Meet Brian Grabek, Executive Vice President, Head of Multinational
Tell us about your career journey and your path to Sompo International. What attracted you to Sompo International?
I have been fortunate to have a 33-year career in the insurance industry starting at Travelers Insurance in a variety of underwriting and marketing roles for small to large clients in Hartford, Chicago and Albany, New York. I moved to AIG to run a branch in Upstate New York and Vermont and then had the great opportunity to get into the Multinational division in North America about 10 years ago. This was a pivotal change in my career to learn and eventually lead in an area of the business that I had no previous experience. The global relationships, perspectives and business opportunities provided me with the background to do something that l am truly passionate about today. I came to Sompo International about two years ago and am using that passion to create a global Multinational Platform for all our businesses to leverage, including our operations in Japan. Our ability to execute in the Multinational space will be one of the keys in our goal to become a leading global insurer across a broad spectrum of lines of business in the near future.
Tell us about your day job.
Creating a global Multinational platform is both exciting and challenging. My teams have been creating consistency, leveraging expertise, developing process flows and integrating with our technology. My focus has been to create a global organization with extensive multinational experience with hubs in the U.S., Mexico, Singapore, London, Japan and Europe. I, along with my team, have also focused on creating a network of offices (both owned and fronting partners) in 150 countries. We are focused on understanding our clients’ needs and making sure the platform we are developing delivers in meeting and exceeding their expectations.
Tell us about an initiative at Sompo International that you are most excited for in 2023.
One Sompo. I am working with a group with several employees from the U.S., U.K., Bermuda, and Japan. We are part of an initiative called One Sompo which consists of three different project groups aimed at working smarter, more efficiently and more effectively across our different platforms. Our group is focused on having a single platform for Multinational business globally. We will look to drive efficiency in our process, leverage cutting edge technology to provide transparency to our clients and drive profitable growth across the globe for our Multinational business. Our team is working together to find solutions to our business, communicating every week about the obstacles we face and creating relationships and partnerships that will be the framework for our collective future success.
What advice do you have for prospective Sompo International candidates?
Take risks in your career while you are young. Look at the potential of working in a different country. The world is filled with exciting and different ways of living, communicating, and conducting business and you can accelerate your personal and professional growth by immersing firsthand in a different environment. You will be able to broaden your perspectives and learn to adapt to a variety of cultures. We are a global company, and we value diverse ideas and welcome new ways of approaching the future of our business.
Tell us about the first [paid] job you ever had.
When I was 14, I worked one day a week in an Italian restaurant in Hartford, Connecticut. My job every Monday was to make the meatballs, sausage, and sauce for the week with one of the owners in the basement of the restaurant. I still think I make some of the best meatballs around.
If you weren’t working in the position you were in, what would you be doing? / If you could have a career in anything what would it be?
Probably coaching sports. My kids where all very active in sports growing up and all the way through college. I spent a lot of time coaching their teams and took great satisfaction in developing the abilities of young athletes and watching them achieve their goals.