How people can shape an insurance journey

One executive has seen her career molded by individuals

How people can shape an insurance journey

Insurance News


For Laura Zoltan (pictured), success is driven by people. As the senior vice president and industry practice lead of strategy and distribution at Arch Insurance Group, her journey in the insurance industry has been molded by individuals  who nurtured and developed her talent. Now, she wants to pay it forward.

“I realized it all begins with talent,” she told IB. “It’s the people that ultimately shape Arch’s culture and make it a unique and special place to work. So the question is not only ‘how do we get the right people to come to Arch, but also ‘how do we get them to stay?’”

Zoltan landed in insurance by chance. Her underwriting internship during college led to a full-time position, marking the beginning of a long-term association with a team that would transition from Hartford to Arch.

“It’s pretty unique to still be associated with the same team of people that you met over 16 years ago,” she said. “But it’s reflective of how people impact your career experience and choices.”

Transitioning from underwriting to a more strategic role, Zoltan embraced the challenge of leading through influence. She emphasizes the significance of a strategic mindset in her leadership approach.

“When people understand the big picture, they start to think differently and are more open to change,” she said.  

Throughout her time at Arch, Zoltan has spearheaded the development of seven industry practice groups – construction, energy, financial institutions, , healthcare, private equity, real estate & hospitality, and technology & telecommunications. Her role has been instrumental in setting and executing Arch’s industry-specific strategies with target distribution partners.

One of her most notable accomplishments was addressing the fragmentation within the company’s approach to industry tracking. Different business divisions had their own systems and classifications, posing a significant challenge in understanding and growing the company’s industry-specific portfolios. Zoltan and her team tackled this by implementing an AI-driven system providing a unified, real-time view of the company’s industry exposure.

Bringing in diversity of thought

As her role evolved, so did her focus, as talent acquisition and retention emerged as a key area. She also places a significant emphasis on diversity and inclusion, not just in terms of demographics but in thought and perspective and fostering a culture where diverse ideas are welcomed and respected.

“A big part of what I’m thinking about in the future is leading from a place of actually understanding what each individual wants out of his or her career,” she explained. “It’s important to realize that not everyone has the same goals and motivations. Not everyone wants to climb the corporate ladder. So I need to take responsibility to ask these questions, and then tailor my approach and style of management accordingly.

“It’s about individual development – something which can easily (and unfortunately) be put on the back burner. But I think when managers focus on this, it makes employees feel seen, respected and valued, which ultimately drives them to stay.”

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