Jon Monks, SVP, Business Development
How did you get into the insurance industry and what led you to Sompo International?
I ended up getting into insurance by accident via a friend of mine who I grew up with and worked at Marsh. For the next 23 years I worked across the industry at global carriers, a start-up MGU, a broker and a consulting firm before joining Sompo International three years ago. I pursued the Business Development role at Sompo International because it afforded me the opportunity to create a vision for the practice and build the talent, infrastructure, geographic footprint, etc. from the ground up. We want to be the Specialty Insurance market of choice for our broker partners and clients and I take pride in the role our team plays in helping our business units realize that vision. Participating in our growth story has been incredibly gratifying. I love when I can see where our team’s efforts translate to tangible business outcomes.
What is something about your role that people may not know?
I don’t think people realize how much the Business Development team spends triaging business. Time is the most valuable resource to an underwriter who has more submissions on her/his desk than she/he can realistically review. So picking the right ones to invest time in is mission critical to our success. My team is able to efficiently review, and when necessary, decline submissions for appetite and quality and provide our brokers with timely answers on our ability to be a competitive option. At the end of the day, we are not only vetting viable, strategic options but saving our underwriters time from working on business that does not meet our risk appetite.
What do you think makes Sompo International unique?
Talent. The team at Sompo International is fantastic. Our people are smart and responsive. We want to be a true solution to our partners as opposed to taking a class underwriter approach – and we embrace it. This philosophy is foundational to our increasing relevancy in a market that needs creative solutions.
Can you shed light on a current project or initiative that you and your team are working on?
We have been tasked with the roll-out of Salesforce for the enterprise. We’re really excited about what we’ve built so far and what’s coming in the development pipeline. There’s a lot of work left to do, but the information we put at an underwriter’s fingertips exceeds anything I’ve seen in the marketplace.
What is a trend you feel is impacting the industry at the moment?
I’m interested to watch the Cyber market over the next few months. Ransomware claims have taken their toll on insurers and it will be interesting to watch the market react with changes to terms and pricing in a landscape where threats literally evolve by the hour.
Any advice to your younger self?
Find an overseas assignment early. I always wanted to work abroad but didn’t focus on it early enough in my career. Before I knew it, I had four kids and was an expensive prospect for an overseas assignment.