Fostering growth for women and minorities in the industry starts with strong leadership and support.
That’s the verdict of Kerri Hamm (pictured), the EVP head of business development at Munich Re US, who inspires and mentors her colleagues, helping build a robust network to achieve professional goals.
“I’m really passionate about finding high-performing women around me and drawing them forward in the organization,” Hamm told Insurance Business. “I want to connect them with people in a thoughtful way that expands their horizons.”
“One of the young women who worked on my team wanted to become an underwriter,” she said. “We started meeting with team leads for multiple lines of business, to keep her options open.”
“It wasn’t very long until she was able to interview for a property underwriting position and was well positioned to be the best candidate because of all of the footwork we had done,” Hamm explained.
The young woman Hamm mentioned is Niki Kumar, and she is now a property treaty underwriter at Munich Re US.
“Kerri has tremendously aided in my professional development and success,” Kumar told Insurance Business. “Her guidance has been invaluable and has taught me the importance of having a mentor that supports growth, holds you accountable, advocates for you, helps make connections, offers constructive feedback, and is someone you can trust.”
Hamm advises young women to seek out technical projects that are closely related with business production to build confidence and credibility within an organization. She also emphasized the importance of having a network of women to share common issues and challenges with.
“I’m really lucky at Munich Re to have a group of women I can rely on,” Hamm added.
Hamm continues to encourage her team to be open minded, supportive of each other and to look for unique opportunities to further the industry. “When we’re looking for a person to join our network, we cast a wide net and do not let any of our biases get in front of us,” Hamm concluded.