Congratulations to the 2016 Class of IBANY Emerging Leaders!

Associate Member

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Scott Johnson Headshot

Scott Johnson
Bershire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

 Windsor Locks, CT

Education: BA in Economics & Psychology from Williams College
Chief Mentor: Todd Johnson

I was first introduced to insurance when my older brother took a position at Guy Carpenter while I was still in college. His positive experience encouraged me to follow him into the industry a few years later. I started my career as a claims analyst, but quickly realized that underwriting was the side of the business best suited for me. The analytical focus and need for innovative thinking are what attracted me to underwriting. Global Excess Partners gave me the opportunity to transition to underwriting early in my career, which provided great exposure to a diverse book of business, customers and brokers.

I jumped at the chance to join Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) in its early days, to be part of a startup with a trusted brand behind it. In a few short years, BHSI has built a creative, collaborative and customer-focused environment that makes me excited to go to work. I have grown tremendously from being part of the early expansion of the company, as well as from the knowledge and experience that my BHSI team has shared with me.

What has kept me in this industry for over a decade is the great colleagues I work with on a daily basis. I have made many good friends and I have learned a great deal from my mentors, counterparts and the industry as a whole. I am honored to be BHSI’s 2016 IBANY Emerging Leader and feel lucky to be in a business where hard work, motivation and commitment are rewarded and young professionals have immense opportunity to thrive.

Wholesale Member

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Albert Leung, CPCU, CPL 
Distinguished Programs

Hometown: New York, NY
Education: BA in Economics & Philosophy from SUNY Binghamton
Chief Mentor: Doug Legsters & Mark Euiler

Like many, I never thought I would have ended up working in insurance as a career. Yet, the industry offers more than one would initially think. The impetus to my career was my high school after-school job at David J. Louie, where I learned the very basics of insurance and hard work. I went to college, thinking I would never come back into insurance, because I never thought insurance was what I wanted to do. Yet, like many of us, I never found another career that really peaked my interest.

I joined Distinguished a few years after college. It was there that I discovered how much more there was to the industry. It was beyond what I knew a job could be. There was a culture of innovation and collaboration. Distinguished allowed me the freedom to ask questions and challenge the status quo. It gave me the opportunity to implement change to our processes and to join team projects that would impact the company’s future. There was also a culture of camaraderie. There were the softball and soccer leagues. There were culture weeks, book clubs and happy hours. It was work, yet it was not just work. It was fun.

My hope for the future is that we have more companies move beyond the traditional insurance companies of the past. I hope for a future where the insurance industry challenges the norm. I hope for an industry that looks beyond our preconceived notions and “what has worked in the past.” We should be open minded and we should question. And beyond all that, we should have fun!

Thank you, Distinguished and IBANY, for this honor!

 Retail Broker

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Matthew Litchman, CRIS 
HUB International NE

Hometown: North Plainfield, NJ
Education: BA in History from Colorado State University
Chief Mentors: Ken Schreiber

Like many, I entered the insurance industry unintentionally. I was working as a restaurant manager in 2011 and was asked by a customer if I’d like to join his agency and assist with his surety book of business. I had never heard of surety, but was looking for something new and exciting, so I took the opportunity. While I was there I became heavily involved in commercial and personal lines insurance, which helped me build a wide range of skills in a variety of areas. In 2014 I began working at HUB in the Commercial Risk Management department with a team that manages large construction, real estate and restaurant accounts. I soon realized how diverse this industry is and how it is filled with so many brilliant people.

Insurance is complex and presents a lot of challenges, which allows me to walk away from the office every day with more knowledge than when I walked in that morning. I’m also given the opportunity to help people — whether its’s clients or colleagues — which makes my job truly rewarding. Finding myself in a place where there is just so much to know inspires me to supplement my work experience with outside education so I can add as much value to the HUB organization as possible. Earning my CRIS designation and working towards my CPCU and ARM has had an immeasurable impact on my knowledge of the industry and related skillset.

As I look to the future, I am eager to continue working with talented people inside and outside the organization while learning as much as I can about the industry and our client’s industries. Our influential role as risk management professionals can add a lot of value to businesses and individuals we work with, and I look forward to having that continued positive impact.

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Christie Azzolini
The Travelers

Hometown: Toms River, NJ
Education: BS in Business Management from Rowan University
Chief Mentor: Impossible to name just one

Thank you ,Travelers and IBANY, for choosing to recognize me as a 2016 Emerging Leader! I am truly honored to represent Travelers.

