the majority admitted it would have at least some impact on consumers’ decision to use their platform. WHAT IMPACT DO YOU THINK PROVIDING INSURANCE WOULD HAVE ON A CONSUMER OR PROVIDER’S DECISION TO USE YOUR PLATFORM?

67% 7%





Source: “Sharing Risks, Sharing Rewards,” Lloyd’s Innovation Report, 2018

17% 17%

Some impact; consumers and providers view insurance as a factor in their decision to use our product/ service

Huge impact; consumers and providers wouldn’t consider using our service/product if there wasn’t insurance

No Impact

Source: “Sharing Risks, Sharing Rewards,” Lloyd’s Innovation Report, 2018




Does insurance have enough opportunities for millennials? The industry is in dire need of new blood to combat an imminent talent shortfall – but is it doing enough to draw young people?

Kelly Lackner

Tony Cañas

Joe Beneducci

Head of global talent management XL Catlin

Chief motivational officer

Chairman, president and CEO ProSight Specialty Insurance

“Insurance firms [should focus on] creating a culture that appeals to young people. Young professionals have grown up with greater mobility and more fluid attitudes about where and when to work; flexible work arrangements enable that work style. Early career development, mentoring and clear career pathing help demonstrate a commitment to young employees and their professional growth. Millennials are the most diverse generation ever, so a real commitment to diversity and inclusion (including familyfriendly benefits) is also essential. Finally, meaningful corporate social responsibility efforts can be a key differentiator for young people choosing an employer.”

“There is nothing but opportunity for young insurance professionals. With a 1% unemployment rate and the US Labour Department predicting we’ll need 400,000 new workers to replace the 25% of insurance professionals that are now very close to retirement, opportunities in the industry are almost literally endless. Young insurance professionals with some education and some experience are in such high demand that the hardest part is figuring out the best use of our limited time, and the talent wars will continue for the foreseeable future. It’s an exciting time!”

“There are more than enough opportunities for young people in insurance, but the difficult part is convincing an old industry that it must learn new tricks. A field that was once dominated by handshake deals and carbon copies is being revolutionised by a generation that doesn’t accept the status quo. The millennial demand for seamless consumer experiences and transparent, data-driven processes is transforming the entire economy, and insurance is not exempt. Carriers and producers are being forced to modernise their practices and can benefit by utilising the knowledge and skill sets of the people modernising the economy.”

A GREYING INDUSTRY As many in the industry have long suspected, few millennials currently have ambitions to go into insurance. A survey conducted by The Hartford revealed that only 4% of Gen Y respondents said they would consider pursuing a career in the field, putting insurance far behind industries such as tech and the arts in terms of its appeal to this generation. That’s a chilling wake-up call for an industry that faces a looming talent crisis: One-quarter of those currently in the insurance workforce are projected to reach retirement age this year.





Rise of the entrepreneur A confluence of opportunity, diversification and technological innovation has led established business icons to embed themselves in the global insurance industry, writes Geoff Stooke DESPITE BEING one of the world’s largest and oldest industries, insurance’s pioneers are for the most part unknown to us, with the exception of Edward Lloyd and his coffeehouse. The leaders who have shaped insurance in the past haven’t become household names, unlike those at the helm of other industries such as banking, fashion, consumer goods and technology. However, that is changing in the face of an emerging trend: the entry of the futurist or business icon into the field of insurance. I refer to them as insurance superentrepreneurs – these innovators have already dominated another industry vertical, and they now have their sights firmly fixed on reshaping insurance. The most recent high-profile business leader to make headway into the industry is Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and I am genuinely excited to see what this icon can achieve and what innovation his enterprise will bring to our market. A more established super-entrepreneur is Jack Ma of Ali Baba. In 2017, Ma, via his investment arm Ant Financial, along with Tencent Holdings and the Ping An Insurance Group, went public with Zhong An, the first wholly online P&C insurer in Hong Kong. The business was primarily focused on insurance solutions for shipping, freight and returned goods (something I’m sure Amazon is watching closely), but Zhong An’s longterm aim is to reshape the insurance industry

via the use of technology across every element of the value chain. Shia Wininger, well known in tech circles as co-founder and chief technology officer of freelancer site Fiverr, has also turned his attention to the insurance industry by co-founding the paradigm-shifting

he was the real first mover into insurance after success elsewhere. Buffett’s love of the insurance ‘float’ for investment purposes is well documented, and he has demonstrated time and time again that his value-investing principles have been fundamental to his and Berkshire Hathaway’s success. I have no doubt that we are only seeing the beginning of this continued movement of entrepreneurs into the insurance industry. As members of the industry, we are participating in a sacred historical transaction that has been quietly supporting modern progress, commerce and economy for centuries. When tradespeople needed support as they left farms behind, the insurance guild of the Middle Ages was founded. When new worlds were discovered, insurance protected ships. When Blaise Pascal and Pierre de Fermat pioneered a theory of probability, insurance gave that theory meaning with a social purpose. In our own time, when fire has ravaged or storms have hit, our industry has come to the fore. Wherever there

“These innovators have already dominated another industry vertical, and they now have their sights firmly fixed on reshaping insurance” Lemonade. The market entry of Lemonade, a customer-centred technology solution that uses artificial intelligence and behavioural economics to improve the experience of those buying homeowner’s and renter’s insurance, is so far the most overt confluence of emerging technology and the risk-transfer business. The insurance super-entrepreneur is by no means an entirely new phenomenon. Business icon Warren Buffett has successfully positioned himself as a prominent provider of consumer and business P&C insurance for some time via Geico/Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Group, demonstrating the application of that wonderful Wayne Gretzky quote about moving to “where the puck is going, not where it has been.” Warren Buffett has an innate understanding of where to be positioned in any industry sector, so it’s no surprise to me that

is risk and fear, insurance will always strive to mitigate it. I want the great entrepreneurs outside the industry to know just how important and meaningful insurance is to society and modern progress. Perhaps one day those entrepreneurs who continue to provide me inspiration – Julia Hartz, Robin Li, Ev Williams, Jack Dorsey, Sara Blakey, Reid Hoffman, Peter Thiel, Sean Parker, Brian Chesky, Travis Kalanick, Daniel Ek, Ryan Hoover, Mark Zuckerberg and even Elon Musk – might consider positioning themselves within insurance to support current or future ventures.

