Bermuda Rising Stars 2017

06-10-2017

Bermuda Rising Stars 2017

nikkytok / istockphoto.com

For the third year running, this publication has selected a handful of profiles of the entrants from 2017 which are presented below.

They are part of the BermudaRe+ILS's Rising Stars 2017 supplement, which you are able to access here.

 

Emily Birrell emily-birrell-1.jpg

Company: Hiscox Re Insurance Linked Strategies

Job title: Investor relations and operations manager 

Career timeline: 

2017: Investor relations and operations manager, Hiscox Re Insurance Linked Strategies

2015: Relocated from London to Bermuda

2014: Associate, Hiscox Re Insurance Linked Strategies

2012: Strategy analyst, Hiscox Group

Why did you choose to go into the re/insurance industry?

I graduated with a degree in financial mathematics, and having particularly enjoyed modules in corporate finance, it seemed like an obvious area to start my job search. While hunting for graduate schemes, I happened upon Hiscox and its culture of challenging the norm and entrepreneurial spirit sounded appealing.

I secured a place on the Hiscox graduate scheme as a strategy analyst, working on analytical projects for the C-suite. In addition to the day job, the scheme offered the opportunity for an international secondment and a number of training and development courses. Knowing very little about the re/insurance industry, I chose Hiscox based on the company and the role, which sounded like a great fit.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I am lucky enough to have been working with Hiscox Re ILS since its launch in 2014, and have been involved in growing the platform’s assets under management from $60 million to $1.35 billion. I would like to continue to be part of shaping and driving a growth strategy, taking Hiscox to the premier league of ILS Managers.

More generally, my ambition for the future is to be instrumental in facilitating continued growth in the use of ILS capital, whether this is bringing new risks into the ILS space, ensuring we have the right structures in place to deploy ILS capital following a substantial loss event, or optimising the risk transfer chain.


 

Miles Brewer miles-brewer_2892.jpg

Company: XL Catlin

Job title: Assistant underwriter, international property treaty, Bermuda Reinsurance Operations

Career timeline:

2015: Assistant underwriter, XL Catlin

2013: Underwriting graduate trainee, Catlin

2012: Investor relations co-op, State Street Bank

Why did you choose to go into the re/insurance industry?

Reinsurance offers many of the things I was looking for in a career. It is a dynamic and changing industry that is always developing new products, and is an intellectually stimulating industry that continuously challenges individuals within it.

I specifically wanted to pursue underwriting because it involves a mixture of analytical thinking and relationship building. I also felt that my studying of finance at university could translate well into underwriting.

Do you think the industry is attractive to young professionals?

Yes, because it offers a wide variety of jobs and opportunities for all interests both locally and globally. Underwriting, finance, legal, human resources, and claims are career areas in the industry that all require different skillsets. It is also a global industry, giving young professionals the potential opportunity to work and live overseas.

Do you think the re/insurance industry offers good opportunities and career development to young professionals?

I started in the Catlin Development Program which was an amazing opportunity to learn about the industry and develop skills right from the outset of my career. It included work rotations in different departments, classroom learning, leadership training, and international assignments. Many reinsurance companies offer similar development and graduate programmes and these are all excellent ways to start in the industry.

What are your aspirations for the future?

To continue to progress my career in the reinsurance industry and learn more from the talent around me. A more short-term view is to continue to develop my technical skills, increase my knowledge of the market, bring value and innovation to my team, and to strengthen broker and client relationships. Long term, I would like to continue to work towards the opportunity to one day take on a leadership role within the industry.


 

Aoife Burke aoife-burke-1.jpg

Company: Qatar Reinsurance Company

Job title: Senior risk management actuary

Career timeline:

2017: Senior risk management actuary, Qatar Re, Hamilton, Bermuda.

2014: Actuarial manager, EY, Hamilton, Bermuda

2009: Actuarial reporting actuary and product actuary, Irish Life, Dublin, Ireland

2008: Risk management intern, Allied Irish Bank, New York City, US

Why did you choose to go into the re/insurance industry?

I was interested in working in an industry which provides the opportunity to solve real world problems, understand risk and gain exposure to customers. The Bermuda industry is particularly dynamic and innovative, where people continue to develop creative and efficient ways of managing capital and risk to meet customers evolving needs.

Do you think the industry is attractive to young professionals?

I think the industry is very attractive to young professionals. The industry requires individuals with a broad range of technical and interpersonal skills. The world is becoming more interconnected and complex which leads to an increased demand for insurance and for innovation in insurance.

