Barbara Bufkin, Assurant
Executive head of business development, lending solutions group
Throughout an insurance career spanning four decades, Barbara Bufkin has become a trailblazer for women and a champion of innovative approaches to the industry’s opportunities and challenges. Combining corporate business development, reinsurance and origination of strategic partnerships in C-suite roles at companies such as Hamilton USA, Guy Carpenter, Argo Group and Swiss Re, Bufkin has placed herself at the intersection of distribution, underwriting, technology and capital, most recently focused on innovation for small businesses. It is this confluence of expertise, along with the industry’s role in underpinning the foundation of society by bearing and mitigating risk, that she says fascinates her just as much today as when she was a recent graduate with a philosophy degree discovering the industry 40 years ago.
A tireless advocate on issues of philanthropy, product innovation and talent, Bufkin was named Insurance Woman of the Year by the Association of Professional Insurance Women [APIW] in 2012, Inclusion Champion by the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation [IICF] in 2015 and Woman of Distinction at the 2017 Insurance Business America Awards, among other honors. Her philanthropic and industry leadership includes serving as chair of IICF’s international board of governors, president of APIW and executive vice president of Gamma Iota Sigma, through which she helps focus the industry on the critical business and social issues of diversity and inclusion, disaster relief, and talent development. A firm believer that the future of insurance will rely on passion, purpose, leadership and trust, Bufkin regularly shares this perspective with today’s leaders and tomorrow’s talent.