Meet Matt Cullen, VP, Head of Property Retail, UK Regions
What’s your backstory?
Like many people, I fell into insurance, it was my first job out of university. I started as a motor claims assistant, but soon moved from that into commercial underwriting, and then into specialising in UK property business. I worked at ACE, Liberty and then Generali before arriving at Sompo International in April last year.
Tell us about your day job.
I was brought in to open Sompo International’s property retail offering in the UK regions. I’m a dedicated resource for brokers operating in the regional space and have spent my career dealing with broking teams from across the UK. My role is to grow our portfolio in this area, and so the last few months have very much been focused on meeting with brokers, getting our name out there and making people aware of what we can offer. Brokers, especially regional brokers, like to see that you have boots on the ground, and actual resource outside of London. Being based in Birmingham is therefore perfect, as it allows me to access all the key regional insurance markets. We are looking to grow and are expanding the team. It’s a competitive job market but Sompo International is a diverse and exciting organisation to work in so we are getting a lot of interest from potential new joiners.
What’s your USP?
I think we are a breath of fresh air as we provide fresh, credible capacity that is free from legacy issues. We aren’t looking inwards; our focus is on delivering what clients and brokers need as we build out our offering. And we prioritise maintaining strong relationships in the market–at the end of the day this is a people business. Our aim for now is to increase our recognition in regional markets. We have to make sure that we are seen as sustainable, especially when the current environment is so difficult for clients. That means showing we are stable, long-term and pragmatic. We are about to open our first regional office outside London. This is a great statement to the market, demonstrating that we are a permanent presence that is here to stay.
What’s happening in your part of the market?
Market conditions are fairly challenging at the moment, and have been since the onset of the pandemic. It is likely that Hurricane Ian will affect the natural catastrophe rating environment through 2023, and that terms will remain tight. However, Sompo International is largely legacy free, so we are well positioned to take advantage of that and become a competitive new source of capacity.
What is your ideal day out of the office?
It would have to be an afternoon at the City Ground to watch Nottingham Forest. Even if tickets are much harder to come by now they’re in the Premier League!
The Sompo International growth story has only really begun –we’re tremendously ambitious and will keep going from strength to strength.