Meet Lindsay Franklin, VP, Underwriter – Americas Property Catastrophe, Bermuda
How did you get into Re(in)surance and what led you to Sompo International?
Like so many others in our industry, I have family members in the business that encouraged me to pursue a career in re(in)surance — so, I moved from Canada to Bermuda. I had a strong idea of what the job encompassed through them, and although I was not 100% certain that I wanted to live on an island, I decided I would try it! Here we are, 14 years later, and I still enjoy living in Bermuda and working in Reinsurance.
How long have you been with SI? What has your journey been while at SI?
I joined Sompo International when its predecessor company, Endurance, acquired Montpelier Re in 2015. At the time of the acquisition, I was an underwriter on the U.S. Catastrophe team and transitioned to the North American Catastrophe Reinsurance team, where I am now a Vice President.
What is something about your role / BU that people may not know?
Within our business unit, I not only write property catastrophe business for North America I also write and manage the workers compensation catastrophe portfolio. This portfolio covers employees from catastrophes while they are at work. As I’m sure you can imagine, this past year, I’ve had to rethink what that risk looks like with everyone working from home. It’s been an interesting challenge.
What is a trend you feel is impacting the industry at the moment?
During the last year we have all been affected by the pandemic. Working remotely has now become the new norm in most countries. I think this will continue in 2021 and create a more flexible and collaborative working environment. Remote working has also changed the way we engage with colleagues, interact with clients and conduct reinsurance placements. As an organization, we were able to seamlessly transition to a remote environment without forgoing work quality. While I do believe there is a great benefit to meeting clients and brokers in-person, I expect that once we are able to return to the offices it will look different as will the way business is conducted.
Any advice to your younger self or others considering this industry?
I would tell my younger self don’t be afraid of change! I have been a part of four different M&A’s during my career, each one creating uncertainty but also presenting me with different opportunities. If I could have told myself that more opportunities would open up and that these changes would force me to continue evolving in my role, I would have enjoyed the process more.
My advice for anyone considering our industry is to work hard and learn from every role you take on. I would also say to develop a broad network and build strong relationships within the industry. Everything in re(in)surance is centered around the relationship, so if you focus on building and sustaining networks amongst your colleagues, brokers and peers it will be beneficial long-term to your career.
Last words – anything else you’d like us to know? What do you do when you are not working?
One thing that I believe is important is the continued diversity on our boards and in management positions within our industry. I think that diversity creates an environment where different perspectives are valued, creating a stronger platform for talent within the company to grow.
As I mentioned, I came to Bermuda via Canada where I was born and raised on the Canadian West Coast, so when I am not working, I love getting back out there and skiing and enjoying the mountains.