Geoff Stooke has more than 10 years of experience in the insurance industry and currently serves as managing director of Modern Risk Solutions.




The cyber scandal The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal has brought renewed attention to concerns of data privacy and cybersecurity

IT’S LONG been said that almost every company today is susceptible to a data breach, but it’s a warning that has continued to go unheeded by many companies – until now, that is. Last year was marked by cyberattack after cyberattack, as breaches at organisations like the NHS, Uber and Wonga grabbed headlines and unsettled business leaders. Then, just a few months into 2018, social media giant Facebook became embroiled in a complex data scandal, in which it was revealed that data firm Cambridge Analytica had harvested millions of Facebook users’ personal information for use in political campaigns.

tion laws in Europe, and IT and security professionals continuing to sound the alarm, business leaders are finally waking up to the realities of cybersecurity in the 21st century, says Mark McCreary, chief privacy officer at law firm Fox Rothschild and co-chair of the firm’s privacy and data security practice. “It’s more widely in the press and part of the daily conversation,” he says. “That has an impact.” The European Union’s sweeping new General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR] has been causing a stir beyond Europe, thanks to the introduction of hefty fines that apply to all companies that deal with EU nationals,

“There’s no question that company heads don’t have any idea what [policies] they need, and I don’t expect them to, frankly” Mark McCreary, Fox Rothschild The Facebook scandal thrust the wider subject of data privacy into the mainstream once again. As a result, organisations and their leaders appear to be growing more aware of the value of the data they hold and the importance of keeping it safe. But how far do we still have to go? Thanks to an increasing volume of media coverage, the arrival of stricter data protec-


whether they’re based in the EU or not. “Whether you love it or hate it, it has really put this topic into the forefront of the conversation,” McCreary says. Add to that the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the data issue is everywhere. “Think of the number of stories that produced,” McCreary says. “People may not actually be deleting their Facebook

accounts, but they are really starting to pay a lot more attention – and they’re realising that data breaches don’t all look the same.” But does greater awareness come with greater take-up of cyber insurance policies? A recent survey by Fox Rothschild found that an impressive 70% of respondents had cyber liability insurance in place. However, while coverage was common among respondents, the survey found that executives lack a solid grasp of the policies’ limitations, and just 21% had filed a claim. When it comes to businesses at the smaller end of the scale, figures indicate that both take-up and awareness are far lower. An Insureon poll found that 74% of small businesses don’t have cyber liability insurance, despite the fact that nearly one in six have experienced a data breach. “Many businesses don’t believe that they have any kind of information available that



Approximate number of UK consumers who had their data stolen from payday loan company Wonga

87 million

Estimated number of people who could have had their Facebook data harvested by Cambridge Analytica, according to ex-employee of the latter


Number of appointments that were cancelled as a result of the WannaCry attack on the National Health Service in May 2017 would be interesting to a hacker, when in fact, whether it’s customer data, credit card information or purchasing behaviour, they probably

heads don’t have any idea what they need, and I don’t expect them to, frankly,” he says. “When it comes to cyber at the broker level,

“In many cases, it’s not a question of if, but when, a cyberattack will occur. That’s the kind of message we need to be delivering” Jeff Somers, Insureon hold information that would be interesting,” says Jeff Somers, president of Insureon, which specialises in small business cover. While some argue that business leaders need to do more to improve their understanding of the cyber risks they face, McCreary believes the onus is on brokers to better understand policies. “I think there’s no question that company

it truly is a speciality. It’s something that you have to really understand in terms of how the policies are different and how the claims made are different.” For companies with the resources, McCreary says it’s about education and dollars: bringing in dedicated cybersecurity personnel and making sure that enough money is being allocated to the cyber-


Percentage of small businesses that don’t have cyber liability insurance Source: Teiss, Guardian, Financial Times, Insureon

security budget. For smaller companies, Somers says it’s up to brokers to get the message out there. “I think there’s a lot of education and awareness-building that we need to do as a community to help small business owners understand that this is a risk ... and a part of doing business in our day and age,” he says. “In many cases, it’s not a question of if, but when, a cyberattack will occur. That’s the kind of message we need to be delivering to the small-business community.”




OUT IN FRONT Chubb chief digital officer Sean Ringsted shares his insight on how to strike a balance between investing in technology and calling on the human touch

INSURANCE WASN’T Sean Ringsted’s original calling. But while studying biochemistry on the way to academia’s upper echelons, he had a realisation that made him change his career path altogether. “I reached a point in doing my post-doc that I figured I wasn’t going to be the best researcher,” he says. “I looked around and went into the insurance industry as a trainee actuary in London.” From there, his work took him around the world, first to the US and then to a small insurance startup in Bermuda, which was acquired by ACE in 1998. Ringsted, who’s been Chubb’s chief digital officer since last February, says his time at the startup set him up for his future position. “We were probably one of the first true insurtechs,” he explains. “We were very small, we were very agile, we were very nimble, and we put technology right into the hands of underwriting. So, 20 years later, we’re back full circle.” While at ACE, Ringsted served in many roles: first on the reinsurance side as the senior vice president and chief actuary for ACE Tempest Re from 1998 to 2002, and then as executive VP and chief risk officer for the next two years. He was named chief risk officer of ACE Group in 2008 and executive VP in 2014, just prior to the company’s acquisition of Chubb in 2016.


