Employee Spotlight: Nina Woollard

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New Brand. Same Specialist Team.

Today we caught up with one of our Commercial Combined Underwriters: Nina Woollard.

Today we caught up with one of our Commercial Combined Underwriters: Nina Woollard.

Hi Nina, how are you? Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Could you tell us how long you've been with MX Commercial, and what you’re responsible for?

Hello! I haven’t been here long actually. Since April 2022. Timing meant that I joined around a week before our internal Growth Conference, which I loved attending! From the perspective of a new joiner, I found that the informal mixing with people throughout Specialist Risk Group was a great way to start my first few weeks at the company.

I’m an Underwriter that focuses on Commercial Combined (CC), so my goal is to grow the CC book that we have.

Can you describe how you got to where you are now?

I honestly never knew what I wanted to do when I was at school. I followed what I was good at, and those things were maths, physics, and computer programming. For a 16-year-old girl who loves horses and socialising, these subjects were quite dry for me! Even though I was successful in those subjects, I did not really enjoy socialising in class, and I found engaging with education quite difficult, so when I finished school, I dove straight into work.

My first job came from a newspaper! It was a role in Motor Insurance as an apprentice. They wanted school leavers, so it was perfect. I enjoyed my time there, it was a vibrant place, fast-paced and full of other 16-year-olds learning along with me.

As I have mentioned, I really loved horses, and I wanted to explore Equine and see what possibilities that might have for me. So, after working in Motor Insurance for a while, I left and joined University. I studied Stud and Horse Breeding.

I took about a year out to do that and to look after a foal I had purchased, before diving back into the world of insurance. I wanted to really drill down into where in the industry I would like to work, so I did a few contractor roles, temping, and maternity cover roles. These were usually around Liability cover, PA, and Professional Sports insurance. I was always underwriting, and always within Lloyd’s.

From there, I got into underwriting for Marine business. I was an assistant in this role, and I would help to write cover for ports, terminals, cargo, liability, and PI and then led on to a class called UK Marine – which is essentially Commercial Combined, but for Marine.

I really loved this role and had a supportive underwriter who helped me progress. They also gave me a higher understanding of the relationship management side of things.

At the time the London Market was proving to be a bit challenging to work in. I sadly had a few different jobs within six months at one point. Sometimes you just get hit with some bad luck and some unforeseen redundancies, but I never let it get me down and I kept going!

That sounds stressful! How did you bounce back?

The last company I worked for in that ‘bad patch’ was absolutely great to work for. Even though it was a short stint, the people I worked with were so supportive and lovely – sometimes kindness just gives you the energy you need you know?

I have been made redundant twice in my career, and that happening early on does affect you. I have noticed that I can get a bit anxious if work is a little bit quiet, being quiet or having a slow day at work is not in my remit anymore!

Being busy and receiving updates on company growth gives such comfort, and it is something I really value at MX Commercial and SRG by extension.

What happened next?

I found a new role of course! It was in a high-pressure trading environment; the workload was enormous and at the time made me feel secure. The office had a nice atmosphere too, you could feel that the people working there were go-getters.

I call this job my deep-end moment – It was a steep learning curve, and it rocketed my knowledge and experience level. I had no option but to deal with things quickly and therefore I grew quickly. I think roles like that are the most efficient way of training yourself to be the best you can be. Pressure makes a diamond!

After I had taken this steep learning curve, I thought it was my time to find something new. By this time, I did not want to choose just a new job, company culture had become incredibly important to me, and I wanted to work alongside like-minded people.

After lockdown, I found a listing for SRG! I had an interview and here we are!

That is great Nina, now we are firmly back in the present. What are you most excited about when it comes to MX Commercial?

Quite a lot. I am excited about the growth and potential there is here. I have come to this company because I like where the company is going, I think we are at the start of something quite exciting, and you feel that when you attend the internal events and talk to other employees here. I am excited to be involved with it.

Could you tell us something about yourself that might surprise us?

Sure – There are a few things that people are usually shocked to hear about me.

I have competed in horse shows and even came 5th at the largest horse show in the country. I was 18 when I did this, with the foal I purchased and trained myself! I am still very proud of that.

More recently though: I am a semi-professional triathlete! In 2022 I successfully beat the European champion and in 2023 I will be aiming even higher! It is a sport I took up in 2021.

Finally, I am a competitive open water swimmer, I do between 5k and 8k. In lockdown I felt like I needed something – and that became running triathlons at a venue close to my home. I loved it and ended up training all winter!

Get in touch with Nina

Nina specialises in our Commercial Combined product. You can learn more about how you can take advantage of this flexible cover here

Alternatively, click here if you'd like to get in touch with Nina and her team.


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