Leah Spivey is the type of person who wanted to put her own stamp on her career, and that philosophy led her to the highest levels of the legacy sector of the reinsurance industry. Leah believes her personality—as a self-described “driver” as well as a “people person”— allows her to simultaneously produce results and build strong client relationships. Leah’s route to the top was based on an old-fashioned theory — that she could both be a career professional and pursue her passions and talents in the industry.
But Leah began her reinsurance career in the most unconventional of ways. Her first job after graduating from the University of Massachusetts with a journalism degree was as an admissions counselor for an accredited school that operated as a for-profit college. “Working this job made me realize that I wanted a position that provided a certain level of autonomy where I could own my work product from beginning to end. The insurance industry was the perfect fit for my criteria,” she said. Leah took a claims position with an insurance company in 1984 and steadily moved up the career ladder to her current position as SVP Head of Business Runoff with Munich Reinsurance America, Inc.
At Munich Re, Leah leads a group, which has results responsibility for all of its 2001 and prior liabilities. She manages a staff of reinsurance professionals with a portfolio of current and former clients. During her time at Munich, she has held a variety of positions in claims and account management. “My current role involves being responsible for the results of our legacy portfolio and mitigating its risk of change year over year.” We evaluate what makes sense for the group economically and try to find the best ways to meet our reinsurance partners’ needs through optimal exit solutions,” she says.
Since joining the insurance industry in 1984, her career has been filled with interesting opportunities. “At one point, I was asked to step away from the business and design a multi-line training program for recent college graduates,” she explains. It was a creative detour that kept her engaged with the company and led her to pursue and achieve a Certified Training Designer designation. However, she longed for and returned to the business side of the industry after a fulfilling two years.
At Munich Re (formerly American Re), since 1993, Leah has enjoyed its organizational flexibility, which meant that she was able to work a four-day per week at one point in her career, though she chose to return to a full time schedule. “Work/life balance has always been important although optics and expectations have changed a great deal since I started in this industry. Today, people are insisting on more balance. I appreciate the young people, who are not afraid to take advantage of all the benefits we now have; just as much as I am thankful for those who came before me, who forged new paths and provided me with the opportunities that I have experienced,” she says.
For the full article, refer to page 20 in the Fall 2016 issue. https://www.airroc.org/assets/docs/matters/airroc%20fall%202016%20vol%2012%20no%203.pdf