Meet Ratidzo Marere-Chiwara, Global Markets Graduate Trainee
Please tell us about your career journey and your path to Sompo International.
It’s been quite a short journey so far. I graduated with an economics degree from the University of Westminster in summer 2022 and went straight into the Sompo International internship programme. I started working in the general liability team, until I joined the graduate programme in October where I’ve been working in financial institutions ever since. Insurance was sort of an accident, actually: I was contacted by the Afro-Caribbean Insurance Network (ACIN) who partner with Sompo International, and they suggested I apply. The rest is history!
Tell us about your day job.
I’ve learned a lot since I started at Sompo International. I’m the only graduate on the team, so it’s been quite a steep learning curve, another big step from the internship programme. I am still in underwriting and have had the opportunity to do a fair number of things, with a fair split between technical underwriting and the administration tasks. My manager put me in charge of the portfolio review, and I support the team with reviewing new business and renewals, by playing the role of the “internal” broker.
My other responsibility is being aware of additional material information that underwriters in my line could/should consider when writing business, and my team encourage this too. Discussing the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank with my team reminded me of the significance of risk management and asset/liability management to consider when making decisions about a D&O risk.
All these responsibilities allow me to get to grips with working with quantitative and qualitative data, and I enjoy that aspect of my role as it allows me to apply some skills that I developed during my time at university. Also, doing all this has allowed me to immerse myself in the general insurance industry as well as financial institutions specifically. My awareness of our appetite has improved, and I am developing an understanding of other major players and their roles in the global financial and capital markets.
What’s our USP?
I think Sompo International’s sustainable competitive advantage comes from the constant cross-team communication and collaboration across all our functions. All the teams I have come across have the knowledge, capacity, and motivation to work well together. I think that’s what makes us able to offer the absolute best service to our customers. Another part of that would be the diverse thinking of people at Sompo; having people with different perspectives allows us to solve problems creatively and see things in a different way.
Tell us about an initiative at Sompo International that you are most excited about.
I’m looking forward to the developments we’re seeing in our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion space, and how that will play into our ESG offering. I think the social side of this is the real growth area, with the ACIN that got me interested in Sompo International obviously playing into this. I am thrilled with our plans to become more visible to graduates as a prospective employer before and after graduation. It was exciting to read about ACIN visiting my university to promote our graduate and internship programmes. ACIN’s partnership with Sompo for the International Women’s Day event was inspiring too!
I think the future is bright for Sompo International, and hopefully for me too! I’m excited to see how I can grow in tandem with the company and see what opportunities are in store.