The Best Insurance Professionals and Brokers Worldwide |
Global 100

Difference makers

The insurance industry continually faces challenges that require strong, decisive leaders, which has shaped IB’s Global 100 list for 2024.

All of the winners have taken their organizations to new levels with their insight and inspirational qualities. The industry as a whole can feel secure knowing that such skilled operators are mentoring, supporting, and giving their colleagues greater chances to shine, along with mapping out the best courses to plot. 

Colette Taylor – Sovereign Insurance 
Chief operating officer 

Leading from the front is never easy, but doing it under pressure and in challenging circumstances is what truly separates the best from the rest.

Taylor has completed a “Super Bowl” year by guiding the Canadian firm through two major projects:

  • implementing the largest technological overhaul in the firm’s history

  • introducing a new partner proposition 

The tech plan was key as it underpins their entire operation.

Taylor says, “Our technology was such legacy technology; to support our future, we had to modernize. It was also a reaction to certain parts of our business struggling with profitability in prior years and the realization of the need to invest in our capabilities and systems. We don’t just want to stay relevant in the market; we want to thrive.”

The changes have been introduced effectively and are working well, showcasing Taylor’s leadership prowess.

“I spend more time probably thinking about the people aspect of the business and the psychology than I do pouring over the numbers of the business,” she says. “Don’t get me wrong, the numbers are really important, but it’s how we operationalize things and how we’re able to execute, which is so much still grounded in the people aspect of our business.”

Listing the questions she routinely asks herself:

  • “How can I remove roadblocks for the team?”

  • “How can I advocate for the organization?”

  • “Where can I best support and serve?”

Taylor prescribes servant leadership and prepared Sovereign’s workforce for the major changes by using her experience of coming up through the ranks over the course of her 28-year career.

She says, “I reflected on my observations when I was in more junior leadership positions of everything that had frustrated me at the time of observing senior leaders, and either what they did or didn’t do. I wasn’t going to make the same mistakes. My way was to be really authentic in the way that we communicate with people so they can trust they’re getting straight messaging, whether it’s the message they want to hear or not.”

Another factor was Taylor’s focus on all the changes being fully completed and resisting the urge to use new systems before they were entirely bedded in.

“I had observed in my past that when companies get shiny new object syndrome, it gets half-baked. I had seen the churn that it creates in teams when they only half finish a project, but their resources are redeployed to something else,” she says. “I was clear that we were not taking on any other things. That was our mandate, and we were all pulling in that direction.”

Another signature of her leadership is realizing that having her input into everything is counterproductive. Taylor has the foresight to know that delegation pays dividends.

She says, “My proudest achievement would be knowing when to let the team and the experts run and do what they’re best at and knowing when to step in and assist with the difficult decision-making or help reframe to get back to the strategy. It gets harder to pin your own name to any individual milestones, and I think rightfully so, because no leader really gets there by doing everything themselves.” 

Collette Taylor
“I had observed leaders rising through the ranks who disassociate themselves from the person they’ve been and become unrelatable. I made a commitment to myself early in my leadership journey that I was always going to show up. I get a lot of validation and feedback from people that they appreciate that”
Colette TaylorSovereign Insurance

Phil Hobbs – Liberty Specialty Markets
President and managing director

Devising strategy and understanding in what direction to go are the acid tests for any leader. Hobbs has shown his ability to tackle both. He has overseen the expansion of LSM into a true global player.

“The biggest impact we have had is establishing ourselves as a material international player in Continental Europe, Asia, and Latin America while maintaining market-leading and award-winning businesses in London, MENA, and Australia. The business and our customer base today look very different from how we looked five years ago,” he says.

Even with his innovative mindset, Hobbs has not allowed LSM to deviate from its fundamentals of being:

  • consistent

  • thorough

  • insightful

Hobbs says, “The risk environment our customers operate in is extremely volatile, and what our clients and broker partners are looking for is a proper partnership. That long-term view is crucial to our value proposition.”

Being able to sustain success has seen LSM overcome industry-wide challenges such as:

  • managing the loss trend

  • adapting to the post-COVID-19 working environment

  • internally transforming to modernize 


However, one stands out as harder to manage than others for Hobbs.

“The ‘war on talent’ has reemphasized our people’s first values,” he says. “It is a collective effort of all of our people managers to ensure that we are challenging each other and setting a high-performance culture that continues to make people want to work for Liberty.”

While Hobbs is being honored, he attributes it to the “collective effort of his global team.” A key component of his success is ensuring projects are completed.

“I think that learning and maintaining an open mind are critical to being a good leader, but there is one simple thing I always aspire to do. It is also what I look for in my team – to finish the last 5%,” he says. “Starting things is the easy bit, but finishing them is where the real value lies. It sounds very simple, but you would be surprised if you used that as a filter and as a personal driver for what you might see around you.”

A 2024 PwC survey showed that 45% of CEOs don’t believe their business will be economically viable in a decade on its current path, up from 39% in 2023.

Hobbs relates to that opinion and is mindful of it in how he leads LSM forward.

He says, “While I would not put myself in that category, I do think that the sentiment is there that everything has to change. My goal is to build an organization that embraces and drives change rather than feeling like change is being imposed on it. We must adapt to the world around us to ensure we continue to provide that same partnership to our customers.” 

