For Erin Fry, Successful Leaders Enable Interaction and Build Connections at Glatfelter and AIG Programs
As chief underwriting officer for Glatfelter Insurance Group and AIG Programs, Erin Fry sees an opportunity to bring together the lessons she has learned over the course of her career in the insurance industry.
They include the importance of collaboration across business units and the crucial role that mentors can play.
“It’s critical that we as leaders give back to other professionals on our teams and across the industry to make sure we’re helping others in their professional development,” said Fry, who embraces both formal and informal opportunities to provide mentorship.
“We need to make sure we’re taking the time, when we see those opportunities, to pause and help others grow.”
Fry began as a claims attorney in the environmental division at XL Catlin, where she worked closely with the underwriting unit. The experience instilled in her the value of collaboration.
“That’s always been a critical foundation for me,” said Fry, who joined Glatfelter and AIG in May 2022. She splits her time between the company’s offices in Philadelphia and York, Penn., where she grew up.
Her role is to ensure the consistency and continued success of the underwriting division. She also has a role in developing new products and programs thanks to her oversight of Glatfelter’s product development and product line officer teams.
The tools at her disposal include regular meetings across the organization and a continuous feedback loop that helps to inform the underwriting unit she leads.
“It’s just making sure that we’re approaching and addressing risk in an ongoing and iterative fashion to ensure we are up-to-date on the market,” she said.
Fry also values diversity of thought and understands the need to build trust in the workplace as a precondition for the free exchange of ideas.
“It’s about building not only a professional but also a personal connection with team members. It’s about having mutual respect for team members and making sure everybody feels they have an opportunity to speak up,” she said.
Those opportunities may arise in meetings or in one-on-one conversations.
“People have different styles of interaction. As leaders, it’s our job to ensure those styles have an outlet,” Fry said.
Insurance leaders also face the often challenging job of recruiting and retaining the next generation of talent for the industry. Many experienced professionals are retiring, potentially leaving voids within the ranks.
As an industry leader, AIG attracts and holds on to talent through a number of initiatives, Fry said. These include internships, training programs and employee resource groups that help build a sense of community across the organization.
The industry as a whole, meanwhile, should continue to promote how interesting and diverse it can be, Fry said. “Insurance touches so much of our daily lives without us even recognizing it.” &
Erin Fry has been selected as a 2023 Risk & Insurance® Executive to Watch. To see the other executives selected this year, visit here.