Accelerate Your Insurance Career: 4 Leadership Development Opportunities This Spring

The spring of 2020 offers several opportunities for training in insurance company leadership.
By: | February 18, 2020

Take into account the insurance industry’s ongoing talent crunch and now may just be a great time to pick up some leadership training.

With thousands of insurance executives nearing retirement age in the next 5 to 10 years, there will be plenty of insurance company leadership openings for those ambitious and qualified enough to fill them.

This spring hosts several leadership development opportunities on the calendar.  Here are just a few.

The Institutes’ Executive Education

Location: The University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Dates: April 26 through May 1

The Institutes, a provider of risk management and property-casualty insurance education, will offer its Institutes’ Executive Education at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The intensive, five-day program is tailored to the needs of senior leaders who plan and formulate major strategic objectives throughout their organizations and develop the competencies and resources to achieve them.

The sessions will enable participants to

  • Gain a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of their functional business area and their interactions;
  • Establish personal goals consistent with corporate strategy;
  • Manage at the interface of key functions;
  • Create a high performance culture;
  • Generate superior results; and
  • Create competitive advantages in their markets.

Attendees can expect to take part in a broad range of interactive learning, including classroom discussions, workshops, experimental simulations and small learning groups.

The training also will also feature a field trip to the university’s Vehicle Research Center (VRC), where participants will learn about emerging trends and current technologies.

“The VRC provides us with exclusive access to the facility, as well as full presentation, test drives and a tour,” said Elisa B. Murray, business operations manager for The Institutes, Risk and Insurance Knowledge Group.

To get the most value from the program, Murray recommends that attendees “complete the required pre-work, network and actively take part in the sessions and learning teams.”

For more information or to register, go to:

NAMIC’s Directors’ Bootcamp

Location: Clearwater, Fla.

Dates: May 4 through 6, 2020

Key topics at this event will include corporate governance, the role of the board, company financials and key metrics, reinsurance and emerging issues.

Some sample sessions.

  • On Monday, May 4, Kevin Kinross, a partner with Taft Stettinus & Hollister, LP, will lead a session on corporate governance and the role of the board. One of the key goals of the session is to address the fundamentals of corporate governance for mutual companies and help board members better understand their roles.
  • On Tuesday, May 5, there will be a CEO succession and planning panel discussion. The presenters are James Kennedy, CPCU, of Taft Business Consultants and Kurt Bock, the retired CEO of Country Financial. Taft, Stettinus & Hollister’s Kinross will moderate.
  • On Wednesday, May 6, Country Financial’s Bock will again present, but this time on enterprise risk management, strategic thinking and how ERM supports board members in constructive participation.
  • Wednesday’s final session will feature a presentation by Taft’s Kennedy on the role of the board in setting culture.

For more information on the NAMIC Directors’ Bootcamp, or to register, visit:

Insurance Directors’ Boot Camp

Location: The Manhattan Campus of St. John’s University

Dates: May 19 through May 21

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA), a national trade association for home, auto and business insurers, will co-sponsor the Insurance Directors’ Boot Camp from May 19 through May 21 in New York City.

The program’s other sponsors are the International Insurance Society and both the Tobin College of Business and the Maurice R. Greenberg School of Risk Management at St. John’s University.

David A. Sampson, president and CEO of APCIA, said the camp, which is in its first year, will provide critical information and was created at the behest of the association’s CEO members.

Dave Sampson, president and CEO, APCIA

“By educating directors on the fundamentals of how insurers operate and the key financial, regulatory and operational issues that are specific to the industry, we are promoting both enhanced corporate governance and service to consumers through more informed board oversight,” he said.

“Our members are very excited about this innovative program.”

The camp will feature 25 sessions, each consisting of either a presentation or panel discussion from recognized industry experts, many of whom currently serve as directors of property/casualty insurers.

Topics will include the adequacy of casualty loss reserves, property catastrophe modeling, understanding regulation, benchmarking operating costs, cyber security and diversity & inclusion.

“An attendee’s return on investment from this three-day program will be exponential,” said Stan Galanski, founder of G58 Advisors, a division of G58 Capital LLC, which is the organizer and presenter of the camp.

“The technical depth of what we’re covering really delves into the fundamentals of how an insurance company works,” Galanski said. “This program will make participants more effective directors by giving them greater confidence in their grasp of the nuts and bolts of this industry.”

As an example of the in-depth knowledge offered, Galanski cited a working lunch titled, “Relationships with the Rating Agencies.”

Participants will learn about the roles and operations of ratings agencies, how insurers can most effectively communicate with the ratings agencies, the key factors in determining the financial strength ratings made by agencies and about emerging trends impacting ratings.

Another session will delve into the “Adequacy of Casualty Reserves: Everything You Wanted to Know about Actuarial Analysis but were Afraid to Ask.” It will focus on explaining critical actuarial methodologies in establishing loss reserves and loss development patterns as well as instruct on evaluating actuarial reserving triangles, and utilizing pricing studies to improve results.

Still another session will be devoted to “Maintaining the Talent Pool: CEO, Executive and Board Succession,” and a separate working lunch will feature a panel discussion on diversity and inclusion.

“We’ll look at how directors can drive the change to create an environment in which a more diverse employee base will thrive,” Galanski said.

For more information, go to:

The Institutes’ Business Strategy for Emerging Leaders*

Location: University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dates: May 11 through May 15

In today’s competitive and continually changing business environment, directors and managers need a solid understanding of core business functions combined with real-world knowledge in order to implement business strategies throughout their organization.

The Institutes, in cooperation with the Wisconsin School of Business Center for Professional & Executive Development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will offer a program designed for leaders who are advancing in their careers.

The Institutes’ Business Strategy for Emerging Leaders will take place from May 11 to May 15.

The training will feature:

  • Interactive sessions designed to enable attendees to learn how to align and implement successful strategies within their organizations;
  • Guidance in mastering the operational aspects of executing strategy, such as measuring progress and success;
  • Instruction in developing the organizational leadership skills needed to make a positive impact now and throughout your career;
  • Direction in enhancing decision-making skills with a deeper understanding of organizational dynamics; and
  • Education in building financial acumen with practical exercises.

“This training includes a hands-on financial simulation where attendees are split into groups. This activity is very interactive and competitive,” The Institutes’ Murray said.

Some featured sessions:

May 12, morning session: “Insurance Industry Acumen,” which will cover insurance company strategy, ERM as a framework for managing and leading, and general insurance performance metrics.

May 12, afternoon session: “Decision-Making Anomalies and Insurer Financial Statements,” which will delve into making decisions with financial data, and the relationship of financial statements to individual units within the insurer and the overall ERM.

Michelle Annis, sales director for MetLife Auto and Home in Dayton, Ohio, is looking forward to attending the training.

“I’m looking for insights on how to measure success and how others do that,” she said.

“As we’re trying to compete in the market it’s important to know which levers are moving us forward and which are not.”

For more information or to register, go to: &

*Risk & Insurance is an affiliate of The Institutes.

Annemarie Mannion is a freelance writer. She can be reached at [email protected].

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