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Job title: Head of political violence and terrorism
2017: Head of political violence and terrorism
2013: Senior terrorism underwriter, Advent
2011: Terrorism & political violence underwriter, Arch
2007: Global property & terrorism assistant underwriter, Arch
Insurance Europe extremely soft, ultimately it is still a very lowly-penetrated class
with a vast potential of new clients.
We strive to come up with new products and new methods of
accessing business from across the world. The size and structure
of Advent is a major help as we are able to be more innovative
and adapt quicker to new ideas than larger insurers.
What was the most significant development you’ve seen over
the last 12 months?
The enduring soft market conditions have meant that over
the past 12 months we have seen a clear, market-wide drive to
develop a more granular understanding of risk. Underwriters
are drilling down into their portfolios and adopting a more
analytical approach to determining their risk selection.
This approach has served Advent well. By capturing as much
data as possible and understanding our core business we are well
placed to react as and when the market begins to turn.
Has the profile of women in re/insurance been raised in recent
There are more and more women in the market which is
encouraging. The principal treaty broker and lead treaty
reinsurance underwriter with whom I work are both women.
There are several very talented women in management roles
and in time they will likely progress into the highest positions.
In Africa there are already lots of women in senior leadership
roles, so London has some catching up to do when compared
to that market.
Why did you choose to work in this industry?
I always wanted to do something that reacted to world events
and that is current, relevant and exciting. Insurance underwriter
was a career path suggested on my school aptitude test and it
all started from there. When underwriting political violence
you have to be on top of what is going on in the world and the
At Advent, we accept business from some really interesting
countries, many of which I’ve now been fortunate enough
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
My past four and a half years at Advent have been an absolute
whirlwind and I’ve loved it. There’s a huge amount of young
talent in the company and it’s thrilling to be part of so many
innovative projects. Until joining Advent, I had been very
London-focused and the most obvious advantage to moving
here was the network of insurance partners that I now have
access to via our parent company, Fairfax Financial Holdings,
and other insurance companies in the Fairfax Group.
I have been lucky enough to be able to use this network to
implement initiatives and partnerships with colleagues from
countries within MENA, North America, South East Asia and,
more lately, Latin America. The real highlight is the valued, new
friendships along the way.
What has been the biggest challenge you have encountered?
Today’s soft market, which seems to be getting tougher. In my
field of political violence, we are faced with an overwhelming
level of capacity in Lloyd’s and increasingly in foreign markets.
Potential premium in the market is dropping, which means we
have had to strive to find new production sources. The fortunate
thing with our class of business is that while the market is
“In Africa there are already lots of
women in senior leadership roles, so
London has some catching up to do.”
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