Meet Jo Unadkat – SVP, Deputy Chief Audit Executive, Europe & Asia – Internal Audit
What is your backstory? Tell us about your path to Sompo International.
I joined the internal audit profession, by chance, applying for an internship at a manufacturing company as a student. I was interested in the job because it was offering a chance to travel across Europe. So, I researched internal audit, got offered the job, and really enjoyed the variety it gave me, and they then offered me a role after I graduated. From there I joined EY to broaden my experience, qualified as a management accountant and then moved to Equitas specialize in the insurance industry. I then joined Endurance, now Sompo and I have built out the European internal audit function, as well as help shape the group wide function, working as part of a global team.
What is something about your role / BU that people may not know?
Since the purchase of Endurance by Sompo, my role has expanded to have oversight of internal audit activities in Asia, as well as Europe. Internal audit is in a unique position as we are able have a view of the entire organization. I interact with all levels within the organization up to senior management, and the non-executive directors of Boards. As a department, we currently have Sompo International internal audit team members located in 17 different locations across Europe, Asia and the Americas.
What do you think makes Sompo International unique?
Sompo International is always striving for change and expanding capabilities. That is no different within the internal audit function. We are always open to change, and to doing things better, and the culture of the company allows that to happen.
Can you shed light on a current project / initiative you / your BU is working on?
I am delighted to be on Sompo Internationals Inclusive Diversity Council. The council has representatives from different areas of the business and is really striving to drive the ID agenda by putting together roadmaps which to build our competence in this area.
What is a trend you feel is impacting the industry at the moment?
Perhaps wider than the insurance industry, but cybersecurity is having a big impact on all organizations right now. This presents an opportunity to write cyber insurance, but as the insurance industry gets more digitally capable, mitigating against the risk of cyber-attacks becomes critical.
Any advice to your younger self?
Maybe not to my younger self, but to anyone, I would say it is important to find a good mentor, be it a colleague, a friend or a family member you trust and respect. It is important to have clear goals, and not be afraid to seek guidance when striving to achieve them.
What do you do when you’re not working?
Outside of work, I spend as much time with my family as I can. I also enjoy travelling and being out with my dog. My daughter is a baking enthusiast, so I often end up being her sous chef. Over lockdown in the last year, my cooking and baking skills have definitely improved!