Digital footprint During his career, Ringsted has had a front-row seat to ACE’s evolution. “We set out with a strategy around underwriting,” he says. “Just seeing the strategy play out in the day-to-day execution as we built out a portfolio of different products – in part through

think it a challenge to put together two very large organisations – you’ve got two different cultures and philosophies – but the success was really underpinned by a shared philosophy and love of underwriting.” Two years after the merger, a key part of Ringsted’s work is making the combined

“Customers are much more demanding. They have an expectation when they’re transacting digitally, and they have an expectation around their customer experience. We have to be able to respond to that” acquisition, in part through organic growth – has been incredibly satisfying. In today’s age, where everything is ‘now’ and transactional, to step back and take the long-term view and be part of something that’s played out over the long term has been very meaningful.” One standout moment for Ringsted was being part of the team charged with combining ACE and Chubb’s operations following the merger – a difficult job because of the sheer scale and size of the two organisations and their systems. “We’ve accomplished something that I take a lot of pride in,” he says. “You might

company’s footprint more digitally integrated. Throughout his career, he’s spent a lot of time on the data and analytics side of the business, which has been core in helping Chubb take the next digital step. “We’re working on a number of fronts, as you might expect – thinking about our front end, the product and the service that we provide to the clients, and the customer experience and making that more digital,” he says. “Internally, it’s around how we can use some of these new tools and data to make smarter and more effective underwriting and claims decisions, and to make sure that people are

PROFILE Name: Sean Ringsted Title: Chief digital officer and chief risk officer Company: Chubb Based in: New York City Years in the industry: 26 Fast fact: Ringsted was voted Chief Risk Officer of the Year by his industry peers in 2013




doing the right tasks as effectively as possible.” With a company as large as Chubb, putting everyone on the same digital page can be arduous, but even more of a challenge, Ringsted says, is figuring out what’s working and what isn’t and directing resources to the right projects. Nonetheless, the company’s size has actually made it easier to find solutions. “If you’re thinking about trying to change a large organisation such as Chubb, I think [size] is actually a strength for us,” Ringsted says. “Our size and the products we have and

and if you are providing information to an agent or a broker, we want that to be as efficient as possible.” However, he also stresses the importance of having real people on the ground during events such as 2017’s natural disasters. During the hurricanes, more than 95% of Chubb’s customers were contacted in less than five seconds by a human being, not a machine or third party. “We can have all the tools and data in place, but having somebody there at that

“I think we’re really well placed to succeed, [and] we will thrive as a company of the digital age. We’re going to be there to serve our customers with products and services to meet their needs as they go about their lives in the digital economy” the geographies we have give us a lot of opportunities and options to effectively experiment and try out new ideas and products.” A discussion around digital integration wouldn’t be complete without addressing the cyberattacks that have long been an area of concern for the industry. Chubb has a heightened awareness of these events, and the insurer has solid infrastructure and data breach tools in place to help defend it against cybercriminals.

Customers first When it comes to leading a digital transformation, Ringsted also places a high priority on the consumer and their needs. “Customers are much more demanding,” he says. “They have an expectation when they’re transacting digitally, and they have an expectation around their customer experience. We have to be able to respond to that,


time of need is just incredibly important,” Ringsted says. Chubb will continue investing in innovation – the insurer spends US$1bn annually on technology – and using digital tools to become an ‘in your pocket’ risk manager and advisor to consumers and businesses alike. Ringsted says Chubb’s goal is to eventually evolve from a repair/replace model to a predict/prevent service provider. And he’s optimistic that the company will continue leading the digital way in the insurance industry while staying connected to its clients. “I think we’re really well placed to succeed, [and] we will thrive as a company of the digital age,” he says. “We’re going to be there to serve our customers with products and services to meet their needs as they go about their lives in the digital economy. All that will be done with a human touch where we need it.”


HISTORY Chubb was founded in 1882 when Thomas Caldecot Chubb and his son opened a marine underwriting business in New York City

AROUND THE WORLD Chubb operates in 54 countries and territories, and employs around 31,000 people globally

NEW ERA ACE acquired Chubb in January 2016, forming the world’s largest publicly traded P&C insurer

HEAVYWEIGHT As of the end of 2017, Chubb had US$167bn in assets

PERFORMANCE The insurer has an AA (very strong) rating from Standard & Poor’s and an A++ (superior) rating from A.M. Best



WOMEN OF INFLUENCE 2018 Meet 27 women who are breaking down barriers to become some of the insurance industry’s most influential leaders DESPITE WOMEN’S growing presence in the insurance industry, few have successfully broken through into leadership roles – but the women featured on the following pages prove that’s changing. A quarter of IBUK’s 2018 Women of Influence are in C-suite positions, and many others hold executive and leadership roles. You may recognise a few faces – such as Lloyd’s first female CEO – but you’ll also be introduced to

women who are shaping the course of the insurance industry outside of the spotlight, including those who are leading the charge for the digitalisation of insurance and mentoring the next generation of female insurance professionals. By using their collective influence to mould a brighter future for the industry, these women inspire the success of their peers every day and prove that insurance is no longer a male-dominated field.







