By ERIN GAZICA, associate editor
When The Navigators Group Inc. decided to begin underwriting insurance in China through it's Lloyd's syndicate--jumping on an opportunity to expand in a growing market that simply can't be passed up--they knew just the woman for the job.
"China is a market too big to be ignored," said JUNCI WU, who was tapped for the position. "The insurance market is relatively young but is experiencing tremendous growth every year.My background and desire to return tomy home country fit perfectly with the company's strategy of entering China."
Wu joined Navigators more than two years ago as a casualty underwriter in the company's Chicago office. She recently relocated to her native city of Shanghai to underwrite on behalf of Lloyd's Syndicate 1221 through the Navigators Underwriting Division of Lloyd's Reinsurance Company (China) Ltd.
Utilizing Lloyd's platform under a reinsurance license, Navigators is expanding its geographic footprint and diverse book of business by breaking into the hot areas of directors' and officers' and professional liability in China, as well as other Asian markets. Wu said she will also be marketing marine, energy and cargo business.
"Most of our business will be generated by brokers, many of which are international brokers who are currently supporting us in our U.S. and U.K. operations and now have expanded into China," said Wu.
"In the first couple weeks since I started, I have worked on D&O accounts and have also seen energy, product liability, clinical trials and E&O accounts."
Wu came to the United States 10 years ago to pursue a graduate education. She earned master's degrees from the University of Miami and also the Peter Drucker Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.After graduating, she began a career at Swett & Crawford in Los Angeles, although she was introduced to the insurance industry back in China.
Her part-time job while attending college in Shanghai involved simultaneous interpretation--English/Chinese. One of her clients was an insurance company that was exploring the market in China for reverse flow product liability.
"I quickly learned the basics about insurance," she said."After graduation in the United States, I continued in the industry."
While working at Swett & Crawford, then Interstate Insurance Co., and later Navigators, Wu also continued to further her education. She obtained professional designations as a Registered Professional Liability Underwriter and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter.
The CPCU was a no-brainer, with its strong curriculum for systematic training in the property/casualty lines. Once at Navigators, the RPLU served as a structured introduction for Wu into the D&O and E&O world.
"A designation is just a designation; I care more about the learning experience," said Wu. "During the process, I also got to know quite a few interesting people and made some friends in the circle."
The transition period in moving back to Shanghai has not been as easy as she thought it would be, Wu said.
"I became accustomed to the American way of living after spending more than 10 years in the states. I am going through some reverse cultural shock at this moment," she explained.
While she'll miss inexpensive rounds of golf that she took advantage of in the United States, Wu said she's looking forward to eating familiar and delicious local food, as well as catching up with old friends and spending time with her husband Eddie and son Luke.
When it comes to her clients, she said she's noticed that the average age of the people in the industry is very young.
"Shanghai is a city with its own order--dynamic but with its own rhythm," Wu said. "Most of my clients are energetic and optimistic. They walk fast, work fast--just like the city of Shanghai."
(Read the rest of the People on the Move newsletter from Oct. 1)
October 1, 2008
Copyright 2008© LRP Publications