Meet Mike Reid, EVP, Head of Casualty, Global Markets Insurance
What is your back story?
I’ve been working in the insurance industry for more than 20 years. After university I spent three years as a graduate trainee broker, then made the move into underwriting. I spent the first half of my career in retail insurance, but the last ten years I have been working in the international wholesale market. I have a deep background in both areas, and I’ve been lucky to work at a range of market leading carriers that did each of those things very well.
Tell us about your day job.
I joined Sompo International at the end of 2021. I saw a fantastic opportunity to work in a mature wholesale business that had a clear vision and strong ambition to grow in the retail space. I thought that my skillset, having had experience on both sides, would be valuable as they sought to expand and that I could add value. The opportunity to build a team as a senior manager was very exciting, as that’s what I love doing most: creating relationships, building trust and putting a team together.
We’ve made a number of great hires and I’m excited about the level of talent that we’re recruiting. The war for talent is heating up as everyone knows, but I think what we can offer people: a shared vision and the opportunity to lead a growing business, is making it a lot easier.
Our wholesale book will be worth around $75 million by the end of the year but we’re ambitious and want to see that grow to $100 million as soon as possible. We’re in a great position because we’re not a start-up, we’re part of a major international business whose profits we can leverage. We see a huge opportunity to build out our retail offering and expand geographically too.
What’s your USP?
Retail insurers will always tell you the same thing – that it is all about relationships. Can you build them and then maintain them? That is all about forming a partnership, rather than being transactional, and often the key to that is your reaction to the difficult moments, and your ability to act like a ‘shock-absorber’ for clients, smoothing out bumps. I think what I, and my team, are very good at is our ability to develop those relationships.
In the wholesale space our relationships with brokers are improving all the time. In the retail space, we’re working hard, and brokers are interested and beginning to test the water with us. I sense that they’re waiting to see how we perform next year, and I expect that they’ll be impressed. Obviously, building your book is a very different process to managing it, and so that’s the next step and something we’re determined to get right.
What’s your perfect day outside of the office?
It would be a Sunday, and in the morning, I’d go to church with my family. After that, it would be a ‘family day’, likely culminating with a film and a curry. An afternoon at the golf course comes as a close second.
I’m very focused on talent now. I have the opportunity to build a business with first-rate people, and that means recruiting from a diverse talent pool.