Tech-Enabled but Human-Centered: Introducing Commercial Insurance’s Next Leadership Wave

The 2024 Executives to Watch know that data expertise is an important part of risk mitigation and transfer. But is it more important than the role of human collaboration and communication? 
By: | November 13, 2023

Managing risk and leading teams that manage risk is never an easy task. Risk can emerge with force and scope. Just look at how cyber risk and cyber risk insurance markets have grown over the past few years.

“The cyber insurance market has grown from $1 billion ten years ago to $15 billion today,” said Patrick Thielen, one of our 2024 Risk & Insurance Executives to Watch and the global head of cyber for Liberty Mutual’s Global Risk Solutions. 

“By some forecasts, it is projected to be in the ballpark of $100 billion in the next 10 years,” he added.  

That kind of growth can grab a lot of attention. But just as important as expanding risk is the need for the right talent in the insurance industry to offer expert advice.  

That’s why the industry’s talent needs deserve just as much attention as AI and other technology developments with the potential to aid or possibly transform underwriting. 

Rohan Dixon, the new head of Canada for Sompo International and another of our Executives to Watch, seems to be “spot on” as he considers the importance of talent and culture to his business and career goals. 

“We’re creating an environment that people want to come to and bring a like-minded mentality to the team,” Toronto-based Dixon said. 

“That immediately makes the cultural piece so much easier,” he added. 

Others in our ten-strong cadre of Executives to Watch for 2024 shared similar and related thoughts. 

“Good leadership is about supporting our teams, not standing in their way,” said Lucy Pilko, chief executive officer of insurance in the Americas for AXA XL, who is taking over for the retiring Joe Tocco. 

Knowing that people want to learn and grow is something that another Executive to Watch — The Hartford’s Tracey Ant — keeps close to her mind and heart. 

“I’m very proud of how we focus on individuals’ career development. We try to make it easier for people to move to new roles internally, to avoid becoming stagnant and to support continuous learning,” she said. “We want to make sure there are multiple ways to advance a career with us.”

Talent recruitment and development will be both a key opportunity and challenge for Ant in the coming year amid the ongoing talent shortage. Employee feedback will be a cornerstone of these efforts.

Companies that bring that talent along and keep the customer not only survive but thrive. It’s not an easy task, but these Executives to Watch take it on willingly. 

“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,” said Jenise Klein, regional head of corporate property, North America, at Allianz Commercial. 

Well said, and congratulations to her and the rest of our Executives to Watch. We will be watching — and hopefully learning — from all of you. & 

The 2024 Executives to Watch 

Lucy Pilko, chief executive officer, insurance in the Americas, AXA XL

Patrick Thielen, global risk solutions, global head of cyber, Liberty Mutual

Rohan Dixon, president and CEO, Canada, Sompo International

Tracey Ant, head of middle & large commercial, The Hartford

Owen Williams, chief information officer, Ascot U.S., and interim group chief information officer, Ascot Group

Allison Cooper, head of North America financial lines, AIG

Jenise Klein, regional head of corporate property for North America, Allianz

Dr. Melissa Burke, VP, head of client experience, AmTrust

Stephanie Seibold, president of alternative markets, The Hanover

Ray Ash, executive vice president, Westfield Specialty

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

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