Do you think the re/insurance industry offers good opportunities and career development to young professionals?

The industry has many opportunities for career progression for young professionals. It is a global industry consisting of professionals from a wide variety of disciplines, presenting the opportunity to expand your knowledge set and experience across many geographies.

What are your aspirations for the future?

Careerwise, I would like to continue to broaden my experience and make key business decisions with positive impact for stakeholders. Personally, I look forward to continuing to be involved with the development of high school students studying mathematics in Bermuda and to explore and enjoy all the beautiful beaches, cultural experiences and variety of sports and activities Bermuda has to offer.

If you had chosen a different profession/career path, what would it have been?

I enjoy working with children and love music and maths so I also considered becoming a music and maths teacher or a primary school teacher. I think I’d also really enjoy being an oenologist because I love wine and visiting vineyards.


 

James Fielding james-fielding-.jpg

Company: KPMG

Job title: Senior manager, actuarial and financial risk management

Career timeline:

2016: Senior manager, KPMG, Bermuda

2014: Assistant vice president, reserving, AXIS Capital, London

2010: Executive, non-life actuarial, EY, London

Why did you choose to go into the re/insurance industry?

I stumbled into the industry and actuarial profession with very little knowledge of either, but I am very thankful I took the road I did.

Do you think the industry is attractive to young professionals?

The Bermudian re/insurance industry, in particular, is an extremely vibrant and fast-paced environment that is attractive to many young professionals. The Island itself is an incubator for new variations on a centuries-old idea. The Island/industry attract brilliant, experienced and creative minds.

Do you think the re/insurance industry offers good opportunities and career development to young professionals?

The need for protection against uncertainty will always exist in some form, and therefore there will always be a requirement for young talent to feed it. With the rise of technology and the internet, I feel the level of influence that young professionals have compared to more experienced colleagues is at an all-time high. A great time to come in and help shake things up a bit.


 

Gary Harrisgary-harris-photo.jpg

Company: Appleby (Bermuda)

Job title: Senior associate

Career timeline:

2016: Senior associate, Appleby (Bermuda)

2014: Associate, Appleby (Bermuda)

2010: Associate, Livingston Alexander & Levy

Why did you choose to go into the re/insurance industry?

Despite the broad-based experience afforded to me at my previous firm, exposure to the reinsurance industry in Bermuda provided a new dimension to my general corporate law knowledge—a dimension which I was immediately challenged by Appleby to explore through an exposure to catastrophe bond and ILS transactions. My interest in the re/insurance industry was cemented through my participation in complex and innovative re/insurance transactions in 2015.

Do you think the industry is attractive to young professionals?

In Bermuda, re/insurance has certainly become the ‘go-to’ industry owing largely to Bermuda’s prominence as a major re/insurance centre. In this industry, young professionals can be underwriters, brokers, actuaries, accountants, insurance managers, corporate service providers, bankers, or be in roles such as marketing, human resources or information technology, to name a few.

Do you think the re/insurance industry offers good opportunities and career development to young professionals?

For students interested in pursuing a career in the re/insurance industry, many companies (Appleby included) offer scholarships and summer placements.

For employees, most firms and companies encourage career development and often cover the costs associated with any additional training or attending seminars. Additionally, most sectors in the re/insurance industry have networking events, educational events and mentoring schemes to promote development and recognition within the industry.

What are your aspirations for the future?

My goal is to become a leading player in the offshore re/insurance industry. I am very fortunate to work at a dynamic company such as Appleby, where I have ample opportunities to develop my skills, be on interesting deals, and work with people I can really learn from—all of which will hopefully enable me to realise this aspiration.


 

Christine Jack christine-jack-cbc-background.jpg

Company: Deloitte in Bermuda

Job title: Manager, audit & assurance services

Career timeline:

2017: Audit manager, insurance, Deloitte Bermuda

2015: Audit senior, insurance, Deloitte Bermuda

2013: Audit associate, insurance & alternative investments,
Deloitte Bermuda

Do you think the industry is attractive to young professionals?

A lot of the time a career in the industry is initially overlooked when young professionals are considering their field of study. However, once they come back to Bermuda, it becomes apparent that there are many different roles and career paths that are available within the industry so that no matter what your educational background, there is opportunity for success.

In my role, while not in a re/insurance company, we are regularly helping our clients in the industry to navigate new regulation, improve their operations and adapt to changes in technology. No two days are the same, which makes for an exciting career.

