J. Eric Smith, Swiss Re America
President and CEO
Swiss Re America
Growing up in Bloomington, Illinois, the home of State Farm Insurance, Eric Smith says he was aware of the good work the industry does from an early age. “My father owned a business that sold office machinery to [State Farm], and I caddied for many of their senior executives when I was growing up, so I had a very positive impression of the industry,” he says. “This favorable image … made me interested in making this my career choice.”
Smith has worked in myriad roles in property & casualty insurance throughout his career. He spent more than 20 years with Country Financial, rose to the rank of president of financial services at Allstate and served as president of USAA Life Insurance Co. He joined Swiss Re America in 2011 as CEO of reinsurance for the Americas; the following year, he was appointed regional president of the Americas and a member of the group executive committee.
“While I’m proud of the business accomplishments I’ve achieved in my career individually and with my teams, I am most proud of the work I’ve done to recognize talented individuals and support them in reaching the next level in their careers,” Smith says. “Helping someone to realize their full potential carries a reward that can’t be measured. I’m honored to lead a team of more than 4,000 insurance professionals across the Americas that provides society with solutions to manage risk and cope with individual and widespread tragedies.”