Meet Rick Beath, Vice President, Operations
What is your backstory? Tell us about your path to Sompo International.
After graduating from college, I was introduced to insurance by a friend who worked for a large carrier in Baltimore. The company was investing heavily in trainee programs focused on IT, systems and operations so I jumped at the chance. It turned out to be a fantastic opportunity as I have remained in the industry ever since working in a variety of challenging and rewarding roles building operations and systems with several preeminent carriers. The most significant learnings came from the ground up development of systems and supporting operations as well as working through two large and complex mergers. A few years ago, colleagues I had worked with at Travelers and Axis suggested I come to Sompo International to help further build out and improve the operation.
What is something about your role / BU that people may not know?
Providing services which allow underwriting to focus on profitable revenue generation is key to our success. We have a great team in various locations and our goal is to build an operations organization that provides meaningful, efficient, and cost-effective solutions that are well controlled in support of our myriad business partners. Additionally, we now have a partnership with an external group who support us by providing skilled insurance resources to handle straightforward processing. This partnership frees our team to focus on further improving and automating the operation while handling complex, value-added underwriting operations in support of the full policy life cycle. Additionally, we continue to improve other support functions such as metrics and analytics, data integrity and quality control.
What do you think makes Sompo International unique?
Sompo International is a relatively young company made up of a cross section of insurance professionals with myriad back grounds and broad ranging experience from many companies. This diversity in skill set, experience and knowledge is a great foundation for future prosperity, growth and facilitates building our own unique culture. With our parent, Sompo Holdings, we are a part of a global group with a 130-year history and a work force of 80,000 employees worldwide.
Can you shed light on a current project / initiative you / your BU is working on?
We have several high impact initiatives underway including building an operations workstation and submissions portal, enhancing our reporting and analytics process and implementing an operational data integrity and quality control program. We need to be able to measure our productivity, quality and services while providing our business partners with transactions that are more likely revenue generating. The submissions portal is one of the first steps in this evolution as it is will be a one stop shop for our transaction processing.
What is a trend you feel is impacting the industry at the moment?
Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Enhanced Automation will continue to have an impact on the operations of the industry. Products with repeatable and consistent inputs as those found in the small commercial and personal insurance space have been successfully adopting these technologies. This evolution will continue as processes continue to get standardized across a broader spectrum of products in such a way that clean data is produced, controls are in place and actionable information produced.
Any advice to your younger self?
Time goes by quickly so be sure to focus on things that are meaningful and that you enjoy. Always do your best to leave a positive impact and remember to volunteer and to put yourself out there while sharing your ideas and enthusiasm as that’s the way to build lasting relationships and teams.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I enjoy spending time outdoors, on the water, listening to music, entertaining with family and friends, travel and periodic quiet time to recharge the batteries! My career so far sent me from Maryland to Minnesota to New Jersey. My prior roles included extensive travel from east cost to west coast as well as places between, which provided the opportunity to make great friends across the country which I like to remain in touch with. Now that I’m back on the east coast with limited travel it’s been great spending more quality time with family and friends.