Empower Talks - Insurance Careers

Insurance Career Stories

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  • 38. Bamishe Alao - BIBA Young Broker of the Year (Finalist)

    Sam talks with Bamishe Alao, an emerging leader in the insurance industry, about her strategies for attracting graduates to the field. Starting her career on the WTW CRB graduate programme, Bamishe reflects on the initial challenges she faced, the balance of priorities, and the evolution of her networking skills. She credits much of her early success to mentorship and discusses the substantial benefits of enrolling in mentoring programs.In their conversation, Bamishe highlights the pivotal role of LinkedIn in maintaining visibility and connections within the industry. Both Sam and Bamishe, as members of the Worshipful Company of Insurers (WCI), delve into the organisation’s structure, membership benefits, and networking opportunities that have been instrumental in their careers.Looking forward, Bamishe shares an overview of her five-year plan, which includes achieving her ACII designation and advancing from Associate to Senior Associate in her specialised field of Directors and Officers Liability (D&O). She offers insightful advice on identifying and excelling in one's chosen class of business.The discussion also explores the current state and future of the insurance industry, focusing on DE&I initiatives, retention challenges, and the shifting demographics at leadership levels. Finally, Bamishe and Sam discuss the impactful roles of reverse mentoring, traditional mentoring, and sponsorship in fostering career development.Directly resulting from the podcast, Sam has started an anonymous campaign to promote salaries in the industry. Results so far can be found here: TikTok Campaign - Insurance salariesAlso in case you missed it, in 2023, Sam & Bamishe appeared together on Insure TV. Watch here: Sam & Bamishe talk BIBA on InsureTVLINKS:Bamishe's LinkedInBamishe's TikTokConnect HiveD&O DiaryLTL CollectiveWCIInsurance Starter KitLeto Maternity Programme

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  • 37. Phill Bratt - Next Generation Partner in The Legal 500

    Sam talks to Phill Bratt, Partner at Keoghs London, about his specialisation in catastrophic personal injury law and his role in defending high-value personal injury claims. The episode addresses the evolving nature of legal careers, focusing on the importance of personal relationships and professional exposure. Phill provides key insights into the Ogden tables, emphasising their critical role in calculating future losses in high-value personal injury claims, particularly relevant for insurers and reinsurers. Phill shares how he discovered he had dyslexia, and he reflects on how the diagnosis has helped him in his working life, and provides invaluable career advice, stressing the importance of perseverance and seizing opportunities. His experiences and insights offer invaluable guidance for professionals navigating the dynamic and complex world of the legal profession. Drawing from his legal expertise, Phill hosts the 'London Insurance Lawyer Unbound,' podcast, and has started sharing his insights on his TikTok account (links to both are below). LINKS: London Insurance Lawyer Podcast:'s LinkedIn:'s TikTok:'s Insta:
  • 36. Alina Schatten (née Jipa) - Don’t Wait For Opportunities, Create Them

    In this episode of Empower Talks, Sam talks to Alina Schatten (née Jipa), who, at the time of recording was Chief of Staff to the CEO, but has recently accepted the position of Integration Director at RSA UK&I. Sam and Alina discuss her career in the insurance industry, which is a compelling example of adaptability, strategic career advancement, and the value of lifelong learning.Beginning her journey with a rotational graduate programme at Hiscox, Alina seamlessly navigated through various roles, emphasising her versatility. Her proactive approach, notably reaching out to RSA's CEO, catapulted her into the influential role of Chief of Staff. Here, she demonstrates her expertise in strategic planning, project management, and supporting an executive team.Education plays a pivotal role in Alina’s career, highlighted by her pursuit of a business and management degree and an MBA. Her advocacy for continuous professional development, especially the ACII qualification, mirrors her commitment to applying academic knowledge in real-world scenarios.Alina's dedication extends beyond personal career growth to mentoring and nurturing new talent in the insurance industry. Her research on early career programmes and retention strategies underlines her commitment to fostering the next generation of professionals. Alina's journey and insights, shared with Sam, offer valuable lessons in navigating the complex yet rewarding landscape of the insurance industry.Alina's LinkedIn:
  • 35. Lorraine Harfitt - CEO at Asta, Solvency II & Lloyd's of London

    In this episode, Sam chats with Lorraine Harfitt, CEO at Asta, about her diverse career journey in the insurance industry. Lorraine shares her path from Lloyd's of London to becoming CEO at Asta, discussing her roles at Lloyd's, including insights into her involvement in the Solvency II work stream.Lorraine talks about the challenges of her career, the importance of adaptability, and the role of a supportive network. She also talks about succession planning, leadership development, and the responsibilities of a CEO.Tune in to hear Lorraine's journey through the insurance sector, providing lessons on career progression, leadership, and navigating the complexities of the industry.LinksLorraine's LinkedIn:
  • 34. Pritesh Thakrar - 10 Lessons from a Decade in Insurance

    In this episode, Sam talks with Pritesh Thakrar, a Portfolio Analyst at Inver Re. Their conversation explores Pritesh's career journey from medicinal chemistry to his current role in insurance, including his involvement in the 'New Gen Project' initiative, which focused on creating internships for autistic individuals. They also reflect on the evolution of his career and how his diverse experiences across various organisational cultures have shaped his professional path. Pritesh has authored an article titled '10 Lessons from a Decade in Insurance'. During the episode, Sam and Pritesh examine each of these lessons in turn, offering valuable insights into both personal and professional development that extend beyond the confines of the insurance industry. The episode underscores the importance of adaptability, continuous learning, and embracing new challenges. Pritesh's insights and advice are especially valuable for those either beginning or looking to progress in the insurance sector, rendering this episode an informative and practical guide for career growth. Links:Link to Pritesh's article: Pritesh's LinkedIn:
  • 33. Grace Maxted FCII - In the Spotlight

    Sam talks to Grace Maxted FCII, a pivotal associate and key creative force at Empower Development. Grace's significant impact is particularly evident in our online courses, yet her influence extends much further. Sam and Grace discuss her unique career, intertwining insurance and theatre, and reminisce about their initial collaborations at Empower Development. Additionally, they highlight some of Grace's notable career moments, revealing the depth of her professional journey. Grace, a standout conversationalist, skilfully blends wisdom, compelling facts, and a variety of engaging stories. Join us in this episode to explore Grace's unique path and learn how important she is to the Empower Development team. Recorded in May 2023.Fact check: The Tom Hanks film Grace is referring to is ‘Bridge of Spies’. Links: LinkedIn:
  • 32. Amy Brettell - From Grad to M.D. (Zurich Municipal)

    In this episode, Amy Brettell shares her unconventional career journey with Sam. Having started as an Actuary within Zurich's graduate program, Amy moved across various roles within the organisation, including the mysterious Chief of Staff position, Head of Customer in UK Claims Role, and lead the digital transformation in claims at Zurich. Amy has recently stepped into her dream job as Managing Director at Zurich Municipal.Sam and Amy discuss her early introduction to the actuarial field, a path she chose after discovering its possibilities through a career survey at the age of 14, leading her to step into the profession by the age of 21.The conversation offers insights into effective career management, the importance of venturing out of one's comfort zone, initiating bold discussions on career progression, and the active pursuit of professional opportunities.LINKS:Amy's LinkedIn: Grad Scheme: