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Talent focus: Natasha Osborne, Senior Financial Accountant3rd January 2019
Natasha Osborne was initially hesitant about a career in reinsurance. As a finance enthusiast, a world of underwriters and actuaries didn’t appear to be the right fit for her. Fast forward a few years, Natasha is now a Senior Financial Accountant at Hiscox Re & ILS and is considered a rising star in the reinsurance industry. We spoke to Natasha about why she chose reinsurance, what attracted her to Hiscox, and her aspirations for the future.
Why did you choose the reinsurance industry?
Being born and raised in Bermuda, it’s often assumed that you will naturally end up in reinsurance due to the large industry presence on the Island. For me, however, this has been largely due to the mentors that I have had and a series of fortunate events. Due to my background in accountancy, I was initially hesitant about the industry as I thought it was very underwriter and actuarial centered. However, as my exposure to reinsurance grew, it became clear that the finance function of a reinsurance company can add significant value and really drive a business forward. So, when the opportunity for my current role opened, I jumped at the chance.
Do you think the industry is attractive to young professionals?
Without a doubt. It’s an exciting time in the industry with the emergence of block-chain technology into the sector, the challenges around decreasing rates and the introduction of new risks. There are new opportunities that didn’t exist five years ago, or even one year ago. Reinsurance is more diverse than you think; there is a role for almost every skill set. It is also an industry that allows people to take their careers in very different directions as they progress.
What attracted you to Hiscox and what keeps you here?
I thought it would be interesting to work for a company that has finance at the heart of the business. The partnerships that Hiscox Re & ILS have built with insurance-linked strategy investors and quota share partners also really interested me. What keeps me here is the endless opportunities to learn and grow. There are always new challenges that need new perspectives to help solve them.
What are your aspirations for the future?
To continue to expand my knowledge of the industry and develop skills that will help me progress in my career. My greatest aspiration would be to lead a finance team that becomes the envy of others in the industry. It’s also important to me to balance my career aspirations with my family and personal life.
What is the best advice you’ve received during your career?
When I was becoming a new mum, my former boss gave me some great advice. She told to dedicate myself 100% to the task I was doing at the time, rather than splitting my energy. By this she meant that if I was at work, I should be completely present at work. And when I was home, be 100% at home. It’s advice I think everyone can apply to their life – particularly now when work phones make us so accessible. But I must admit, it’s sometimes easier said than done!
What piece of advice would you give to a new employee at Hiscox?
Find a good mentor and try to gain exposure to as many other areas as you can to have a more complete picture of the business.
What is your life motto?
Failure isn’t the opposite of success, but rather a key step towards it. As long as you don’t let it stop you.