In 2018, Argo Surety created a team of underwriters who focus specifically on national portfolio management – an alternative career path to the traditional field underwriter role.
“I had the idea based on feedback from underwriters,” says Josh Betz, president, Argo Surety. “I thought that if we could better align resources by having some underwriters focus primarily on managing existing business, field underwriters could have more time to cultivate relationships and market to key agents and brokers.”
As the insurance industry evolves, the importance of building a flexible, yet resilient workforce that’s responsive to the partners and industries it serves has never been more apparent. With out-of-the-box thinking, Argo Surety is developing careers at the forefront of this evolution.
Innovating by sharing responsibility
Most surety bond companies’ field underwriters have three primary responsibilities:
- Marketing to agents and brokers
- Underwriting new business
- Managing existing portfolio of accounts
With the Portfolio Management team helping to review and monitor existing accounts, screen some of the new account and bond submissions, and monitor the national book of business through special projects, field underwriters have more time to interface with clients and seek new business.
This is a new approach for Argo Surety, but nothing changes for the clients except increased responsiveness from field underwriters.
Portfolio Management Underwriter Blake Givens explained how these benefits can also lead to faster turnaround times for account submissions, bond requests and other day-to-day tasks.
“Additional interactions with Argo’s partners and clients, combined with faster turnaround times, ultimately result in more business for Argo and satisfied partners,” Givens says.
Career flexibility is an asset
The creation of a more analytical role without client-facing responsibilities can also attract and retain qualified, talented candidates seeking a more flexible career path.
“I enjoyed my role as an underwriter in the field,” says Chelsea Abruzzo, senior underwriter, portfolio management. “But as a new mom, becoming a part of the Portfolio Management team allowed me the flexibility to work from home while still utilizing my underwriting skills.”
Some underwriters find that their skill set is more suited to an analytical role. They may not have the desire to be client-facing or the necessary skills to do so. This allows Argo Surety to retain highly proficient, extremely competent underwriters who may have otherwise left the industry.
In addition, Portfolio Management team members see the full scope of Argo’s surety business and have the ability to work on a variety of special projects, which can also benefit their personal career development.
“This role gives me the opportunity to view different accounts across our whole portfolio, rather than just one region,” Abruzzo says. “It also lets me work on special projects, which I find interesting.”
“My favorite part of being an underwriter is learning about various industries and matching a client’s needs with their financial profile,” says Givens. “The Portfolio Management team has the opportunity to interact with every region of Argo Surety and to learn about clients from all over the country who have different needs and challenges – and require various underwriting approaches.”
Careers at Argo are opportunities to innovate. View current job listings and find your place in Argo’s thriving, collaborative culture.
Learn more about Argo Surety bonds.