Phil Hobbs
“One of the great things about my job is that I am learning every day. A key component of our strategy is to attract, develop, and retain diverse, high-performing talent from within and outside our industry”
Phil Hobbs Liberty Specialty Markets


The Best Insurance Professionals and Brokers Worldwide | Global 100

  • Ajay Mistry
  • Alistair Hardie
  • Allison Carr
    Davies UK and Ireland
  • Allison Chan
    Munich Re
  • Amanda Blanc
  • Andrew Hall
    Insurance Council of Australia
  • Andrew Horton
    QBE Insurance
  • Barry Sonter
    Finsura Insurance Broking
  • Brady Kelley
  • Carl Hess
  • Charles Brindamour
  • Christian Sandric
    Allianz Commercial
  • Christine Williams
  • Claire Weston
    Great Lakes Insurance
  • Craig Buckle
    Lockton NZ
  • Dale Hansen
    BMS Coast to Coast
  • Dave Obenauer
    CRC Insurance Services
  • David Bruce
  • Debbie Coull-Cicchini
    Intact Insurance
  • Donna Ince
  • Erika Schiavoni
  • Gail Boudreaux
    Elevance Health
  • Gail Costa
    Chubb Life New Zealand
  • Garry Taylor
  • Geion Bright
  • George Woods
    Swiss Re
  • Graeme Trudgill
    British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) 
  • Hugh Sturgess
    Arch Insurance International
  • Huynh Thanh Phong, OBE
  • J Patrick Gallagher Jr.
  • J Powell Brown
    Brown & Brown
  • Jamie Lyons
    Westland Insurance Group
  • Jason Groves
    Marsh McLennan
  • Jennifer Fitzgerald
  • Jenny Bax
    Underwriting Agencies Council
  • Jill Comley-Forbes
    WTW New Zealand 
  • Joel Cavaness
    Risk Placement Services
  • John Doyle
    Marsh McLennan
  • John Michael Falvey
    Falvey Insurance Group
  • Jon Walker
    AXA Commercial
  • Juan Carlos Diaz-Padron
    GIC Underwriters
  • Julie Rayson-Flynn
    Adler Fairways
  • Justin Delaney
    Zurich Australia and New Zealand
  • Kate Chiew
    Great Eastern
  • Katrina Johnson
    CHU Underwriting Agencies
  • Katrina Shanks
    Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) 
  • Kay Jackson
    Simplex Insurance Solutions
  • Ken Norgrove
  • Kevin Strain
    Sun Life
  • Laura Hollerich
  • Lei Yu
    QBE Asia
  • Lisa Bartlett
    Crawford & Company
  • Lisa Patel
  • Mark Lingafelter
    Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
  • Matthew Power
    One80 Intermediaries
  • Matthew Shulman
    Arch Insurance North America
  • Maxine Goddard
    Sompo International
  • Mel Gorham
    Insurance Brokers Association of New Zealand (IBANZ)
  • Melanie Muse
  • Melissa Bajwa
  • Melissa Collett
    Insurtech UK
  • Michael Abdallah
    Liberty Specialty Markets
  • Michael Keating
    Managing General Agents’ Association (MGAA)
  • Mike Bruce
    Brown & Brown Europe
  • Nadia Hoyte
    USI Insurance Services
  • Naveed Irshad
    Manulife Canada
  • Neil Gibson
    Sedgwick International UK
  • Ngozi Nnaji
    Ako Brokerage Services
  • Nicholas Scofield
    Allianz Australia
  • Nick Creatura
    CNA Insurance
  • Nick Hawkins
  • Peter Blanc
    Howden Group Holdings
  • Peter Eastwood
    Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
  • Philip Kewin
    National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA)
  • Saad Mered
    Zurich Canada
  • Scott Gunter
    AXA XL
  • Sean McGovern
    AXA XL
  • Shaun Standfield
    Insurance Advisernet Australia
  • Sheri Clay
    J.T. Insurance Services
  • Simon Matson
  • Skye Theodorou
  • Sonia Boyle
    Gore Mutual Insurance
  • Stephen Billyard
    Billyard Insurance Group
  • Steve Lockwood
    Gallagher Australia and New Zealand
  • Susan Johnson
    The Hartford
  • Tim Bailey
  • Tony Buss
  • Tricia Griffith
    Progressive Insurance
  • Wendy Houser
  • Win-Li Toh
    Actuaries Institute
  • Wong Sze Keed
    AIA Singapore
  • Zahid Salman

About the Global 100

The Insurance Business Global 100 report shines a spotlight on outstanding professionals who are making a positive difference and helping drive change across the industry.

Now in its fifth year, this formidable list of the biggest names in insurance was put together by Insurance Business, leveraging its unique position as a true global publication and reaching six different markets – the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Asia-Pacific and the UK.

The Insurance Business team collectively deals with hundreds, if not thousands, of insurance industry professionals throughout the year for its daily newsletters, special reports and surveys, industry awards, and events. This range makes the Insurance Business team well positioned to tackle the intimidating task of whittling down the industry’s high achievers to just 100.  

The Global 100 list features outstanding professionals from all of the Insurance Business’ markets who are making waves in the industry, whether by driving growth and innovation within their own company, taking associations to new heights, advancing the business through education, or championing the key issues that can lead the industry toward a new era.

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