After I graduated from college in 2001, I had absolutely no idea of what I wanted to do. I contemplated everything from taking the summer off, to getting a job at Bloomingdales, to doing something in the music industry. My senior year of college I spent a semester in Australia, so I even considered moving across the world to work abroad!

In my mind, with a business degree, the possibilities of what industry to enter were endless. Then my uncle presented me with an opportunity to work at AIG. Yes, I had some family at the time working in the insurance industry (don’t we all?). There just happened to be an opening within the professional associate training program that summer, which would introduce me to all things insurance. After about six months I would have a job underwriting umbrella policies (whatever that meant). My cousin was also working for AIG at the time. He shed some light on the insurance industry, what an “umbrella” underwriter actually did and how it was actually a good gig. Fifteen years later, here I am!

After spending a couple years in AIG’s umbrella division, I moved on to underwriting primary casualty for AIG’s Construction division in Philadelphia. After AIG Construction I moved back to New Jersey and spent about seven years with NIP Group before starting with Travelers Construction in 2012.

I am fortunate to have met some incredible and wonderfully talented people over the past 15 years, but now I feel like I have found my home with Travelers.



Michael Bernstein
Marsh and McLennan Agency

Hometown: Bellmore, NY
Education: BS in Business Administration from Adelphi University
Chief Mentor:  Debra Alarin, Kathryn Morrongiello and Rubin Alspector

While many young people are unaware of the value of insurance, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to the insurance industry firsthand. As the son of a State Farm Insurance agent, I spent numerous weekend mornings and countless summer days learning the ins and outs of the insurance field. From comforting a person after an accident to helping a client who has just lost their home in a fire, I realized very quickly the value of helping people recover from the unexpected. My father taught me the importance of providing clients with strong customer service, as well as how to build and maintain client relationships.

From these valuable experiences, I was motivated to embark on my own insurance journey within the commercial lines field. As a technical assistant for Marsh and McLennan Agency I was able to further develop my foundational skills as an insurance professional. With a true passion for learning, I took an active role in managing small to middle market accounts with the intent of learning as much as I could. Within the following years, I became a senior account manager in the large commercial division. I am fortunate that Marsh and McLennan Agency has provided me with outstanding leaders who support and encourage me to grow as an insurance professional.

As for the future, I am eager to enhance my knowledge of insurance across all fields of commercial lines. In addition, I would like to mentor and educate other insurance professionals as they enter the workforce. The insurance industry provides me with endless opportunities and challenges in an ever-changing world. IBANY has been a critical part of my growth in the insurance industry. I am honored to be a member of the IBANY Emerging Leader Class of 2016 and would like to thank Marsh and McLennan Agency for believing in my future.


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Johanna Brooks
General Star Management Co.

Hometown: Queens, NY
Education: Fordham University
Chief Mentor: Kevin Brooks & Matt Marrin

I love learning about the different risks and opportunities that you find in the excess & surplus lines industry; it is what makes this industry so dynamic. I remember learning about 3D printers well before the media brought it to the public’s attention. A portable device that measures a person’s blood alcohol level had people chatting in our office, as did the opportunity to underwrite a prestigious university. However, the submission I received to quote the Dave Matthews Band concert remains my personal favorite.

The fact that the E&S industry provides solutions to entities that in turn help build our country’s economy is what makes this segment of the business very exciting to me. The people I have met throughout my career have also helped me stay engaged. The camaraderie that exists in this industry is like no other.

My experiences as an underwriter and manager at General Star have helped me mentor college students through my involvement in NAPSLO. When mentoring, I stress the value of hard work and participating in notable projects in order to grow an individual’s technical skills while also promoting his or her brand. I also like to point out that collaborating with others, sharpening your skills and strengthening relationships with others helps to build a lasting career. In the future, I would like to continue to motivate and develop people while finding opportunities to help our business grow. As manager of a very talented group of underwriters I am fortunate to be able to do this each day.

I am very thankful to General Star for designating me its 2016 IBANY Emerging Leader and for the enduring support throughout my career. While at General Star I have been blessed with so many opportunities and have worked with some of the brightest people in the insurance industry.


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Tim Cain
Foa & Son Corporation

Hometown:  Belmar, NJ
Education: US Merchant Marine Academy

I came into the insurance industry like most people do: I fell into it backwards!

