Meet Annette Wolff, Vice President, Regional Underwriting Executive – Germany Sompo Global Risk Solutions
What is your backstory? Tell us about your path to Sompo International:
During my law studies, I gained exposure to the insurance industry for the first time when I spent one month as a student worker with Gerling in Barcelona. As Gerling was headquartered in Cologne where I come from, I continued working for Gerling as a student worker throughout my studies and after my graduation joined them as casualty claims adjuster. After Gerling was taken over by HDI I moved to Gothaer Insurance company where I worked mainly in a reorganization project in the property casualty division. In 2008, I decided to move to Zürich, Switzerland where between 2009 and 2018 I worked for AIG and later for Chubb as Senior Underwriter Financial Lines with a focus on Financial Institutions offering the entire financial product range including Cyber which was an entirely new product at the time.
Moving back to Germany in 2018 brought the chance to re-join AIG as client director and working with many of the largest companies in Germany. The current market environment brings along many challenges and made this role extremely interesting, trying to find a solution for each client’s increasing insurance needs. After working in well-established insurance companies and segments for the past 17 years, I was thrilled when I was asked to launch Sompo International’s Global Risk Solutions offering in Germany. I am grateful to have the chance to be part of this dynamic process of setting up a new division in an international team working across borders and cultures.
Give us three words to describe Sompo International.
Dynamic, hands-on and open-minded.
What is a trend you feel is impacting the industry and more specifically your role at the moment?
For sure Covid has had a strong impact on all industries, accelerating the trend to mobile working and digitalization. This is also affecting the sales process with the shift to virtual meetings and improved system-based data analysis. Personally, it’s also meant experiencing my first purely virtual onboarding process.
Besides these Covid-related changes, the increasing focus on sustainability is a trend which requires fundamental rethinking across all industries and has already started to impact the insurance industry in terms of risk assessment, underwriting decisions and asset management decisions. This trend will also likely lead to new insurance coverages responding to a new set of risks related to sustainability requirements.
What advice do you have for future Sompo International candidates?
Be yourself during the interviews and you will find out whether Sompo International is a good match for your skills and your personality.
Think back to your graduation day. What is one thing you would tell yourself then?
Believe in yourself and take the chances to travel, to go abroad and to take over responsibility – especially if this means that you have to leave your comfort zone – it will make you grow!
What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this?
I love old houses and the vision that you can make out of them. I would be in the real estate industry buying old (farm) houses, mansions or castles, refurbish them including the interior design and sell or rent them.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.
I am passionate about mountains, nature and hiking and hiked with my partner 125KM across the very lonely northern part of Sweden along the Kungsleden with a tent, drinking and cooking with the water from rivers, camping during storm, snow and very unfortunate weather conditions – but it was amazing and we were happy – even more so when we reached our goal!