Meet David Carter, Chief Underwriting Office
What is your backstory? Tell us about your path to Sompo International.
I started my insurance career right out of college with The Aetna in Shreveport, Louisiana where I spent about 9.5 years in various positions in Louisiana, Connecticut and Georgia in their Commercial Insurance division. In 1994, I moved to Travelers Insurance (Aetna and Travelers merged in 1996) to the Large Property Group, First Party and Middle Market in various leadership positions over those seventeen years.
In June of 2011, I moved over to The Hartford to build out their Property capabilities which was a very successful build with an incredible team. In January of 2013, I was asked to run all the Hartford Middle Market group which included General Commercial, Specialty, Marine, Construction and had the Financial and Management Liability group reporting up to me.
In December 2019, I joined a startup company DriveOn as their Chief Insurance Officer. While this was a great and exciting year with a small group of people to build a company from the start, we sadly, couldn’t obtain the necessary funding to continue operating.
In January 2020, I joined Sompo Global Risk Solutions (GRS) as the Chief Underwriting Officer. I thoroughly enjoy working at Sompo GRS. This is the most innovative, focused, hard driving, business solution and client centric team that I’ve ever worked with in the marketplace.
Give us three words to describe Sompo International.
I’ll use 5 words if you don’t mind – entrepreneurial, fast-paced, solution-driven
What is a trend you feel is impacting the industry and more specifically, your role now?
Oh, wow, were do I start? There are several areas that continue to impact the industry. Let’s just start with 2020 and the pandemic, not only the health issue concerns, but also economic impact to us as individuals and to our customers. We at Sompo Global Risk Solutions (GRS) have an outstanding Underwriting, Risk Control and Claims team that have been instrumental in providing our customers with the ever-changing information from the CDC and other governmental agencies. Our focus has been to keep our customers informed and to assist them with proper services and risk mitigating efforts.
Other areas that have been and continue to be industry issues center around Talent (developing, career pathing, company culture/actions), Technology advances, Mobility – Shared Economy advances (insurance and legal environment changing/addressing appropriately), environmental issues, and customer needs and experience demands. As Chief Underwriting Officers, me and the GRS team are focused on these areas as we continue to enhance, finetune our strategy and underwriting approach as the landscape changes and new trends develop.
What advice do you have for prospective Sompo International candidates?
Take your time to learn as much as you can. You won’t master this in a few weeks, months or years. Be a sponge, learn, ask questions, participate, be involved and have a mentor now and in the future as you develop your career.
Think back to your college graduation day. What is one thing you would tell yourself then?
You will have a great career, learn so much and meet some great people along the way. One word of advice – slow down, enjoy and appreciate the years ahead of you. As my Dad always told me “stop and smell the roses.” I do stop more today and smell the roses. Thanks Dad!
What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this?
I’ve always said that I wanted to be a college basketball coach, because I love the strategy and discipline of the game. However, today, I would say that I would enjoy being a motivational speaker/coach on life, direction, acceptance, love, but also the drive and inner strength needed to move forward in your life.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.
This will not surprise people who know me, but I came out as a gay man in 2017. Without getting into too much detail, it was a very difficult time for my family as you can imagine. My kids have been and continue to be very supportive of me…they are two amazing human beings.
So, this interview is great timing since this is June and PRIDE month. Mike Chang, CEO GRS and others at Sompo are very supportive of me, diversity and inclusiveness which PRIDE is part of that focus. We are a company that not only talks the talks but walks the walk. I’m so happy to be at Sompo as no other company that I’ve worked for offers real, meaningful support like Sompo International.