After I graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy with a degree in Maritime Operations and Technology along with licenses as a 3rd Officer Unlimited Tonnage and QMED, I went to sea for a couple of years. Much of that time, I was at sea two months on and two months off. During one of the off periods, I picked up a part-time claims job for a shipping company. I was pushing a lot of paper before getting the opportunity to do some surveying work. From there, I was hired as a full-time marine surveyor with a prominent firm specializing in high profile cargo surveys, Hull & Machinery and Protection & Indemnity matters. My clients ranged from large importers and exporters to vessel operators, terminals, attorneys and insurance companies.

One of those insurance companies invited me to come on board as an underwriter. At C.V. Starr I worked in all lines of marine insurance. I also served in the US Navy Reserve for 8 years, exiting as a lieutenant. Together with my Merchant Marine experience and my time as a surveyor, I’ve developed what I think is a unique perspective to apply to my clients' endeavors in the world of maritime transportation and the insurance that stands behind it.

While I might not have planned to enter the insurance industry, I can definitely recommend it to any young person looking for a rewarding career, particularly marine insurance. The community is the best part. The marine and maritime community is small and we all know each other. There’s a lot of camaraderie. The insurance industry will always be around and everyone needs to ship. If you think about the things you use in your work and life daily, all of it has been shipped at some point. So marine insurance is one of the biggest things supporting our ever-growing economy!


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Allison M. Conlon
Wells Fargo Insurance Service USA

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Education: Christ the King RHS
Chief Mentor: Gene Schoenhofen & James McCarthy

After graduating high school and unsure of what I wanted to pursue in life, I began working as a temporary employee. This exposed me to various industries. I took a temp positon as a mail clerk at an insurance brokerage, not realizing it would lead me to the first stepping stone on my journey.

Truthfully, I wasn’t immediately drawn to our industry. It wasn’t glamorous; we weren’t creating miracles or changing the world. My career started as a commercial lines assistant and in time I realized how important our role was to the financial stability of our clients. I began to realize that the product we were selling was providing security for our clients. Additionally it provides a safety net that is vital and allows them to pursue their goals, objectives and vision. Becoming an insurance broker gave me purpose. I wanted to do right by our trusting clients. I wanted to grow as a broker to prove to my associates who had invested in me that they choose wisely.

Joining the Wells Fargo team as an account executive was the next stepping stone in my career. I knew it was not going to be an easy transition. I knew I would be challenged. What I did not expect was for my team members to set the bar as high as they did. Of course my team wanted me to succeed, but it was their leadership and guidance that gave me the ambition to rise to the occasion. It was my mentors that rallied me to become more confident in my abilities, to think outside the box for creative solutions for our clients and our organization, and to lead by example. Most importantly, they helped feed my passion for what I love to do.

I’m optimistic for what the future has in store for me and our evolving industry. I know my journey is far from over. I’m excited to continue to develop professionally, give back to younger professionals and share my experiences. I would like to thank Wells Fargo for nominating me as its 2016 Emerging Leader. It’s an honor and validates that I am truly on the right path.


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John Conway
AmWINS Brokerage of NY

Hometown: Jackson Heights, Queens
Education: BA in History from Siena College
Chief Mentor: Tom Cesare

I started my career at Willis Re in NYC working with their treaty reinsurance team. The team’s expertise was Corporate CAT covers for property. We worked hand-in-hand with profit center managers, as well as our clients’ ceded re divisions. Not many people right out of school were given the chance to be at meetings with insurance company executive officers and decision makers. It intrigued me and made me grow fast. I always say I learned the business from the top down.

Over the years, I transitioned to wholesale brokering – wanting to make my own path as a revenue-driving employee. I have been a property producer for the last six years of my 10-year insurance career. I get up every day knowing I work with some of the most intelligent, forward thinking and down to earth people in the industry. The constant encouragement, positive thinking and collaborative atmosphere keep me engaged. I find myself dropping my own tasks to help out my colleagues and vice versa. The environment I work in is truly a recipe for success, not only in the short term, but more importantly, the long term. I plan on living until at least 90, so long term is where my head is at right now.

I have been given so many opportunities to learn from some of the most skilled people in the industry – from insurance company pricing actuaries to claims specialists to 35-years-in-the-industry career underwriters. I would say the biggest opportunity in this industry is to find a spot where the learning never stops and learn it from good people. I am grateful every day for that.

