Meet Courtney Burns, Vice President, Financial Institutions
What is your backstory? Tell us about your path to Sompo International.
I started my Insurance journey as an Underwriting Assistant in the Global Corporate property group at Zurich North America. As a Finance major I had an interest in the financial markets and was fortunate to have an opportunity to work as an Underwriter in the Financial Institutions group at AIG. Unfortunately this coincided with the financial crisis in 2008 and given the uncertainty at the time I ultimately took a role at Everest Specialty to join the team I worked with at AIG and together we launched the Financial Institutions group. In 2014 I had an opportunity to join the Financial Institutions (FI) team at Sompo International (Endurance at the time) and was intrigued with the challenge of helping to build a Financial Institutions portfolio, this time with the foresight of my past experiences.
Give us three words to describe Sompo International.
Talent, Diverse, Entrepreneurial.
What is a trend you feel is impacting the industry and how is your team navigating it?
The regulatory environment is a near and dear topic of conversation in the Financial Lines community and particularly these days given the current administration and SEC leadership that has a renewed focus on aggressive regulatory enforcement. This could have numerous implications for our Insureds and is something we keep a close eye on in the context of risk selection, coverage, and portfolio diversification.
What advice do you have for prospective Sompo International candidates?
Sompo International has a long-term goal of being a top ten Global insurer and our leadership team truly values building a diverse, profitable portfolio and is determined to be an organization that fosters engagement, development and innovation.
Think back to your college graduation day. What is one thing you would tell yourself then?
Think outside the box. I was very focused at the time on using my newly minted Finance degree to get a corporate finance job. I didn’t have such great luck finding a job at first and really beat myself up about it but eventually took a leap with something I hadn’t thought about before (Insurance…) and found a career path that fit both my educational background and personality.
What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this?
I would be a Chef and/or restaurant owner. My father owned restaurants when I was little, so I grew up around the industry and have always had an affinity for good food and entertaining. I believe a delicious meal brings family and friends together in a special way and cooking for me has always been a creative and satisfying pastime.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.
I ran a marathon in Hawaii! It was both a challenging and rewarding experience and one that I will not be partaking in again.