Announcing the Insurance Executives to Watch in 2020

Insurtech, climate change, cyber and talent risk give rising insurance executives plenty to think about.
By: | November 4, 2019

With the catastrophe horrors of 2017 mostly behind it, some observers of the global commercial insurance industry might sense an industry catching its breath, assured by more digestible loss ratios and ample net income.

And there are certainly many bright points to take solace from.

Cash supplies are ample. Workers’ compensation combined ratios, for one, are historically low; sub-90 for many companies.

Property rates are on a steady march upward, which gives underwriters the courage they need to write more business.

According to a report by Willis Towers Watson, overall, lines experiencing rate increases were expected to outnumber lines with rate decreases by a ratio of seven to one in 2019.

On the dark side, commercial auto is an ongoing nightmare. General liability is a minefield, the danger amplified by what executives refer to as “social inflation,” a dynamic where plaintiffs’ attorneys and naïve jury pool members combine forces to sock corporations with liability verdicts that expand to the 10 figures.

The industry is also beset with the conundrum of advancing technology.

Insurtech solutions and new-found companies touting them ride into inboxes on an almost daily basis. How can insurers take on or own these solutions and marry them to their legacy systems? That is the question.

Insurance companies that are going to make it and not break down are also going to need to be blessed with leaders who are skilled enough communicators to sell the relevance of insurance to a new generation of professionals.

An industry, such as insurance, that is hiring new talent at nowhere near the rate it needs to fill holes left by departing talent is not in a stable place.

We cannot fail to mention climate change and the ongoing peril of cyber attacks. Insurers are writing more premiums in cyber, but it remains to be seen if they can make a steady profit in that discipline.

Rising waters due to climate change may yet wreck Manhattan and Miami. And there are no balance sheets, anywhere, that are big enough to take that hit.

In 2020, our executives to watch, those taking on a new job title or a new area of responsibility, will be taking on all these challenges and more. &

The 2020 Executives to Watch

David Perez
Chief Underwriting Officer, North America
Liberty Mutual

Jeanette Ward
Texas Mutual

Yafit Cohn
Chief Sustainability Officer

Eric Sanders
Head of Claims
QBE North America

Vince Tizzio
EVP, Head of Global Specialty
The Hartford

Kevin Ingram
FM Global

Toby Smith
Ironshore Environmental

Joe Tocco
Chief Executive North America

Duncan Ellis
Head of Retail Property

Chris Foy
EVP and Head of North American P&C

Joanne Musselle
Chief Underwriting Officer

Dr. Haoming Zhou
General Manager and President
Starr China P&C Insurance Ltd.

Bryan Salvatore
President, Specialty
The Hanover Insurance Group





Dan Reynolds is editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected].

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