Do you think the re/insurance industry offers good opportunities and career development to young professionals?

If you work hard, are eager to learn and are adaptable there really is no limit to what you can achieve. The industry invests in young professionals by actively encouraging further education through exams, conferences and scholarships, and as a result there is opportunity for continued growth and progression. Due to the smaller size of the workforce in most re/insurance companies in Bermuda, young professionals get the chance to work closely with senior executive sooner in their careers than they would in comparable jobs in other countries.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I intend to continue to develop my skillset by acquiring additional designations, take on further leadership positions in the industry and provide the same kind of mentorship to others that I was fortunate to receive.

I believe there is tremendous value in working abroad and experiencing different cultures, and so my aspiration for the future would be to work short term in another Deloitte office to gain exposure to reinsurance clients in another jurisdiction and bring back the knowledge to the Bermuda market.


 

Christopher Millschristopher-mills-.jpg

Company: PwC

Job title: Senior manager, insurance practice

Career timeline:

2014: Manager and senior manager, PwC Bermuda

2011: Senior associate and manager, PwC Canada

2007: Associate and senior associate, PwC UK

Do you think the industry is attractive to young professionals?

I believe it’s an excellent industry for young professionals and it’s known to be an attractive career choice in Bermuda. It’s an industry that’s very fast-paced and re/insurance companies are continually changing, evolving and helping to solve ever-changing global problems. The re/insurance industry in other countries is not always viewed as favourably however, and we probably have some work to do to market ourselves a little better to young professionals in certain markets. As the industry becomes more complex and embraces technology, it continues to become more attractive for young professionals too.

Do you think the re/insurance industry offers good opportunities and career development to young professionals?

The industry is challenging and complex and re/insurance companies require top talent to be successful, but unfortunately there is a war for top talent globally and certain key skills are in short supply. A recent PwC survey showed 81 percent of insurance CEOs see limited availability of key skills as a threat to growth. For people with these in-demand skills or people who are dynamic, can learn quickly and can offer new ideas and perspectives, the industry certainly provides varied and plentiful opportunities and can provide career development that can take people as far as they want to go.


 

William S. Randolphwilliam-randolph.jpg

Company: Tokio Millennium Re

Job title: Vice president, enterprise risk management

Career timeline:

2016: Vice president, enterprise risk management, Tokio Millennium Re, Bermuda

2013: Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (FCAS)

2011: Assistant vice president, reinsurance risk analytics, XL Re, Bermuda

2010: Assistant vice president, Chartis Insurance, London

2007: Actuarial manager, Aviva Canada, Montreal

Why did you choose to go into the reinsurance industry?

After completing my degree in mathematics/actuarial science in Montreal, I was offered a job in predictive analytics in an insurance company. I spent a few years building predictive models and was introduced to the world of data science. The reinsurance industry became an attractive proposition allowing me to continue using my actuarial knowledge in areas where data can be scarce yet informed business decisions can still be made.

Do you think the industry is attractive to young professionals?

The re/insurance industry is very dynamic and offers opportunity for young professionals to work in a global and multicultural environment. If technology and innovation remain at the forefront, young professionals will continue to find many good reasons to enter this industry. With hard work and strong ethics, young professionals will be able to achieve their dreams.

Do you think the re/insurance offers good opportunity and career development to young professionals?

There are so many career opportunities within the re/insurance industry and countless professionals with different areas of expertise. Lots of re/insurance companies offer quality internship programmes that attract bright and ambitious young people. I have witnessed accountants becoming actuaries, actuaries switching to underwriting and underwriters becoming brokers.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I wish to continue to positively impact Tokio Millennium Re and continue to gain valuable experience in my field of expertise. I also intend to continue mentoring young individuals in Bermuda wishing to pursue a career in re/insurance.


 

Taniesha Robinson taniesha-robinson.jpg

Company: PwC

Job title: Manager, assurance

Career timeline:

2017: Assurance, manager, PwC US, Boston

2015: Assurance, senior associate, PwC US Boston

2013: Assurance, senior associate, PwC Bermuda

2012: Assurance, experienced associate, PwC Bermuda

2012: Human resource, senior associate, PwC Bermuda

Do you think the industry is attractive to young professionals?

