Realism, Discipline and Long-Term Focus. QBE’s Dan Fortin Enters the Insurance Talent Derby

Growth is nice, but QBE’s Dan Fortin knows that underwriting discipline is even nicer.
By: | November 14, 2022

Attracting and retaining the top talent is a priority for Dan Fortin.

Appointed president, specialty insurance, and to the North America executive management board in July for QBE, Fortin has been tasked with selling the company brand to the best candidates, from its vision and capabilities to personal growth opportunities and strength of culture. To achieve this, he has been using current employees’ networks to get the word out and continue to expand and improve the quality of his team.

“Due to the diverse nature of our specialty business portfolio, we have a wide variety of challenges unique to each market segment,” said Fortin. “But one common thread across all of them is the challenge of attracting and retaining top talent.”

Fortin’s day-to-day role involves setting the vision for and overseeing the progress of QBE’s specialty portfolio, including financial lines, accident and health, aviation, specialty programs and residential.

He also regularly meets with the leaders and staff of those businesses, shares performance metrics and strategy with the managerial committees and focuses on strengthening relationships with key trading partners and customers.

With almost 30 years’ insurance industry experience under his belt, Fortin has held various senior leadership roles in financial lines at BHSI and CNA Financial. He was also a managing director at Aon Financial Services Group. In addition, he has a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University and a master’s from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Citing his ability to keep a long-term focus on the business as his key strength, Fortin has forged a reputation for building high-performance teams.

He has also established a track record of enhancing products and developing a top-quality book of business.

“My experience has mostly involved long-tail lines where the temptation is to be more optimistic than realistic, and I’ve been through enough market cycles to know the importance of being realistic and accepting that sometimes you need to tone down growth to maintain rate adequacy,” said Fortin. “Over the long term, brokers and clients appreciate the stability that being realistic and disciplined provides.

“As a leader, I also encourage robust collaboration across functional areas — underwriting, claims, actuarial and product development — so that we can spot trends and solve customer problems more quickly and accurately. Finally, I believe in empowering the leaders that report to me and asking questions that help them think through issues to come up with their own strategies and tactics.”

Moving forward, Fortin’s focused on optimizing QBE’s specialty insurance business portfolio, both in North America and globally — for example, using the growth of the company’s financial lines and A&H to offset the property CAT exposure in its commercial insurance business. &

Dan Fortin has been selected as a 2023 Risk & Insurance® Executive to Watch. To see the other executives selected this year, visit here.

Alex Wright is a UK-based business journalist, who previously was deputy business editor at The Royal Gazette in Bermuda. You can reach him at [email protected].

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