Meet Ann Kolman ,SVP, Head of North America Casualty Treaty
What is your backstory? Tell us about your path to Sompo International.
I’ve spent most of my professional career in the Reinsurance industry. After business school, I took a position with the Federal Reserve in New York. I was there about a year, when a recruiter called with an interesting opportunity to work with a reinsurance company. While I had experience in financial services, this was something completely different and I was intrigued. I started out in structured reinsurance, eventually transitioning to casualty reinsurance, which is where I’ve spent most of my career. I was introduced to Sompo International and the Global Reinsurance business (then Endurance Re) by a former co-worker. I was impressed with the people and the organization and 14 years later, I continue to feel the same synergy as our team has evolved and expanded.
Give us three words to describe Sompo International.
Growing, Committed, Collaborative.
What is a trend you feel is impacting the industry and more specifically, your role at the moment?
Inflation poses significant challenges for long-tail lines like Casualty, where it can lead to rising claims costs. The industry should be able to address higher loss costs through rate change, but this current environment is particularly challenging because there is a great deal of uncertainty around how long this period of elevated inflation will last.
What advice do you have for prospective Sompo International candidates?
Be open to opportunities and embrace change. One of the great things about reinsurance is that we have the chance to learn new things every day– about covered industries, exposures and lines of business, as well as different skills and disciplines. There is tremendous growth potential if you are open to new paths. I would also encourage networking within Sompo International, which can keep you aware of opportunities outside of your current environment. The caliber and expertise of the people at Sompo International is really unrivaled and I’m thrilled that I have the chance to connect with so many great people across the organization.
Think back to your college graduation day. What is one thing you would tell yourself then?
Don’t play it safe and don’t be afraid of making mistakes! There really is an upside to failure – you can learn from your mistakes and improve, but if you never try, you won’t know.
What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this?
It will probably sound unimaginative, but honestly, I can’t imagine not doing this or being part of this industry. I’ve had the opportunity to learn and grow in many directions. And while no one talks about being a reinsurance underwriter in kindergarten, I honestly, can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.
I spend most of my time outside work shepherding my three kids to their various activities and cheering them on in all of their endeavors. I also love to take long hikes with my four-year-old rescue beagle!