Looking into the future, I hope to continue in my current role here at AmWINS and help bring up future talent and teach them the way I was taught. Be a man of your word, do the right thing, work smart, work hard and success will follow.



Matthew Cox
The Hartford

Hometown: East Windsor, NJ
Education: BS in Business Administration from Boston University
Chief Mentor: Susan Dinnien & Stavroula Alachnowicz

I am honored to be recognized as The Hartford’s 2016 IBANY Emerging Leader. Today marks eight years to the day since I began working in insurance. I was hired out of college, alongside nine others, to be part of a personal lines underwriting team for Chubb in New Jersey. This was a valuable building block to understanding the basics of insurance and underwriting on the desk. What I quickly realized was that I wanted a role which had the sales and marketing responsibilities in addition to underwriting and that’s what drew me to commercial insurance.

In the past eight years, the only thing constant for me has been change, because of all the various career avenues this industry affords. Whether it’s taking on a new role within an organization, moving from the broker to carrier side or working for a competitor, this industry welcomes changes and provides plenty of options. This is what makes our industry so great. With change comes the opportunity to learn and connect with a variety of people, which is one of the biggest motivators for me coming to work every day.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support and encouragement from my managers, mentors and colleagues. I want to truly thank The Hartford and our collective team in NYC which have been welcoming since I started working for the company over two years ago. Throughout every step of the way, the organization has been supportive of career advancement.

I envision taking on a role to lead others in the near future. I would like to help individuals grow professionally and share with them the endless opportunities that this industry offers. Thank you all for making this industry so much fun to be a part of.


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Sue Ann Damassia
CNA Insurance

HometownHuntington, NY
Education: BA in Mathematics and Economics from Lafayette College
Chief Mentor: Anthony Battaglia

When I was given the opportunity to leave Manhattan to work in CNA’s Long Island office, I felt both exhilaration and trepidation. Previously, I had been in the financial institutions specialty insurance group as part of a team of underwriters focused on insurance companies. Now, I was tasked with profitably growing a book of business consisting of asset managers, insurance companies and banks while developing strategically important relationships with Long Island brokers.

Solving this challenge provided me with the opportunity to broaden and employ a unique set of skills - interpersonal, analytical, strategic and quantitative, to name a few. Working with local brokers has underscored the fact that forming successful partnerships based on mutual trust and respect are vital to growing the business.

Under the guidance of my mentor, CNA’s Financial Institutions Northeast Zone Leader Anthony Battaglia, my leadership abilities and subject matter expertise have increased exponentially.

While the work is challenging, I never thought I could have so much fun in insurance. I’m honored to receive the Emerging Leader recognition from IBANY because it is such an impact organization and great advocate for the industry. I am thankful to CNA for being invested in my development and excited to be recognized as a future leader in this industry.


John Ferguson

Hometown: Pearl River, NY
Education: BS in Business Management from University of Scranton
Chief Mentor: Nick Licato

Like a lot of us, entering the insurance industry was not on my radar upon graduation from university. I grew up in a blue collar town and family. My father was NYPD and my mother was a stay at home mom for my early years, and the safe bet would have been that I would have followed a similar career path as my father. From an early age, it was instilled in me that hard work and integrity were the keys to success, not only in your professional life, but more importantly, in life in general. Our high school sports program had a slogan, “A Tradition of Excellence” and it’s something that I took to heart.

Through a college friend, I was offered my first insurance job claims investigating, eventually moving up to claims adjuster. After a few years, AIG offered me a position as an underwriter, where there was a great emphasis on learning and my time there was invaluable. After a few years, I made the move to Ironshore and it couldn’t have gone better.

Ironshore has been described as a “meritocracy” and that is exactly the type of environment a young, ambitious professional should strive to be in. During my tenure with the company, I have seen my responsibilities grow exponentially, simultaneously growing my enjoyment for the field we work in. I travel to new places, meet good people and genuinely enjoy what I do.

I would not have been afforded any of these opportunities if I did not adhere to the values mentioned above. I take a tremendous pride in where I came from and try to hold myself to the “Tradition of Excellence” expected. I am honored to be Ironshore’s 2016 IBANY Emerging Leader.



Abigail Flinter
Chubb Group

Hometown:  Hamden, CT
Education:  BA in Political Science from Fordham University
Chief Mentors:  Audrey Testerman

I have worked in the insurance industry for nearly 14 years. Upon graduation, I was recruited by Chubb and started what has been, and what will continue to be, a wonderful career full of opportunity. Over the years, I have held various positions within Chubb ranging from operations management to underwriting management. Currently, I am an Assistant Vice President and Manager of Property, Marine, Technology and International underwriting in the New York City office; managing a team of eleven underwriters.