Chief sales officer

AmTrust International


Lynsey Cross

Aspray Ltd


Andrea Loasby

BLP Insurance


Kim Vernau

Brokerbility Holdings Ltd


Julie Rayson-Flynn

Brownhill Insurance Group


Gillian Henderson

Carpenters Group


Donna Scully



Cara Brown

Coversure Insurance


Reana Bashir

DXC Technology


Caroline Bedford

Lloyd's Market Association


Mel Goddard

Lloyd's of London


Inga Beale



Alisa King

Miles Smith Insurance Group


Sharon Brown

Moneywise Investments Plc


Shashi Adatia

Munich Re


Emily Clark

Prizm Solutions Ltd


Tracy Pound

Professional Insurance Agents Ltd


Kelly Fyfe



Cécile Fresneau

QuestGates Ltd


Julie Kelly



Karen Graves



Lindsey Howsam

Touchstone Underwriting Ltd


Amy Manning

Willis Towers Watson Networks


Anne Hughes


Willis Towers Watson Networks


Sara Fardon


XL Group


Lindsay Nieman

Zurich UK


Tulsi Naidu

Zurich UK


Rose St Louis

An experienced insurance professional, Cécile Fresneau was recently appointed executive director of UK insurance at QBE, where she leads the team that covers a vast majority of business risks. Prior to joining QBE, Fresneau was chief underwriting officer at Zurich, a role she took on after serving as head of personal lines underwriting for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


Miles Smith Insurance Group

Sharon Brown first entered the world of insurance as a marine treaty technician for Willis Faber in Ipswich. After establishing a good grounding in insurance, she left Willis in 1999 to have another child and pursue higher education. Guided by her passion for sport and interest in the medical sciences, she studied sports therapy and went on to run her own business for several years, treating athletes and cancer patients and working alongside orthopaedic surgeons and physiotherapists. In 2006, Brown decided to combine her newly acquired skills with her continuing interest in insurance work by joining the injury rehabilitation sector, working with several large insurers and UK corporations to provide rehabilitation programmes. She initially encountered Miles Smith Insurance Group as a customer in 2006 before joining the group in 2011 as a relationship manager. At Miles Smith, Brown undertook a restructuring of the broker distribution function and soon landed on the board as the broker relationship director. With a flair for marketing and a creative view on product distribution, she was promoted to group distribution and marketing director and now serves as the group’s chief sales officer, responsible for ensuring the company meets its tough growth targets. Brown believes her relentless pursuit of the highest standards, combined with her energy and passion, are only partly responsible for her success, and that driving significant change is about surrounding oneself with excellence and motivating, educating and instilling confidence into the workforce. She takes great pride in her team’s ability and promotes this ethos across the business.

Executive director, UK insurance

LINDSEY HOWSAM Operations director Staysure

In 2004, Lindsey Howsam co-founded Staysure with her brother to provide travel insurance to the ‘over 50s’ market. Since then, the company has gone from strength to strength, adding two offices, two outsourced call centres and a workforce of close to 500. Having joined the business with very little insurance knowledge, Howsam has since gained a thorough understanding of the industry through her sheer determination, perseverance and dedication to making Staysure the UK’s number-one travel insurance provider. The company has received numerous awards over the past few years, including the Moneywise Award for Most Trusted Travel Insurance Provider and the British Travel Award for Best Travel Insurance Provider in 2017. As operations director, Howsam’s efforts to instil Staysure’s values of being inspiring, caring, adaptable and brilliant have helped create a happy and motivated staff, which has translated to a low attrition rate. She has also created a culture of giving back by holding various fundraising events and providing staff with the opportunity to undertake volunteer activities at relevant charities. A regular attendee of networking events and seminars, Howsam often finds that she is able to count the number of women present on just one hand. She advises women to not feel pressured into adopting stereotypical male attitudes, but to simply be themselves and have confidence in their own identity and knowledge. She believes women excel at soft skills and emotional intelligence, which are strong prerequisites for business leadership.


Kim Vernau began her insurance career in 1986, joining Thomas Miller P&I after completing her qualification as a barrister. She became an area director for P&I claims, then went on to become the group internal auditor. In 2005, Vernau served as commercial director for Thomas Miller Investment before joining BLP as COO in 2008 and becoming CEO in 2012. When asked about the highlight in her career, Vernau mentions discovering “through a 360-degree process that I was seen as a role model elsewhere in the business, [which was] humbling and, at the same time, very gratifying”. As a female CEO, Vernau has witnessed firsthand the industry’s efforts to diversify at the board level, though she acknowledges that a challenge remains: “Best practice on genderdiverse recruitment can be subverted by operational pressures to fill vacancies swiftly,” she says. She also feels many women can’t access key opportunities early on due to the nature of their networking, and need more practical support to elicit real engagement and cultural change. Outside of insurance, Vernau serves as a non-executive director for an association that provides housing to working women of moderate means. She also sits on the Inspiring Women Committee for Coram, a charity devoted to helping people involved in adoptions.

JULIE RAYSON-FLYNN Operations director Brokerbility

As operations director at Brokerbility, Julie Rayson-Flynn is responsible for overseeing key relationships with carriers and developing exclusive, bespoke insurance products and tech solutions for brokers. Rayson-Flynn was also responsible for launching the Brokerbility Academy, which provides a structured learning programme for brokers and apprentices, recognising the need for more support structures to promote continuous learning. “I started in insurance from school with no A-Levels,” Rayson-Flynn says. “I’ve worked hard in the market to build relationships and a positive reputation, which saw me join Brokerbility in its infancy and work with many excellent brokers to champion the role of the independent adviser.” This commitment has paved the way for Rayson-Flynn’s other contributions to the industry, including her appointment as president of the Chartered Insurance Institute’s Leicester chapter for 2019–20. While Rayson-Flynn believes women could use more support and opportunities in the industry, she stresses that efforts need to go beyond simply trying to hit the numbers. “There is a lot of talk at present about the lack of women on boards and in senior positions,” she says. “This has developed over many years, and I would hate to see any woman appointed purely to reach a quota. With modern thinking and more flexibility in the workplace, there is no reason women can’t progress on merit into these positions.”



