Influential women in re/insurance: re/insurers and brokers
Company: Munich Reinsurance America
Job title: Senior vice president, strategic innovation leader
2015: Strategic innovation leader, Munich Reinsurance
2009: National accounts property underwriter, Munich
2002: Head of business consulting, Business Information
Solutions, Munich Reinsurance America
To 2002: Financial management & reporting, Munich Re US/
supervisor of accounting operations, State Farm Insurance
equally valued with deep technical skills. The magic happens
when you are able to combine the two.
Balancing family and work was a challenge in the early years.
There was less support for families without a stay-at-home
parent. I was very fortunate to work for a forward-thinking
manager and company that afforded me flexibility when
I needed it. Companies are more sensitive to this balance
today. I would like to think it is partially because of the
ground work we working parents laid 20 years ago.
If you had chosen a different profession/career path, what
would it have been?
I’m not sure what else I would have chosen at the time,
but what I would like to now do is to contribute to the
conversation around advice for 20-somethings. You can’t go
back and relive your own moments, but you can share the
lessons learned with those who are just starting out.
Why did you choose to work in this industry?
Insurance was not my primary focus when looking for my
first job. Upon graduation from college, I had three job
offers, and I took the one where I felt I would have the most
opportunity to learn and grow new skills, which happened to
be with State Farm Insurance. They had a fantastic training
programme. Once I was in the business, I never looked back.
It took my mom a long time to get over my turning down an
offer from IBM, but I have no regrets.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
My current role in innovation is really energising. The
prospect of the new business models that can be developed
through emerging technologies, products and services is
really exciting. I also believe that insurance supports smart
risk-taking which fuels progress in so many ways. The
insurance industry as a whole needs to give itself more credit
for the societal benefit that it delivers. Combine that with
the technological, product and service upgrades that are
on the horizon, and it’s (finally) fun to be part of the
What has been the biggest challenge you have encountered?
In the early days of my career, it was difficult to move into
dramatically new roles. As an industry, we often give too
much value to technical skills within a discipline and not
enough value to a broader skillset from outside disciplines.
I started out on the finance side of the house, and found it
difficult to break into underwriting. I’ve seen a big change in
the industry recently in this regard. Broad skillsets are now
“I’ve seen a big change in the industry
recently in this regard. Broad skillsets
are now equally valued with deep
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