Overall, Chubb and the insurance industry as a whole have helped me have a meaningful career. In my current role as an underwriting manager I am able to help junior underwriters develop the skills they need to grow in their careers. I enjoy sharing my personal success story with individuals interested in pursuing a career in the insurance industry and hope they have the same success.

This industry has provided me with career options that have allowed me to constantly expand and grow. I have found Chubb and in a larger part, the industry to be extremely supportive and rewarding.


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Mark Fox
Preferred Concepts LLC

Hometown: Nesconset, NY 
Education: BA in Communications from Salisbury & AS in Business from Briarcliffe College 
Chief Mentor: Robert Lynch

Contrary to popular belief, the insurance industry is an exciting, nuanced and lively world. I’ve found that everyday can be a new adventure, where new challenges allow for the possibility of completely new solutions. Participating in that problem-solving is exhilarating to me and I seek out the novelty of those challenges.

I was first introduced to the industry by my mother, a retail agent. Growing up, she would return home from work and recount a seemingly endless list of stories about her day. For her, there were never enough hours in the day for work. Her passion about the industry helped foster my own, and I knew early on that I wanted to be part of it.

Like any business sector, the insurance industry is constantly changing. Being able to adapt to change is vital to the industry’s continued success. Luckily, I have always found that seasoned insurance professionals, regardless of their area of expertise, are always willing to impart their knowledge; not only to the betterment of brokers like myself, but also to the industry as a whole. I feel it is our responsibility to show more young professionals that this business is not a static industry, but instead one that promotes change and fosters relationships that last a lifetime.

I would like to thank IBANY for the opportunity to be here and Preferred Concepts for selecting me to be among such an admirable group of emerging leaders.



Christine Genova
Allied World Assurance Company

Hometown: Westfield, NJ
Education: BA in Psychology from Providence College
Chief Mentor: Ed Moresco & Paul Bernabeu

I studied business in college and knew that I wanted a career in a growing, dynamic industry. After speaking with a career counselor at school, I was drawn to the insurance field, as it seemed both challenging and exciting and was a perfect blend of technical and interpersonal skills. After graduating college, I was given the opportunity to join AIG as an entry level underwriter, which allowed me to learn the business from the ground up. Over the course of my five years with the company, I was promoted annually and given increasing levels of responsibility. When I departed in 2009, I was managing a team of six underwriters.

When I was given the opportunity to work within the new Private/Non-Profit D&O division of Allied World, I welcomed the challenge to be part of a new team and build a new book of business. I have been fortunate to always work for organizations and individuals who have facilitated and encouraged my professional growth. Over the years I have been given opportunities to lead and mentor others, spearhead new products and build new relationships while always holding onto the goal-oriented mentality that keeps me engaged and passionate about my work.

I have been honored to work with so many knowledgeable and supportive peers and mentors who have believed in me, given me the freedom to express my creativity and embraced my desire to learn and develop my skills. My hope for the future is that more young people are drawn to this industry as it is one of the most rewarding, challenging and ever evolving places to build a career. I am thankful to Allied World for believing in my future and selecting me as a 2016 IBANY Emerging Leader.


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Amy Kansay, CISR
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Inc.

Hometown: Little Falls, NJ
Education: BBA from Pace University Lubian School of Business
Chief Mentor:  A whole team, but particularly Bruce Tindal

My insurance career began shortly after receiving my BBA, when I was awarded an internship within the “Bollinger Academy.” From there, I was able to identify which areas of the industry I was most interested in pursuing and develop a career plan.

Upon completion of my internship, a position opened unexpectedly within the marketing department and needed to be filled immediately. I felt, wholeheartedly, that this position was a great fit for me, as I wanted to further pursue my career within the company. This wonderful hands-on learning opportunity availed itself to me and I knew it was an important moment in not only my career, but developing stronger relationships within and outside of the company. This proved to be true, as I have remained with the company through a major acquisition. Through all of these years, I continue to build upon existing relationships and build new ones with clients and producers, as well as other opportunities that present themselves.