WOMEN OF INFLUENCE JULIE KELLY Business solutions manager QuestGates

Since joining QuestGates four years ago, Julie Kelly has had a major influence on the culture and performance of the business, resulting in it doubling in size. As a member of the operations board, Kelly’s efforts have transformed QuestGates from a company solely focused on the end customer to one that’s fully engaged with its people, effectively embedding a customer-service ethos throughout the

SHASHI ADATIA Director Moneywise Investments

In 1978, Shashi Adatia set up Moneywise Investments with her husband, Pankaj, and since then, the company has continued to flourish under their leadership. “When I first started Moneywise with my husband 40 years ago, there were around 30 insurance brokers on the same road as ours,” Adatia says. “We are now the only ones that still exist from these 30 businesses. It makes me really proud that everything I put into my business has paid off.” Today, amid the growing demand for online insurance, Moneywise maintains a strong market presence thanks to the couple’s consistent personal approach from start to finish. As director and co-owner, Adatia oversees the company’s general insurance division, including auto, home and business insurance. Her solid reputation has enabled her to not only retain loyal clients, but also significantly expand her client base through recommendations and referrals. Being multilingual has also helped Adatia stand out from the crowd with her clients. “When I started 40 years ago, there were not many women in the industry, let alone any Asian women,” she says. “Initially, it was a struggle to gain respect from my peers and others in the industry, but with hard work and determination, I have been able to succeed in what I enjoy.”


company. This shift has led to greater employee satisfaction and created a positive impact on QuestGates’ relationships and performance. The multiple initiatives Kelly has championed include surveying of both clients and staff, which has led to improved communication and training, and the creation of an efficient process for managing customer complaints, which has helped reduce the justified complaints rate to only 1.58%. Kelly also took over the day-to-day management of a subsidiary business on short notice, and managed to turn the business around by thoroughly engaging the team and helping them improve performance in all areas. Thanks in part to her efforts, QuestGates received a three-star Exceptional accreditation in its second year and the new Gold standard in 2017. Kelly hopes the industry as a whole can experience a similar cultural transformation, especially in terms of diversity. “I see a lack of female role models in the industry as being one of the greatest challenges,” she says. “You can’t be what you can’t see and experience on a day-to-day basis. However, we can help ourselves to a great extent by honing the key skills necessary to be given opportunities. Improving our communication skills and gaining confidence to speak up builds respect, and improving our emotional intelligence allows us to manage our relationships more effectively.”

CARA BROWN Senior underwriter, terrorism and political violence Chubb

Cara Brown is dedicated to driving operational efficiencies within Chubb, including a complete revamp of the terrorism team’s processes. Brown helped launch a new terrorism facility designed to change the way the market works. Launched in May 2018, the US$500m facility, backed by Aon, provides insureds with a fully admitted, multinationalcompliant solution. In addition to her primary responsibility, Brown manages referrals from more than 15 offices and is a keen contributor to the diversity and inclusion initiative at Chubb. Given her role, she considers her passion for travel a rather useful and practical interest. “It helps provide a background and understanding of the different offices and territories I deal with,” she says. Brown believes that while it’s still challenging for women in insurance to take the lead, it’s not impossible. “[It’s] the lack of confidence to speak up, whether at a high-profile meeting or [getting] the courage to ask for new opportunities within your own internal business unit,” she says. “For a woman to be dominant and do this can sometimes [cause her to] be viewed as pushy, while men could be viewed as assertive. It’s about challenging these stereotypes and owning your own career, which I perceive as the greatest challenges.”

INGA BEALE CEO Lloyd’s of London

As Lloyd’s of London’s first female CEO in its more than 300-year history, Inga Beale has been a champion for diversity and equality in the insurance field. She is a founding member of the Insurance Supper Club and the patron of Insuring Women’s Futures, and she was instrumental in the launch of Pride@Lloyd’s, an internal LGBT employee resource group. Since her appointment to CEO in 2014, one of Beale’s top priorities has been the modernisation of the Lloyd’s and London markets with new technology and processes. Beale chairs the Target Operating Model [TOM] steering board, which oversees the design and delivery of Lloyd’s modernisation programme.



WOMEN OF INFLUENCE KELLY FYFE CEO Professional Insurance Agents

ALISA KING Chief client officer, UK and Ireland Marsh

Praised by her colleagues for making significant waves at Marsh in less than two years, Alisa King works across the company’s operations to lead the development of strategic solutions that improve the way Marsh’s clients mitigate insurance and risk challenges. King joined Marsh in 2016 after spending 25 years at Willis Towers Watson, where she most recently served as head of UK client and business development. “I am most proud of the teams of people I have worked with in the past and the individuals in those teams as they progress in their own careers, many taking on creative roles that make a significant difference to the clients and colleagues they now work with,” King says. “I keep in touch with many old colleagues and take enormous pride in hearing how they are making a difference and bringing change to the industry. My own career in leadership took off as a result of driving client-focused industry propositions.” As a leader, King has witnessed first-hand many of the challenges women face in the industry. “The greatest challenges facing women in insurance continue to include the personal journey to balance career with family demands,” she says. “I also think that women need to push forward into roles that take them into less comfortable places than their experience in order to progress. As an example, I see too few women coming forward to take on senior client-facing or sales roles, where men still dominate and the rewards are higher.”


