Meet Dean | Careers | Zurich Insurance in the UK

Meet Dean

 Dean Cloke     

Role: Market Underwriter

Business area: Product Underwriting

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

When did you join Zurich?

I joined Zurich in 2009 straight from Cardiff University (via Thailand and Australia) on the UKGI graduate programme.

Can you describe your first role?

My first role at Zurich was within the property product underwriting team in Birmingham. This was a great place to start my career at Zurich as it gave me a fantastic amount of exposure to both Zurich stakeholders and a wide variety of work from both an individual risk perspective as well as the wider portfolio view.

What roles did you take on afterwards and why?

I have since undertaken a secondment in the UKGI City Office where I am underwriting and negotiating large corporate property exposures in the London market. The role presented me with the opportunity to grow my property knowledge as well as giving me exposure to large and complex cases with the unique London market interaction.

What has been your most significant and challenging role and why?

Certainly moving to London from both a business and personal perspective presented a challenge, however it is something that I have not looked back on from day one and I am continuing to enjoy the experience every day. It has always been an ambition of mine to work and live in London and Zurich's capability to realise my ambitions has been positive.

What are the key skills required in your current role?

People skills - Insurance is very much a personal business, I am a firm believer that personal relationships and understandings carry a great deal of weight both internally and externally. Being flexible and able to respond to different and eleventh hour challenges is crucial and having the negotiating skills to get the best deal for Zurich is very important.

What development support have you received?

I have received a large amount of development support from my first day at Zurich. I actively used my manager and mentor who were both really supportive. My mentor was extremely useful in planning out my next career moves and giving me a different perspective outside of underwriting. In addition I have received support from the UKGI Graduate Programme and having the Graduate Network to bounce ideas and aspirations off is still useful to this day.

What is the best piece of career advice you have been given?

No one else will manage your career except you.

What do you see as your next step?

Who knows - one of the great strengths of Zurich is that it provides a world of opportunity for its employees and I will continue to keep learning, improving and developing and see where it takes me.