Position Summary:

The CUO Commercial Surety drives underwriting excellence by ensuring performance meets profit and growth objectives for the Commercial Surety Line of Business (LOB). The CUO Commercial Surety reports directly to the VP Head of Commercial Surety with responsibility for underwriting quality, strategic underwriting direction and underwriting oversight for the business unit.

Demonstrate a high level of underwriting expertise partnering with leaders, underwriters, and corporate underwriting resources to ensure a consistent level of underwriting discipline, effective organizational management, and communication as a senior leader of Commercial Surety and overall Specialty.

Provide mentoring and guidance necessary to build, develop and sustain a high-performance culture in Surety.

Responsibilities/Essential Functions:

  • Partner with Surety leadership to develop a Commercial strategy that aligns with the overall Surety strategic plan.
  • Manage the overall underwriting performance through establishment of underwriting guidelines, best practices, underwriting referrals, underwriting audits and processes.
  • Partner closely with leaders to monitor Home Office underwriting service and quality levels.
  • Analyze management reports and identifies issues that are inconsistent with bond department and plan objectives related to pricing, loss trends, and exposure.
  • Develop pricing and underwriting strategies to attain and improve profitable growth.
  • Evaluate branch office authority levels for adequacy.
  • Assist VP Head of Commercial Surety in annual reinsurance renewal process and maintain a strong marketing presence with partner agents and brokers to develop new business and retention goals and the execution of internal & external strategic initiatives as appropriate.
  • Partner with Operations to ensure that the Commercial Surety department is maximizing efficiencies.
  • Partner with corporate departments of claims, finance, reinsurance, compliance, legal, actuary, product development, operations, underwriting, and marketing to leverage capabilities and ensure Surety compliance with corporate initiatives.

Managing Talent

  • Provide the leadership mentoring and guidance necessary to build and sustain a high performing workforce and develop the home office team.
  • Provide training on products and line of business tools to the field/home office staff to ensure effective execution.
  • Provide frequent input and strategic recommendations to Surety and Specialty leadership on personnel management and development.

Enhancing Culture

  • Prepare regular product overviews to Surety Leadership, Specialty and Corporate leadership on the performance of the Commercial line as well as external industry developments.
  • Partner with Specialty leadership and Corporate underwriting to ensure that Surety initiatives are consistent with corporate guidelines.
  • Communicating with agents and customers, as needed, on an individual basis or through workshops, seminars, council meetings, and participate in industry organizations.
  • Be part of leading and building an inclusive and diverse Surety culture that embraces feedback, seeks to evolve and grow to effectively meet the needs of our employees, and our distribution partners.

Key Measures of Success

  • Achievement of Surety/ Business Unit priorities and business plans, including:
    • Achieve profitable growth through appropriate business retention and new business production.
    • Portfolio management and distribution optimization.
    • Maintaining and improving operations and underwriting service standards.
    • Effective engagement and interactions with operations, finance, actuarial and claims groups.
    • Proactive and effective recruitment and retention of diverse talent.
    • Identify and provide developmental opportunities through coaching and mentoring.
    • Direct performance management by setting cascading goals, giving and receiving feedback, documenting and delivering performance reviews, addressing performance issues, creating and implementing development plans.
    • Establish a pipeline and succession of diverse talent within business unit.
    • Increase efficiency and scalability to support growth and service initiatives.
    • Build positive relationships with internal/external customers to accomplish organizational goals.

Position Requirements:

  • Fifteen years or more of relevant experience, including extensive Commercial Surety underwriting and leadership experience.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience, CPCU / AFSB preferred.
  • Strategic and creative Surety underwriting skills with deep industry and competitor insight.
  • Strong financial/strategic planning skills understanding the financial relationships, dependencies, trends, patterns, risks and potential returns within the respective business.
  • Well-developed ability to effectively establish, communicate, and assess the current and future business/service requirements in order to balance effective service with costs that align to budget expectations.
  • Clear focus on world class quality, productivity, and delivery of services designed to meet and exceed customer expectations.
  • Provide technical guidance and serves as a point of contact for clients/users, external contacts, and internal colleagues advises others on technical issues.
  • Demonstrated track record in managing, coaching, and motivating staff.
  • Demonstrated evidence of success in managing operations and staff in strategic planning, underwriting and marketing functions within a competitive environment.
  • Excellent communication, negotiation, and interpersonal skills required.
  • Ability to travel as needed up to 30%.

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