I think it is a very attractive industry. Young professionals can be involved in key issues facing the world, such as climate change, cybersecurity, political risk, and social issues like the cost of an aging population. Re/insurance understands and helps to manage all these issues. There are also many opportunities for young professionals, including law, engineering, marketing/sales, finance, or accounting. The industry’s impact extends to all facets of the economy providing young professionals the ability to pursue paths best suited for them.

Do you think the re/insurance industry offers good opportunities and career development to young professionals?

The opportunities and career development for young professionals are global and diverse. It offers young professionals a challenging long-term career, the opportunity to achieve valuable and globally recognised professional qualifications, and play an influential role in one of the most significant professions. The role you do at the start of your career does not have to define the rest of it. The industry’s competitive nature and the seemingly constant regulatory change provide new learning experiences.

The changes drive a need for continued education through on the job learning or professional training for career advancement. Re/insurance is one of the rare industries that allows you to combine skills and interests to a wide range of careers.

Re/insurance is a growing sector, which means there is a need for professionals in the industry.

What are your aspirations for the future?

My aspirations for the future are to have a positive impact on my community and those around me. I plan to continue to progress in my career at PwC and potentially the industry, while assisting others in pursuit of their goals.

If you had chosen a different profession/career path, what would it have been?

When I graduated from university I planned to be an underwriter. I also had an interest in teaching, which is why in my current role I enjoy instructing training courses.


Stephanie Paiva Sanderson stephanie-paiva-sanderson.jpg

Company: BeesMont Law

Job title: Partner, corporate

Career timeline:

2010: BeesMont Law, Bermuda

Do you think the industry is attractive to young professionals?

A career in law presents constant challenges and is ideal for those who like dealing with complex situations. There is never a dull moment!

Do you think the industry offers good opportunities and career development to young professionals?

The legal industry is diverse and, as a consequence, its professionals have the opportunity to choose which area they wish to specialise in, which can be very rewarding provided the right choice is made! Young professionals should keep in mind that opportunities are not solely restricted to law firms and they can explore opportunities to act as in-house counsel, consultants or mediators for example. An open mind is key to finding the right opportunities and the right fit.

One really great thing about the legal industry is that it often provides the opportunity to branch out to participate in various committees and volunteer endeavours which really support our community, economy and help build Bermuda’s international reputation. That is extremely rewarding.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I am a goal-setter and so continuously set targets for myself to achieve. As a partner at BeesMont Law, I will continue to participate in fostering its progress and advancing its reputation both locally and internationally. On a personal level, I like to be challenged
and so enjoy complex transactions and have enjoyed my career path so far.


 

Jan Spindlerjan-spindler.jpg

Company: Hannover Life Reassurance Bermuda

Job title: Corporate actuary & risk manager

Career timeline

2013: Corporate Actuary, Hannover Life Reassurance Bermuda

2008: Actuary, Hannover Re, Hannover

2007: Junior Actuary, Santander Seguros, Madrid

Why did you choose to go into the re/insurance industry?

I started my career in insurance operations of a large bank. Part of my job responsibility was the internal retrocessions for the German subsidiaries. I really enjoyed the work and got pulled into Reinsurance by its global nature and analytically interesting topics.

Do you think the industry is attractive to young professionals?

Reinsurance is a very attractive and dynamic industry. We have to be able to provide added value to our clients to be successful. The need to be innovative and ahead of the curve provides us as employees a lot of possibility for personal growth and professional development. I especially enjoy the international environment with clients and colleagues from all around the world and the work in interdisciplinary teams without silos.

Do you think the re/insurance industry offers good opportunities and career development to young professionals?

Absolutely! The industry is obliged to drive innovation. Compared to large multinational banks or insurance companies, reinsurers are usually smaller operations. At Hannover Life Re Bermuda, for example, we have a fairly flat hierarchic structure which allows young professionals to assume responsibilities
early in their career without getting lost in the silos of a
large group.

What are your aspirations for the future?

Bermuda and the excellent regulatory environment provide a great platform for further growth for Hannover Life Re Bermuda. Both prior and envisaged future changes to regulatory and capital frameworks globally have been drivers for our business development. My aspiration as part of the team is to further assure this growth and to keep on providing value-adding reinsurance solutions to our clients.


 

Devrae Tankard devra-tankard.jpg

Company: XL Catlin

Job title: Underwriter, excess casualty, Bermuda insurance operations

Career timeline

2014: Underwriter, excess casualty, XL Catlin

2012: Senior underwriting assistant, excess casualty, XL Catlin

2010: Assistant underwriter, excess casualty, Torus Insurance

Why did you choose to go into the re/insurance industry?

