We sat down with Meghan Dodd, Canopius USA’s Assistant Vice President, Financial Institutions, of the Management and Professional Lines group, on her one year anniversary working for the company to talk about her experience leading the financial institutions team within the group over the past year, and where she sees the group going in 2022 and beyond.
Q. Tell us about your role and responsibilities within the Management and Professional Lines group of Canopius USA and what drew you to the position at Canopius?
A. I am responsible for the financial institutions group within Canopius USA’s Management and Professional Lines of business. We work with retail and wholesale brokers to offer management and professional liability solutions for Financial Institutions, including banks, insurance companies, asset managers and real estate investment trusts.
Having held various positions within the industry prior to joining Canopius, I had a strong grasp on how business gets written in this space as well as some of the major roadblocks faced by other large carriers. What drew me to Canopius was it’s strong profitable growth goals and creative and collaborative environment. Although Canopius is a large, global company, it has an entrepreneurial spirit in the US. and a flat structure that truly allows for thoughtful analysis, creative thinking, and collaboration when approaching risks. This structure gives employees the flexibility to respond to clients and the freedom to make things happen. In short, the roadblocks to getting things done don’t exist at Canopius; there’s not a lot we won’t look at.
Q. Are there any trends you’re seeing within the financial institution sector of management and professional lines? What is the overall mood of the brokers?
A. We have seen a lot of players reducing capacity, reunderwriting books, or reducing limits in the financial institutions markets. This has created a lot of opportunities for us to fill in the coverage gaps. We are open and responsive to considering all risks brokers bring to us, which has been well received by the broker community.
Q. What are the growth goals of your group?
A. As I mentioned earlier, Canopius USA has significant growth goals, and our group is no exception. In 2021, we have grown both our book of business and our team, nearly doubling policy count and team size. As we enter 2022, we are continuing our growth momentum. Our goal is to grow our book of business profitably, partnering with our brokers and insureds for the long term. An equally important goal is to increase the size of our team to support our tremendous business growth. We’re hiring!
Q. How has the SFMI paper factored in?
A. Our partnership with SFMI to write admitted business on their highest rated A++ paper has empowered us considerably and will continue to do so as we grow. Brokers might not be as familiar with Canopius in the US initially, but having the strongest paper in the market gives them no reason to question their decision to put us on a risk. When comparing two quotes that are otherwise equal, brokers will go with the one written on a stronger paper; it’s a no brainer!
Q. Talk a little about your success and relationship with brokers
A. We get a lot of positive feedback from the broker community. Two words we hear consistently from brokers are helpful and responsive. When brokers have run into problems with their current carriers, we have been able to step in quickly and help. As a result, we are deepening our existing relationships and expanding our broker network.
Q. Let’s switch gears a little and talk about your personal experience taking a new job at a different company in the middle of a pandemic. How has your experience been? What are you most happy about?
A. Needless to say, switching jobs in the middle of a pandemic, when people weren’t interacting in person at an office, was a risk. But I couldn’t be happier with my decision to join Canopius. As I mentioned before, Canopius really does have a collaborative culture. My team meets daily to touch base, giving everyone a chance to update the group on what they are working on professionally, as well as connect on a human level – think virtual water cooler conversations. The accessibility of all members of the team enables us to be responsive to our brokers and insureds, which in turn has allowed me to flourish and grow in my role personally. This flexible and responsive mindset is indeed a differentiator for Canopius.
Q. You mentioned earlier that your team and Canopius USA overall is looking to hire and grow. What is Canopius looking for in attracting new team members?
A. Obviously, we are looking for people who are hard-working and collaborative. Perhaps the most important thing we are looking for in candidates is an eagerness to learn and grow. Canopius embraces individuality, prizes collaboration, and encourages sharp and diverse thinking. If you like to learn about market and industry trends, aren’t afraid to work hard, and are open to having some fun, you’ll fit right in.
Q. Let’s end with a fun fact. Anything you can share about yourself that others might be surprised to know?
A. I spend my weekends coaching my son’s hockey team. The league is parent-run, and when word got out that I knew how to figure skate I was recruited to help teach the youngest players how to skate. Before I knew it, I ended up as the team’s coach!