Meet Evie Bourke, Senior Casualty Underwriter, Global Risk Solutions
What is your backstory? Tell us about your path to Sompo International.
I fell into the Insurance market in 2012 after taking what was meant to be a temporary role with HDI Global in London. I ended up working there for six years, working in a variety of underwriting roles. I was lucky enough to be offered a transfer to Sydney and spent 3 years in Australia working closely with the ASEAN & Australasian teams.
In late 2018, I decided to move home back home to the UK and I joined Generali in London, underwriting a mixture of UK and international casualty business through a growth stage. In March 2020, I started speaking to Sompo International and was quickly drawn in by the opportunity to build something totally new, an opportunity not to be missed in my career. Sompo Global Risk Solutions (GRS) is in a significant growth stage with the formation of our European arm in July 2020. I am thrilled to be a part of a totally new team focused on extending the reach of Sompo GRS throughout Europe and beyond. I am excited to be a part of the expansion and, in years to come, to look back at what the entire team has created.
What is something about your role / business unit that people may not know?
We are currently a team of seven in London, so the chance to roll up your sleeves and be a part of everything is true here. We are building a unique offering for Sompo GRS clients in Europe within our six industry verticals and underwriting is just one part of the process. Every person on our team is a part of everything we have to do as an insurer and that is my favourite piece of the puzzle – finding ways to get the job done, teamwork and the camaraderie amongst it!
What do you think makes Sompo International unique?
Sompo GRS is an entirely new group in the London and European markets, making us a truly fresh face in the marketplace, backed by the very strong financial balance sheet of Sompo International and our parent company, Sompo Holdings. We are incredibly well-placed to support our clients and eager to write business in a forever changing, challenging environment.
Can you shed light on a current project / initiative you / your business unit is working on?
We are currently working on our European expansion, with our Barcelona hub opening in Q1 2021. This is only the beginning for Sompo GRS Europe, as we look to expand globally to meet the needs of our clients. Our goal is to support our clients wherever they operate and recruit the best talent to roll out our strategy into new regions.
What is a trend you feel is impacting the industry at the moment?
The European market is undoubtedly hardening. With a combination of catastrophe losses, a general increase in claims costs, and reinsurance costs doubling with the global pandemic, the market is responding with increased premium ratings and restricted covers. Having only opened our doors for writings in July 2020, I feel our team can take advantage of these conditions and provide clients with financial security and peace of mind. Today’s market conditions only enhance the value of our white glove service model which incorporates underwriting, claims and best-in-class risk control services to add value for our clients. We want to be a part of their journey through the toughest times and find solutions to address their risk management needs across each of the industry verticals we serve.
Any advice to your younger self?
Never be too hard on yourself. You can always plan ahead, but those plans will definitely be different when the time comes. Say, “Yes!” to every opportunity you get!
What do you do when you’re not working?
My godchildren are my world, along with travelling and visiting new places – all of which has been impossible for 2020 (a strange year had by all!).
Last words – anything else you’d like us to know?
I am truly excited for our future. We have significant growth plans and a big investment throughout Sompo GRS, so it is incredibly rewarding to be a part of that journey.