For more than two decades, Kelly Fyfe has been part of Professional Insurance Agents [PIA] and has continuously proven to be a pioneer in the industry. Fyfe led the design and implementation of the company’s online quoteand-buy platform. Not content with what others perceived as a market-leading online product, she then worked tirelessly to improve the system. She was responsible for rolling it out to brokers all over the UK, white-labelled and free of charge. Today, more than 600 brokers across UK and Europe use this system in both B2C and B2B capacities. Currently, Fyfe is working on further developing the system to make PIA the first UK broker to possess a fully automated, AI-powered quote-and-buy platform. In addition to further developing the platform and strengthening PIA’s online presence, Fyfe maintains more than 15 binders with some of the largest insurers and MGAs in the UK, as well as sourcing opportunities overseas. Fyfe credits her team for her successes and sense of fulfilment. “I’m fortunate enough to work with a young and very talented team,” she says. “I’m proud to play an active role in their training, development and mentoring, so watching them grow and develop is very rewarding for me.” She adds that despite the continuing challenges in the industry, it’s also an exciting time for women, as their talent and contributions to the business are increasingly being recognised.

REANA BASHIR Director, Keighley, Bingley and Rotherham Coversure Insurance

Reana Bashir started her career in the insurance industry at age 17. In 2014, she experienced a temporary setback, having to let go of her role as branch manager while pregnant, but it ended up being the boost she needed to set up her own business. Bashir got her career back on track by becoming a franchisee of Coversure, setting up her first office in Keighley just 12 weeks after giving birth. In her first year of trading, she reached £1m in GWP, and in two years’ time, she was able to grow her operations to three Coversure branches, adding the Bingley and Rotherham offices to her portfolio. Bashir won Coversure’s New Broker of the Year Award in 2015 and was nominated for two additional awards in 2017.

KAREN GRAVES Head of operations, EMEA hub and group BCM SCOR

Karen Graves has been working in the London market for more than 25 years. She started out in compliance before moving on to a chief operations role, followed by a managing director role for an established Lloyd’s managing agency. In 2010, Graves joined SCOR in her first global reinsurance role, overseeing operations, property affairs and coordination of EMEA associated satellite offices, hub communications and new projects with business divisions. Outside of SCOR, Graves is a member of the Worshipful Company of Insurers [WCI] and recently became the chair of WCI’s Independent Women in Insurance Committee. “Being able to provide insight and support to women and companies in the insurance community, and looking to be inclusive in this regard, is something I am very proud of,” she says. “Doing this with independent thinking and vibrant women as colleagues on the committee is just great.”


A business leader with more than 20 years of international financial services experience, Tulsi Naidu has a track record of driving results in a complex business and regulatory environment and delivering large-scale business transformation. In 2016, Naidu was appointed CEO of Zurich UK after serving in a number of executive roles at Prudential UK and Europe. As executive director for Prudential’s UK and Europe business, she was responsible for strategy, public affairs, the UK retail and wholesale lines, and Prudential’s Ireland and Poland businesses. Naidu was previously COO for Prudential’s UK business and also held a number of general management roles focused on driving strategic transformational change. Since taking the reins at Zurich, Naidu has devised and implemented an extensive transformation programme, reshaping the insurer’s UK business, simplifying its business structure and positioning it for future growth in its core markets. As part of the transformation, Naidu led the successful integration of the insurer’s life and general insurance businesses, bringing both businesses together under a single UK executive committee for the first time. More recently, she was responsible for the creation of a new retail management team and a new UK distribution team, further evolving Zurich’s business model to meet changing customer and broker needs. Outside of her leadership duties, Naidu is a member of the FCA Practitioner Panel, the ABI board, the CBI president’s council and the advisory council of TheCityUK. She also volunteers with and is a trustee of Pilotlight.




Dynamic and business-savvy, Andrea Loasby is determined to not just succeed, but enable others to follow her lead. For more than two decades, she has been building and wielding her expertise in property claims, most recently channelling her efforts into co-developing an outstanding property claims management proposition at Aspray. Loasby is responsible for creating a franchise business model that enables others to pursue their business dreams as franchisees in the property claims management world. Thanks to her dedication and entrepreneurial spirit, Aspray has won several awards for customer service and business performance, and continues to offer superb support to property owners who suffer a flood, fire or other property damage-related claim. Outside of Aspray, Loasby has written a book on franchising to help other players excel in the industry.

CAROLINE BEDFORD Head of Digital Minds Insurance DXC Technology

SARA FARDON Managing director

Caroline Bedford has spent nearly all of her career working within the speciality lines insurance market. She started as a business consultant in the early 1990s, working on programmes to implement software systems for reinsurers at Lloyd’s and across the globe. Six years ago, Bedford joined DXC Technology, where her role is focused on enabling Lloyd’s and London market brokers and insurers to transition to a digital environment. “In such a traditional market, moving to a digital marketplace is a big challenge, but it’s critical for London,” she says. “I work closely with digital experts within DXC so I can help both the IT and business sides of insurance organisations understand their priorities and create a roadmap that will work for both them and their customers.” As head of DXC Digital Minds, a programme she created in 2016, Bedford creates a platform for insurance professionals to come together to understand the opportunities digital technology presents and to promote the cultural change that underpins it. “We’re now in our second year, and the programme has become a big part of insurance change,” Bedford says. “The 2018 cohort is comprised of a group of 60 women and men from insurance brokers, carriers, service providers and more, meaning we have a very diverse group of talent with unique ideas and perspectives.” Bedford sees the current challenges in the insurance industry as affecting everyone, not just women. “The shakeup in the status quo has created a more even playing field,” she says. “Whether you’re male or female, you have a responsibility to continue to educate yourself and rejig your approaches and capabilities to figure out your place in this new landscape.”


