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Meet Bernie


Role: Senior Development Underwriting

Business area: Underwriting

Find out more about Bernie by clicking on the questions below.

  • When did you first join Zurich?
    I joined Zurich in March 2008 and started as an assistant underwriter before progressing to market underwriter in 2009
  • Can you describe your first role?
    Both of these roles gave me experience of responsibility and development of nominated brokers and customer accounts. I also developed a greater understanding of the market and strong technical knowledge.
  • What roles did you take on afterwards and why?
    After starting as an assistant market underwriter I took the next natural step to be a market underwriter in 2009. This involved the acquisition of profitable new business within the SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) segment through key broker accounts. Through delivering exceptional customer service, I have achieved substantial growth in these accounts and built a strong market profile. In addition to this, development of market and assistant market underwriters is a key aspect of this role and I have been a mentor for members of the team. This helped me prepare for my application to senior development underwriter, which I progressed to in 2011.
  • What has been your most significant and challenging career move and why?
    Being promoted to senior development underwriter has been both significant and challenging. I identified this role early on in my career as something to aim for and incorporated this goal into my Individual Development Programme. The role was created in SME and combines both Underwriting and Sales - challenging, but at the same time exciting!
  • What are the key skills required in your current role?
    Organisational skills, negotiation skills, strong technical knowledge, communication skills, decision making skills, ability to work on your own without supervision as well as part of a team, hard working, adaptable and high market visibility.
  • What development support have you received?
    Ever since I started work at Zurich, the management in SME and Leeds branch have been very supportive with my Individual Development Plan. In addition, being part of the Commercial Broker Talent Framework has given me wider exposure to the company and contributed to my development.
  • What is the best piece of career advice you have been given?
    Set in mind what level you want to be at (whether it be a grade or a role), identify your skills gaps and incorporate into your Individual Development Plan. This way you will already be demonstrating the key skill set required for future roles.
  • What do you see as your next step?
    I see my next step being a move into senior management