Diary of an Insurer: Sompo’s Lauren Folkard

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Lauren Folkard, cyber underwriter at Sompo International, gets ready for primary cyber client renewals, watches bad action movies and cycles while listening to 1980s stadium rock.

Lauren Webb, Head of Cyber, London Market at Sompo International
Lauren Folkard


This is a really busy and exciting time of the year for us as many primary cyber clients have renewals coming up on 31 March and 1 April. 

We are also launching a new cyber primary cover and planning a think-tank event in May about cyber threats in the supply chain.

I kick off the week with an underwriter meeting for a Middle East-based client, then proceed to our Monday morning team meeting, where we look at what we have on the cards for the week and enjoy a quick pop-quiz about the state of the cyber market. 

After a quick pasta salad lunch, I head into a meeting with a very large Japanese client to discuss our renewal of a reinsurance line, and end my day with an internal meeting about reserving. 

When I get home, I abandon my plans for a salad and instead indulge in a lasagne with my husband. I wind down the day watching television – very bad action movies are my favourite – with one of our cats, sisters Lily and Florence, curled in my lap.


After checking emails, my first meeting of the day is with a client’s chief information security officer, updating him on the latest trends we are seeing – claims, threats and so on. 

woman riding peloton bike at home
Photo: Peloton

We really see the value in these exchanges of information with our clients. It helps both parties to understand where the threats are and how well-defended companies are against them. 

We also make time today as a team to discuss our recent rebrand from Sompo International to Sompo and how we, as a cyber team, bring our expertise to life to embody our brand values. 

One of the ways we do this is to run tabletop exercises with clients, whereby we bring in some of our external vendors, such as legal advisers and breach coaches, to run through a cyber incident response.

After what feels like a day of back-to-back meetings, I head home where I decompress with a quick 30-minute hilly blast on my Peloton to a soundtrack of some classic 1980s stadium rock.


After catching up on the latest news on the train on the way in, I have a fascinating chat with another business head during which we discuss a bespoke wording we are creating for a client. 

It’s really interesting and challenging to be involved in these types of discussions at a time when the cyber market is evolving and we are building our cyber capabilities here at Sompo in London. 


The team and I also catch up to chat about the plans for our cyber think-tank event in May. 

We have invited a group of risk managers and several advisers. The plan is to examine the threat landscape with respect to the supply chain and discuss best practices and experiences.

There are cupcakes in the office today, which is a nice treat. One of my team, who shall remain nameless, manages to snaffle several.

After another interesting day, I arrive back home in Essex. I am not the keenest cook but I make a chicken and vegetable stir-fry and watch an episode of an old Sherlock Holmes show – figuring out ‘whodunnit’ is a great way to unwind. 


My role is a great mix of managing a team and the numbers and meeting with clients and brokers. I really enjoy both aspects.

Multiracial business team having a meeting in a coffee shop
Photo: PixelsEffect

First up today is a client one-to-one where we talk about the upcoming renewal. It’s a good discussion and we will issue terms for them in the next few days. 

In the afternoon, after I grab a delicious lobster macaroni-cheese lunch with a broker, I catch up with a newly-appointed CISO, whom I’ve known for a number of years. It’s interesting to hear about their new company and the opportunities and challenges  they have going forward and where we might be able to help. 

Networking is a really important part of my job and, this evening, the team and I go out with some brokers to catch up on life both in and outside of the cyber world. This is one of the great things about working in the City of London – everyone is just round the corner. 

I make the last train home after a really fun evening – no bad television tonight.


I tend to work from home on Fridays. Armed with a giant flask of very hot coffee to see me through the day, I catch up on some desk-based tasks, such as referrals and reviewing wordings. I also dedicate time to talk with anyone on my team who needs advice.

Self drive autonomous vehicle AI digital

I have a quick sandwich – ham and coleslaw today – then it’s on to a client catch-up call with a broker to discuss terms and expectations and make sure we are aligned. 

As the work week nears an end, one of my last Friday tasks is to set priorities for the week to come. This enables us to hit the ground running on a Monday. Bring on the weekend.

During lockdown, my husband and I built a racing simulator in the loft. We are both somewhat tech geeks. I like to race around the Goodwood course in a vintage DB5 – James Bond’s car for those not in the know. 

This is a nice way to finish a busy week and I contemplate another Peloton ride tomorrow morning… we’ll see.

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