Meet Godwin Sosi, Assistant Underwriter – Management Liability
What is your backstory? Tell us about your path to Sompo International.
I started university in September of 2012. When I first got to university, I chose to study for a degree in Business Management, as I was always interested in business. However, after my first year, I converted my degree from Business management to Economics and Finance, with a placement year in industry as I realized the importance of gaining some experience. During my placement year I was introduced to the corporate insurance world and was thrilled with the prospect of learning how the market worked, and of one day becoming an underwriter after having spent time networking and learning about different areas of the business. I then went back to complete my degree at university and on graduation I was set on re-entering the market as an underwriter. Upon graduation I was able to land a job at Chubb Global Markets, where I worked within the Directors & Operators (D&O) team as an Underwriting Assistant. This job provided me with the fundamentals to assist underwriters, as well interact with brokers on behalf of our underwriters. After just under 2 years at Chubb, I was fortunate to land a job at Sompo international where I now focus on underwriting mid-market & large corporate international D&O business whilst being able to form relationships with world renowned brokers.
Can you shed light on a current project / initiative you are working on?
Setting up the African-Caribbean Insurance network (ACIN) is an initiative that has been very dear to my heart. I understand firsthand the challenges and sense of workplace isolation one can feel when entering an industry which isn’t culturally or ethnically reflective of who I am as an individual. This feeling left me grappling with thoughts of whether I could thrive in the insurance industry. This is something I did not want others who look like me or come from a similar background to mine to experience. I believe we cannot change the past, but we have a role in making the future better. The ACIN was established to boost black and minority ethnic representation within the insurance industry by increasing cultural competence in the London market and making the Insurance sector a more attractive destination for young ethnic professionals. To date, we have brought over 30+ students into the insurance industry and created a network comprising over 2,000+ students and 500 existing professionals. Often Diversity is seen as a compromise for excellence, however this is not the case. “Diversity isn’t about lowering the bar, but rather about opening up the gates.”
Having Sompo International come on board as a Gold sponsor of the ACIN showed real commitment from the top down. The company has been very supportive of this initiative and are doing everything within their power to ensure that equal access/opportunities are created.
What is a trend you feel is impacting the industry at the moment?
The global implications of COVID 19 pandemic – and all the related health and economic issues associated with it has been a massive focus for the insurance industry. Overnight companies had to figure out how to adapt to the pandemic and keep their employees and customers safe amid great economic uncertainty. In my line of business (D&O) the pandemic has had several impacts which can arguably be related back to directors and officers. This has been further exacerbated by the pressure on public companies to deal with their corporate guidance and disclosure obligations around COVID-19, including how they’re responding to the pandemic and how they expect their relative businesses to perform in this tough economic climate. This has been a massive concern on the underwriting front if the company’s performance does not match their predicted disclosures, as this could lead to potential securities class actions. We have known for some time now the market has been underpriced and we have been working to correct rate back to where it should be to reflect the current market conditions.
Any advice to your younger self?
That once you become fearless, life becomes limitless. Often when you are younger the world seems like such a complex place to navigate, but dreaming big has nothing to do with age. Rather it has everything to do with my individual aspiration of being the best version of myself. In a world of so much negativity we can be the light in the darkness. I believe that this begins with me being the change I want to see.
What do you do when you’re not working?
When I’m not working, I enjoy exercising. Apart from the physical benefits of exercise, it allows me to clear my mind and think, whilst pushing myself to get the best results. During the pandemic, I was happy to pick up a new skill of skipping rope of which I’ve loved every minute. When I am not exercising, I enjoy playing the keyboard from time to time. I’ve played the keyboard for over 10 years now and it is satisfying learning a new song when I can. Lastly, I’m a massive fan of football and although we’ve definitely had better seasons, I enjoy watching Arsenal play.