Jenise Klein’s Task at Allianz: Nurture Talent, Foster Diversity, and All the While Steer Success in Property Insurance Underwriting
Two and a half years ago, when Jenise Klein assumed her role as regional head of corporate property at Allianz Global Risks US, she knew she had her work cut out for her. Ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns meant that not only would she be leading a team she’d never met in person, but she’d also be inheriting a brief that came with some serious challenges.
That brief includes profitably growing a portfolio of large and complex corporate property programs, generally over $250 million in total insured value; its challenges included everything from the pandemic to climate change.
“There have been a multitude of elements impacting corporate clients and our property insurance portfolios over the last few years,” Klein explained.
“Climate change, SRCC [strikes, riots and civil commotion] and geopolitical instability, the COVID-19 pandemic, labor shortages, talent wars, record inflation, supply chain disruption and technology, just to name a few!”
Climate change in particular has been a major contributor to the sector’s volatility. “Capacity, which was already a finite resource, is becoming less prevalent and more expensive as we all try to get our arms around how climate change will continue to impact our portfolios,” Klein said.
This only makes Klein’s accomplishments all the more remarkable: Under her leadership, Allianz has profitably grown its large corporate property portfolio — all while achieving exponential growth in customer, broker and employee satisfaction.
Much of this is thanks to a recent restructuring that resulted in a 50% improvement in process underwriting times and significant cost savings.
“I have a fantastic team who successfully drove a ground-up process review and restructuring exercise focused on improving the underwriting experience,” Klein said.
This was a huge effort that took the collaboration and support of numerous areas of the business, and the results have been fantastic. We improved processes to increase efficiency, but importantly, we also expanded learning and career development opportunities for our teams.”
That last point speaks to one of Klein’s defining traits as a leader: her focus on developing talent. A supporter of Allianz’s internal development and domestic training programs, Klein is keenly focused on increasing diversity; she has expanded the gender diversity of her leadership team from 25% to 60% and continues to be a mentor to women in the industry.
“My foremost goals in my current position are continuing to support, develop and grow the team, and continuing to provide stability for our clients and brokers,” she said. “We know that diverse organizations are the best organizations, and I support diversity in all forms.”
Klein is always looking for ways to increase diversity and provide pathways for career development, she said, “from our associate graduate program to continuing education programs, job swaps and international rotations.” &
Jenise Klein has been selected as a 2024 Risk & Insurance® Executive to Watch. To see the other executives selected this year, visit here.