As any insurance professional will tell you, each day brings a new set of challenges and as a result, a new set of questions that need to be answered. I may come into work on any given day and find there is a new carrier, client or coworker who needs my services. I find joy in not only helping clients personally, but providing them with other additional resources and professionals within our company to answer any question or solve any problem they may have.

While I can’t predict what the future may hold — despite client wishes — as the industry grows, I look forward to continued growth as a marketing professional.



Lia M. Krautmanis
Sterling Risk

Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI
Education: JD from Brooklyn Law School; BA in Communication from Boston College
Chief Mentor: My dad, Agris Krautmanis

After graduating law school, I started my legal career at a small general practice firm where I put in lots of hours without any defined career goals or opportunities for innovation. I loved the part of the job that allowed me to strategically plan and weigh risk against reward, but wanted to apply those skills in a more diverse environment. I began looking for non-traditional legal opportunities, and all of the positions that excited me most were in the world of insurance and risk management. I eventually accepted a hybrid position at SterlingRisk, which has both satisfied and strengthened my desire for a fluid and dynamic career path.

SterlingRisk is not only one of the largest national insurance brokers, but also provides risk management, advisory and consulting services that extend beyond those of a traditional insurance brokerage. This has allowed me to naturally transition my legal skills in a variety of areas, including regulatory review, licensing, marketing, legal cost control, risk management, programs and compliance – which I now manage for the company. I am constantly encouraged to think outside the box and consider every option that can be offered to our clients, as a broker, and as a business partner and advisor.

This business brings new challenges every day with ample opportunities for creative problem solving. There is nothing more satisfying than anticipating a client’s needs and presenting them with a tailored and thoughtful set of solutions. I am currently studying for my CPCU and look forward to continuing to learn, grow and achieve in this industry.

I am truly honored and humbled to have been selected as a 2016 IBANY Emerging Leader. I would like to thank IBANY for the opportunity, and the wonderful SterlingRisk team for the nomination and support.


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Jon Paul Pace

Hometown: Manhasset, NY
Education: BS from Towson University
Chief Mentor: Dan McGinnis

Throughout my 27 years of existence, I have been presented with many opportunities. None greater than the one presented to me in 2010 upon graduating from Towson University. A family-friend-owned insurance agency was looking for a certificate processor and came to me with the opportunity as I was still searching for a career path.

Attempting to make the most of this opportunity, I became the commercial lines assistant, then a commercial account executive, and finally the new business underwriter. Those five years of experience gave me the opportunity to join CapSpecialty as a primary casualty underwriter, where I still work today.

Along my journey, I have encountered many insurance professionals that have helped me become the professional I am today. These professionals all have three things in common: relationships, discipline and ingenuity. These qualities, which I have now instilled into my everyday business practice, keep me motivated to strive for success in the insurance industry.

In this ever evolving-industry, the relationships with my peers and advisors are what will hold strong against any challenges and obstacles this profession might present. As an underwriter, it is my obligation to provide innovative solutions to my brokers and clients. Each day, I take this challenge as an opportunity to grow as an individual and professional. I am humbled and honored to be chosen as a 2016 Emerging Leader and would like to thank IBANY and CapSpecialty for designating me as such.



Shiraz Saeed

Hometown: New Hyde Park, NY
Education: BBA from Hofstra University, MBA from Pace University
Chief Mentor: Saeed A. Tayyab

I wanted to take the time to tell everyone how I got into the risk management industry and why I plan on staying in it for the rest of my professional career. Quite frankly, it was just meant to be.

My whole life has been spent in the business environment and I can thank my father for that. He came to this country with literally a “dollar and a dream” and worked relentlessly to achieve his dream. He owned his own business and working with him my whole life helped me develop the skills that have helped me flourish today – skills like customer service and negotiation. All through college I worked with him.

When I graduated from college I worked as a real estate broker in New York City. While I was trying to establish my career as a real estate broker, my lifelong best friend – from age six to now – was working at AIG as an underwriter. Over the years, he went on to be a successful broker with Arc Excess and Surplus.

Eventually, I decided to get my MBA from Pace University here in downtown New York City. AIG was recruiting underwriters. I had no idea what it was, but my best friend the broker did! From there I went on to become an underwriting trainee and I have been growing ever since. And here I am getting an award for my leadership in the insurance industry!

Our whole lives my friend and I planned to work together and now we do, me on the carrier side and him on the broker side. This is why I feel it was meant to be. I have been in multiple industries and feel my home is here in risk management, because it is a sector where I can leverage my skills for true success.