Willis Towers Watson Networks

Sara Fardon has led Willis Towers Watson Networks to become the pre-eminent network of choice for independent brokers; network members contribute to more than £500 million worth of GWP. Under her leadership, members are signing up to 10-year agreements on top of their existing relationship, which is a huge achievement in any industry. Fardon has ensured the network maintains its distinct identity within Willis Towers Watson while serving as the company’s preferred channel for SME leads. As the network approaches its 20th anniversary, Fardon hopes to retain the high level of satisfaction among its members, which will ensure its relevance and growth in today’s market. Fardon encourages other women in the industry to maximise their full potential and take advantage of every opportunity presented. “I am most proud of having an ongoing and optimistic approach,” she says. “It leads to great conversations and new opportunities. Having confidence to seize the day is the watchword.”

MEL GODDARD Market liaison and underwriting director Lloyd’s Market Association

In 1996, Mel Goddard was appointed by QBE to run its first non-marine syndicate at Lloyd’s, thus making her the first female active underwriter in Lloyd’s 300-year history. Although others might consider that the highlight of her career, for Goddard, it’s about more than just achieving that milestone. “[It’s] having been true to myself, worked hard, let actions speak louder than words and stood for what I believed in,” she says. Goddard’s experience led her to establish her own consultancy company, through which she has gained a considerable variety of work, both domestically and internationally. She continues to work in the Lloyd’s market today as market liaison, underwriting director and independent non-executive director of Apollo Syndicate Management at Lloyd’s. Goddard recently spoke at the Women in Reinsurance Singapore’s International Women’s Day networking event, where she encouraged women in the industry to maximise what they have: “To all the women in the room, be glad that you are born into this era,” she said. “Have the confidence to approach work in a way that feels right to you. Don’t just play the game by the male rules, and you may not only find your way to the boardrooms, with equal pay, but also be able to shape the next stage of corporate life.”



WOMEN OF INFLUENCE GILLIAN HENDERSON Managing director Brownhill Insurance Group

Gillian Henderson joined the insurance industry more than three decades ago, at a time that was very different from today. “Being very male-dominated, you needed to speak their language, which meant I learnt a lot about football,” she says. “Because of that, I am now an avid Crystal Palace supporter! Thankfully, women now cover a larger proportion of the industry.” Passionate about art, Henderson is especially proud of Brownhill Insurance Group’s Love Art brand, which provides cover for art collectors and art service providers. Her experience of running a business while raising a family has given Henderson firsthand knowledge of the importance of providing flexible working conditions to promote a healthy work-life balance, which is critical to any successful business.

EMILY CLARK Reinsurance medical underwriter Munich Re

Emily Clark started her insurance career at BUPA; when the company transitioned and segregated into Friends Life and then Aviva, Clark’s career flourished as she advanced from a new business adviser to a medical underwriter. After a stint with Canada Life, Clark leapt into the world of reinsurance with Munich Re. Over the course of her career, Clark is most proud of having been a dependable colleague. “No problem is too small,” she says. “The people around me know they can talk to me, and that’s a good feeling.” While diversity in the industry has improved significantly in recent years, Clark believes there’s still some way to go for women in insurance. “Diversity is on the forefront of people’s minds at the moment; there has been a lot of movement towards a more diverse workforce,” she says. “However, I still believe this remains one of the greatest challenges facing women in insurance today. Progression and recognition are also on the forefront of my mind [as] the greatest challenges for women in insurance.” Outside of her work at Munich Re, Clark has helped raise money for Save the Children and Awareness for Mental Health via the organisation’s Curry & Chaat event.


DONNA SCULLY Director Carpenters Group

Not one to shy away from debate and confrontation – an important attribute in a male-dominated industry – Donna Scully is an advocate not just for women, but for the entire insurance community. For more than 30 years, Scully has passionately defended the interests of injured people, always going above and beyond to facilitate open debate and continuous dialogue on issues and solutions surrounding claims, whiplash and fraud. Scully works closely with major insurance companies to bridge the existing divide within the sector and has been a balanced voice during ongoing whiplash reform discussions. Known for her efforts to collaborate with the industry to combat fraud, Scully helped establish AskCUE PI, a universally required search of insurer databases to detect previous claims and prevent fraud. She was also chair of the Motor Accident Solicitors Society [MASS] for two years, created the Fraud Forum at MASS in 2010 and provided strong leadership during major reforms to the civil justice funding system. Scully has also hosted and organised multiple roundtables and events to confront issues on women’s role in the insurance industry.

TRACY POUND Director Prizm Solutions

As co-owner and director of Prizm Solutions, Tracy Pound is viewed by her colleagues as the driving force behind the company, which she established in 2006 to serve insurance needs in Tamworth and across the UK. As the owner of a tech company, Pound demonstrates how technology empowers the flexibility many women (and men) are looking for today. She says the most fulfilling aspect of her career is “being co-owner of an award-winning insurance brokerage that continues to grow year-on-year, that has a wonderful staff and where I can play an active role in ensuring our MI is ahead of the curve.” In addition to her responsibilities at Prizm, Pound is an author of IT industry standards and a regular visitor to the House of Commons. She was appointed to CompTIA’s board of directors in 2015 and was voted Worldwide Member of the Year in 2017. Pound has been recognised several times as one of the top women in technology in the UK and was named Woman of the Year in 2016 by PCR.