After enrolling in an insurance class while at Howard University, my professor introduced me to the Bermuda re/insurance market, which at the time I knew little to nothing about. As I progressed through the programme, I was attracted to its dynamism, significance and its globalisation.

Do you think the industry is attractive to young professionals?

Without question! There is the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of innovation and risk solutions for some of the biggest global companies that literally make our world go. The ability to travel and work throughout the world is attractive. In the Bermuda context and especially here at XL Catlin, it also allows you to stay connected within the community through philanthropic efforts that support the communities in which we operate.

Do you think the re/insurance industry offers good opportunities and career development to young professionals?

To name just a few: underwriters, lawyers, actuaries/ mathematicians, human resources professionals, public relations experts, computer programmers and accountants are paramount to its success. Here at XL Catlin, I am fortunate to work with a team of highly skilled and talented professionals who are on the front line of a global industry. Professionally and personally, having access to this type of intellectual capital is invaluable to career development. Working with a company that supports not only professional development but personal as well is the norm within the insurance industry.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I see myself working closer with our senior officials on the strategic and policy direction of business lines within the insurance operation. I would like to continue my development in order to further to build my brand both internally with colleagues and externally with brokers and clients.


 

Richard Voaden richard-voaden.jpg

Company: Sovereign Risk Insurance

Job title: Research analyst & assistant underwriter

Career timeline:

2017: Research analyst and assistant underwriter, Sovereign Risk Insurance

2014: Research analyst, Sovereign Risk Insurance

2014: Graduate intern, excess liability, ACE

2013: Select intern, ACE

Why did you choose to go into the re/insurance industry?

Towards the end of my time at university studying politics, I found out about political risk insurance as a possible career path. I’d already spent some time working as an intern within the excess liability department of ACE (now Chubb) Bermuda, so had a good idea of what was involved and whether I was suited to the industry.

Do you think the industry is attractive to young professionals?

In Bermuda, we’re very aware of how significant a role the insurance industry plays to the economy of the Island. Some of the larger insurance companies do a very good job at offering internships and entry level routes into the industry, particularly on the broking and underwriting sides. Often overlooked, however, is how broad and varied the industry can be—there are roles and positions to fit a range of different skillsets and personality types.

Do you think the re/insurance industry offers good opportunities and career development to young professionals?

Towards the beginning of your career it can be beneficial
to learn from others who have been in the industry longer and been through different market conditions. Although the industry can be competitive, I’d say that the market offers a lot of experience to draw from as well as opportunities for progression for those
who can to seek them out. It’s important for the future of the industry that these opportunities remain open to as many young people as possible.

What are your aspirations for the future?

Looking into the future, it’s likely that the industry will change significantly as technology and companies’ implementation of it becomes more sophisticated. Being part of that process will be interesting for everyone involved.


 

Barry Baowei Xu  barry-baowei-xu.jpg

Company: Global Atlantic Re

Job title: Chief risk officer

Career timeline:

2017: Chief risk officer, Global Atlantic Re, Bermuda

2013: Vice president, Global Atlantic Re, Bermuda

2010: Associate, Goldman Sachs, London

Why did you choose to go into the re/insurance industry?

It was a natural choice and perfect fit to my educational background. For the long-term re/insurance sector, the concept of asset liability management is fascinating. The goal of stable long-term return with minimal volatility makes total sense to me. I view risk management as a key and value-adding part of the industry. My belief that I can excel in these disciplines inspired my entry into the industry.

Do you think the industry is attractive to young professionals?

Absolutely, I have seen many friends and colleagues explore different options early in their careers only to come back to
re/insurance for its long-term nature and balance between work and reward.

Do you think the re/insurance industry offers good opportunities and career development to young professionals?

The industry offers tremendous opportunities to those who are prepared and determined. Many firms in the industry, like Global Atlantic Re, offer internship opportunities to those still in school. I experienced first-hand how young talents are sought after and can be quickly promoted. This is truly a global industry that offers young professionals opportunities ranging from entry level to senior executive.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I aspire to expand my networking circle and to learn about the best risk management practices from the many of Bermuda’s leading firms. This is a perfect location for networking with many like-minded people concentrated in the Hamilton vicinity. Best practices around the world come into play through the Bermuda re/insurance operation. The best part is, I have found that the level of openness and cooperation through industry organisations such as BILTIR is unparalleled.

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