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Head of Underwriting

Date Posted: Nov 24, 2017

Location: Brighton, BNH, GB, 0

Company: MetLife

At MetLife, we’re leading the global transformation of an industry we’ve long defined. United in purpose, diverse in perspective, we’re dedicated to making a difference in the lives of our customers. We’re looking for unique talent with fresh perspectives that can propel innovation. With over 145 years of experience, the MetLife companies are a leading innovator and a recognized leader in protection planning and retirement and savings solutions around the world. We have established a strong presence in nearly 50 countries through organic growth, acquisitions, joint ventures and other partnerships. Our name is recognized and trusted by approximately 100 million customers worldwide and we serve more than 90 of the top 100 FORTUNE 500® companies in the United States.

Role purpose:

  • To be responsible for the leadership of the Underwriting teams. The aim of this role as leader is to develop a truly market leading, innovative, talented, cost effective and successful underwriting capability
  • The role holder will shape the expertise and success of the Underwriting Team across both Group Life, Flex and Group Income Protection. Reporting to the EB Director this leadership role will be crucial to the success of the EB business during the next few years of ambitious growth
  • To provide a professional and market leading service to MetLife’s customers and distributors, at the required cost
  • To lead three teams of underwriters whose purpose is to support sales to win business at the required profit margins and minimising risk to the company
  • To optimise processes (including introducing automation) to further reduce costs and improve service in line with agreed KPIs


Role accountabilities:

  • Provide the thought leadership and through others the expert underwriting capability within the UK underwriting teams
  • Accountability for profitability, margin and RoEC in close working partnership with the EB director
  • Work with the Actuarial team and senior underwriters to develop a strong underwriting philosophy and lead its interpretation commercially with the UW team.
  • Provide quarterly portfolio reviews detailing performance of the portfolio in general and on specific large cases. (MAPA review)
  • Work with the underwriting team to deliver competitive and customer focused pricing outcomes that help to drive growth and are financially prudent
  • Accountable for agreed operational costs and service delivery levels
  • Develop, monitor and manage KPIs and MI to drive performance and effective management decision making ensuring issues are highlighted early and shared through governance
  • Management of the underwriting relationships with sales, operations, compliance, risk and legal and ensure alignment of activity to meet needs of MetLife governance
  • To ensure the structure for delivery of the underwriting capability is developed and ‘right sized’ to deliver ongoing business strategy – including new propositions
  • To maintain strong client relationships , generate innovative solutions to meet client needs and ensure that the requirements of clients and customers are delivered to SLAs, budget and standards
  • Leading and managing underwriting communications with clients and customers
  • Define resource, IT, change needs - and work with others to deliver continuous capability improvement learning from mistakes and owning root cause analysis
  • To own the capacity planning/ scheduling capability to ensure appropriate availability and deployment of staff
  • Lead the underwriting management team to deliver through effective team working; creating a culture which constructively engages employees; managing the performance, training and development of colleagues to secure their commitment and competence, and to drive performance and results
  • To deputise for EB Director where required


Experience, attributes and skills required:

  • Experience of managing complex technical teams in the insurance / financial services sector
  • Excellent stakeholder management skills
  • A can do attitude
  • Strong business acumen
  • Strong leader that takes others with them and has deep gravitas
  • Builds capability that moves underwriting in parallel or slightly ahead with their customers in a constantly growing business
  • The skills to work so closely with the distribution directors that they are thought of as part of their teams
  • The ability to build, lead and motivate a team of managers who can deliver the required results
  • An understanding of the UK EB market and the associated risks
  • A strong customer centric approach and an good understanding of TCF principles
  • Strategic and operational understanding of underwriting, servicing, IT and process issues and approaches, leveraging to optimal delivery
  • Business planning practices and processes (including capacity planning)
  • A good knowledge of the FCA and other relevant regulation and legislation
  • Excellent and very stong understanding of the risks faced by the function and controls in place to manage and mitigate
  • Substantial Leadership skills
  • Substantial experience working at a senior level in a complex, multinational commercial environment
  • Proven success in financial management
  • Substantial experience of delivering P&L enhancing strategies
  • Evidence of building and managing effective stakeholder relationships
  • Proven success in leadership and service management through delivery of strategic objectives and operational KPI's
  • Knowledge and experience of working with outsource TPA providers; negotiating and managing contracts, governance and oversight