Rising Star Sarah Griffith Talks New Challenges and the Power of Communication
Come see the Stars! As part of our ongoing coverage of the best brokers in the commercial insurance space, Risk & Insurance®, with the sponsorship of Philadelphia Insurance, is expanding its coverage of the Rising Stars, those brokers who represent the next wave of insurance brokering talent.
Look for these expanded profiles on the Risk & Insurance website and in your social media feeds throughout 2023.
What follow is our conversation with Sarah Griffith, senior vice president at Marsh and a 2023 At Large Power Broker winner.
Risk & Insurance: Can you tell us more about your management liability background? How did your career path bring you to where you are today?
Sarah Griffith: I started with AIG in 2008 in their management liability group. From there, I moved to Wells Fargo for three years, where I started in their small program book of business and eventually moved to middle market. Then I spent eight years with Beecher Carlson, where I was given opportunities to grow, and where I really became an expert in management liability. I had to learn how to explain really complex insurance to people who probably only thought about it once a year.
Then the pandemic hit, and I had a lot of time to think about what I wanted in my future. I felt that I needed a new challenge, and I’ve found that at Marsh, where I’ve broadened my experience outside of management liability.
R&I: You have had to help clients through transactions while facing high-stakes litigation. How do you prepare for difficult conversations with insurers and internal stakeholders at times when they might be uneasy?
SG: I would say proactive communication is key through whole process. Just being up-front and honest from the beginning about potential challenges — that transparency goes a long way to manage expectations.
R&I: How do you simplify the insurance-buying process for your clients?
SG: We deal with sophisticated buyers — CEOs and CFOs — but they are not thinking about insurance every day. I’ll talk through real-world claim scenarios to explain what the risks are and why they need certain coverage. This not only helps the client understand their insurance, but also reframes their thinking to examine all of their exposures. Often, that will push them to further explore risk mitigation beyond their insurance policies.
R&I: Where do you see room or opportunity for innovation within your field?
SG: Marsh has done great job of leveraging technology and data analytics to help our clients make more informed decisions, beyond just using benchmarking. Marsh continues to put a lot of money behind providing clients with meaningful information, and I think the full potential of data analytics remains untapped. We will continue to see new solutions and applications take shape, which can only serve to make our work more efficient and precise.
R&I: What goals or next steps are targeting for your career?
SG: I have found that you often are presented with the best opportunities when you aren’t necessarily looking for them. Right now, I’m really enjoying the role I’m in and am focusing on providing mentorship to the group of associate account executives that I manage. I try to stay connected with them and help to find opportunities that align with their personal career goals. That has been rewarding and definitely is something I want to continue.
For me personally, certainly there is room to move within Marsh, which is attractive. If anything, I would say that I have always had a bug in me to live abroad, so that’s on my radar.
R&I: Where would you want to live?
SG: London would probably be the easiest transition. But the world is my oyster. I am open to almost anywhere. &