AMY MANNING Underwriting claims executive Touchstone Underwriting

Amy Manning began her insurance career at Touchstone Underwriting in 2007, and she has since grown with the MGA, developing her own skills while enhancing the firm’s claims department. Recently, Manning secured a delegated claims handling authority from one of the UK’s largest A-rated insurers, alongside the existing claims capacity she manages for Touchstone. She was also selected as one of 12 participants across the country for the RSA Leadership Programme, which allowed her to meet new contacts in the industry while developing her own management skills. Manning is also working towards her final exam for the Diploma in Insurance, which she hopes to complete this summer in order to progress to the Advanced Diploma level next year. Outside of her work at Touchstone, Manning served as president of the Watford Insurance Institute from 2015 to 2017, and she has hosted many CPD events and Institute dinners. She is also a leader in training for GirlGuiding UK, where she volunteers every week to help run a local Brownie unit. “I love seeing the girls’ confidence grow and helping to show them new skills and develop new friendships, while also encouraging them to try things they may not otherwise have the opportunity to do,” she says.

LINDSAY NIEMAN Head of business development, crisis management division, XL Catlin UK and European representative, XL Innovate XL Group

Based in London, Lindsay Nieman is XL Catlin’s head of business development for the crisis management division and is XL Innovate’s representative in the UK and Europe. Nieman joined the kidnap, ransom and extortion underwriting team at XL Group in 2013. From there, she was involved in rolling out a number of strategic and innovative products for the seven crisis management lines of business. On a broader level, Nieman supports the innovation activity of global lines and Accelerate. Prior to joining XL Group, she spent seven years at Sony/ATV Music Publishing, focusing on business strategy and commercial partnerships.




ANNE HUGHES Network services director Willis Towers Watson Networks

LYNSEY CROSS Chief operating officer AmTrust International

As COO of AmTrust International, Lynsey Cross is part of the executive leadership team at AmTrust Financial Services, a multinational property & casualty insurance company. Cross is responsible for leading complex cultural and operational change throughout the international arm of the company. Previously, she was CEO of ANV Group, a global insurer with significant presence in Lloyd’s of London. Cross was an integral part of the core executive team that built up ANV and ultimately led the business through its sale to AmTrust. Prior to joining ANV, Cross was global chief of staff at Guy Carpenter. Cross’ passion has always been to foster and support the development of people, and assuring the right environment continues to be a key focus for her. Cross is the chair of diversity and inclusion for the Insurance Institute London, and as a mother and a female executive, she is passionate about making the insurance industry a family-friendly place to work to help it attract and retain diverse talent.


With more than 35 years of general commercial insurance experience, focusing on staff management, Anne Hughes has developed an excellent understanding of broker networks in the UK. Starting as a graduate trainee with Commercial Union, Hughes moved across to the broking fraternity early on in her career. Following spells as both a general and construction industry broking specialist, Hughes was part of the team that developed and launched one of the earliest broker networks in the UK, the Willis Commercial Network, in the late 1990s. Now known as Willis Towers Watson Networks, the organisation will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2019. “I am passionate about good people management, and I enjoy seeing those whom I manage develop and move onto bigger and better things,” Hughes says. “I am also very proud of all we have achieved in Willis Towers Watson Networks. Being part of the team since networks were an idea on a piece of paper, launching the proposition back in 1999 and actively contributing to its continued development ever since have been a privilege and a great personal development experience for me. I have learnt so many new skills over the years.” Hughes believes the industry has made great strides in how it promotes and champions women in the workplace. “Being realistic, it will take time to see the results of such commitment,” she says, “but it is great that change is now actively happening. The challenge for women is to make sure they take advantage of this sea change. The opportunities to progress one’s career now exist more than ever before, but it is still up to the individual to make it happen. Women need to have the capability, but just as importantly, they also need to have the belief and drive to succeed.”

ROSE ST LOUIS Head of strategic partnerships Zurich UK

Before joining Zurich in 2015, Rose St Louis amassed more than 20 years of experience working in the financial sector, holding senior roles in the wealth management industry. Now as Zurich UK’s head of strategic partnerships, St Louis has been instrumental in the creation and execution of a new broker collaboration initiative within Zurich’s retail insurance business, aimed at creating interest in the company’s digital non-advised life insurance proposition amongst general insurance brokers. As a result, many general insurance brokers and financial advisers have adopted Zurich’s proposition and are using it to differentiate their businesses and capture an additional revenue stream. Passionate about helping people take control of their financial futures, St Louis co-founded the Women in Protection Network, which seeks to address the under-representation of women within the world of protection. At the CII Insuring Women’s Futures Live 2018 conference, St Louis hosted a workshop addressing the challenges and opportunities women face with regard to career and family choices and how women are often underinsured. St Louis also advocates for greater diversity and inclusion within her workplace. She chairs Zurich’s Women’s Innovation Network, which helps to grow and nurture in-house talent and has seen a 27% membership increase since 2016, including a rise in male membership from 18% to 22%. St Louis is also a trust executive for Zurich Community Trust [ZCT], Zurich’s charitable arm in the UK, which works with a wide range of charitable organisations in the UK and overseas. Her work with ZCT includes governance responsibilities, fundraising activities and spending time in schools, where she gives motivational speeches and teaches financial literacy to students.


Insurance Business UK 3.02  

Women of Influence

Insurance Business UK 3.02  

Women of Influence