Diary of an Insurer: Markel’s Daisy Galvin

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Daisy Galvin, senior underwriter of financial institutions at Markel, walks us through her working week, which is filled with client meetings, a business trip to Lloyd’s, and training for the Hackney Half Marathon.

Daisy Galvin

Monday

My week kicks off with an early morning gym workout to dust off those weekend cobwebs and start the week fresh. I tend to work from home on Mondays unless I have client meetings in the City.

After prioritising my tasks for the day, I have a short break so I can take my sausage dog for a quick walk at lunchtime. Thankfully, it’s sunny today as neither of us like walking in the rain.

Dog duties done, I have a few catch-up meetings in the afternoon with the junior members of the financial institutions team, as I frequently run through their risk work ups and sign off on them. I finish the day with a virtual Teams call with an important client over in the US.

Tuesday

The Walkie Talkie building at 20 Fenchurch Street London

Tuesday tends to be my first day in the office for the week, so I catch the central line tube around 8am, which gets me into the Walkie Talkie building within 30 minutes – early enough to get myself a seat with the FI team.  We now hot desk because we’ve grown significantly to a team of 12 people over the past few years.

Tuesday mornings are filled with various meetings. The first one is our weekly team meeting, where we cover a range of market topics such as the rating environment, competition or any specific market trends, and review the portfolio. 

We also have Tuesday morning learning, which is an hour long session hosted weekly, focusing on different topics in the FI world. This week, Rob Whitt, executive director of Markel, provided a brief introduction on our State National business. 

There is also the Clyde & Co Global FI and D&O conference happening throughout the day with various panels, which I try to dip in and out of where I feel relevant. 

After this, I head for lunch and an afternoon of virtual F1 racing with one of our broking partners – not a bad day in the office.

Wednesday

people runnin marathon outdoors

Another day in the office, filled with in-person meetings with brokers and a trip to the Markel box at Lloyd’s of London. It’s great to get the face-to-face-interaction back as this is something we missed a lot during the pandemic. 

I take a lunchtime run along the river to split the day up. I’m making sure that I get as many runs in as possible because I’m currently training for the Hackney Half Marathon in May.

Thankfully no late meetings for me today as I’m going to the theatre with a friend to see Mrs Doubtfire.

Thursday

St Pauls war

This morning, we have our bi-weekly peer review session, whereby a pool of risks will be discussed by the relevant underwriter and the wider FI team. It gives our younger underwriters a chance to understand the rationales behind why an underwriter has written a particular risk and it’s also an opportunity for people to be challenged. 

I head out for another run to get those miles in, this time up to Shadwell Basin. I manage to pick up the pace to ensure I’m back for my client meeting over in St Pauls. I find the in-person meetings with clients so valuable because comparatively it’s a more interactive engagement than catching up virtually and a chance to meet our peers in the market.

We are holding an event with our broking partner in the Munich Cricket Club after work, which is good fun and includes live music. These relationship building events are key for us to get to know our brokers on a more personal level and develop the partnerships.

Friday

hollywood565

Fridays are my administration days. It’s my chance to focus on ticking off the outstanding tasks for the week.

Akin to the other days, I take some time out of my working day to exercise, and this time I go on my bike in the summer house to fit in a virtual ride on Zwift. This was something I started during lockdown and joined a virtual racing team.

The out-of-office is on and it’s an early night for me because I fly to Los Angeles for a week-long holiday in the morning.

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