Thomas McLeod – Assistant Underwriter

Name: Thomas McLeod
Job title: Assistant Underwriter
University: Edinburgh
Subject read: History and Languages
Year of Graduation: 2007

What attracted you to work in insurance?

The variety of classes of business, the personal element of transacting insurance.

Tell us about a normal days work for you.

The first part of my day is spent on any admin left over from the previous day and then making sure that the daily checks and reports my team need are run. The rest of the morning is spent on underwriting activity before I go over to Lloyd’s.  I am usually in Lloyd’s from 11.30am till about 4.30pm (break for lunch, as long as is professionally necessary).  When I get back to the office I will tidy up any outstanding issues, then work on underwriting any new risks that we have received during the day.

Tell us about the areas of the business you have worked in.

I have worked across a number of areas of reinsurance – Property, Aviation, Marine and Specialty classes (which include bloodstock, terrorism, nuclear, agriculture and space).

What do you like best about working at Ark?

The people I work with.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I think that I have a great work/life balance, what I do can be extremely rewarding without totally dominating my life.

What is the social life like?

As active or quiet as you want it to be.  The office is quite young so there are always people whose arms require minimal twisting if you want to go out.  Again with regard to brokers if you make the effort you can have a really good time.

What was studying for the ACII like and what support did you get?

I would advise getting down to the study as soon as possible, I found that you can differentiate yourself from other people of your experience level by doing it quickly.

What skills do you think are needed to be successful as an Assistant Underwriter?

An ability to prioritise tasks.  Organisation for your own personal work and that of the other senior underwriters who often require a fair amount of organising!  It doesn’t pay to be a shrinking violet, volunteer for tasks, give presentations and socialise as much as possible with other junior brokers and underwriters.

What is your top tip for applying for a job at Ark?

Give as good as you get.