Empower Talks - Insurance Careers

Insurance Career Stories

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  • 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:

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  • 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:
  • 31. Beth Amaro - Parental Leave, Return to Work with Confidence

    In this episode, Sam chats with Beth Amaro, an experienced HR professional from the insurance sector. Beth spent seven years in Bermuda before an opportunity led her to London to progress her career in the insurance sector. Until recently, Beth worked as Head of HR at Fidelis. She has now started her own independent consultancy firm, advising companies on their HR needs. This shift has led to an interesting collaboration with Sam.Sam and Beth discuss her career in HR, offering advice on progression. A key topic is their Leto programme, named after the goddess of motherhood and launching in October 2023. The programme is designed to support women and parents returning to work after maternity or paternity leave. Beth shares her personal experience of balancing career aspirations with motherhood and talks about the challenges many face when returning to the workforce.Listen in to learn more about the Leto initiative and gain insights from Beth's journey in the insurance and HR sectors.LINKS:Beth's Website:'s LinkedIn: › beth-amaro-0a19779More info on Leto:
  • 30. Felicity & Megan - Breaking Insurance Stereotypes

    Sam sits down with Megan and Felicity, both participants in the Zurich graduate scheme, who are also the creative minds behind the TikTok page ‘The Life Of A Grad’. With over 10,000 likes, the duo aims to challenge prevailing insurance stereotypes and promote the potential of insurance careers to young professionals. Through ‘The Life Of A Grad’, they also document their own career journey, offering a personal touch to their advocacy for the insurance sector. They share their experiences surrounding their growing TikTok page, discussing the steps they took outside their comfort zones to generate content, and the learning curve involved in managing the account. Addressing the branding issue insurance encounters with young students, Sam, Megan, and Felicity delve into possible solutions to increase awareness. They highlight the merits of working in insurance and the array of departments available, suggesting a broad scope of opportunities for everyone. Through their TikTok platform, Megan and Felicity provide a fresh perspective on insurance careers, offering insights to young professionals on the diverse career options in the industry. This episode highlights their effort to use modern digital platforms as a bridge to connect with the traditional insurance sector, aiming to make insurance careers more accessible and appealing to a younger audience.Links: Life Of A Grad - TikTok: Life – TikTok: Zurich Graduate Schemes: Internships: Felicity Irvine – LinkedIn: Jenkins – LinkedIn:
  • 29. Guy Munnoch - Rising through the Ranks and Redefining Roles

    Sam talks with Guy Munnoch, Managing Director of Rupert Morgan, about his exceptional career trajectory, shaped by 21-year milestones, moving from the British Army to the insurance world and beyond. With over four decades of diverse experiences, Guy's journey is nothing short of impressive.Delving into the early stages of his career, Guy underscores the importance of the lessons he learned in his 21 years with Army. Then, he elaborates on his shift to the insurance sector, detailing the hurdles he faced, his strategies to overcome them, and his rise to CEO. His responsibilities at Zurich resulted in an international assignment to South Africa where he reported directly to the royal family. Throughout his insurance journey, he gained profound industry insights and experienced significant transformations.Currently, Guy is navigating his third major career phase, undertaking diverse roles and confronting varied challenges. This phase has seen him assist retirees in sculpting gratifying retirement plans, assume Non-Executive Director positions, and even achieve a World Record!Guy Munnoch's story is a testament to adaptability and seizing opportunities. From the Army's disciplined environments to the dynamic world of insurance, he faced challenges head-on, reflecting on the psychological adjustments required at each stage. Enjoy this episode and discover the richness of Guy's journey, offering invaluable lessons for career navigation and personal growth.LinksLinkedIn - Guy Munnoch 082165