"We want RSA to be recognized as the “go to” market in Canada for global programmes”

Vangie Artes

As part of our ongoing commitment to foster stable, long-term relationships with our existing clients and manage growth within our Specialty Lines business, Vangie Artes recently expanded her responsibilities as Underwriting Director to oversee our Multinational and Global Risk program.

Vangie brings more than 25 years of diverse technical and global experience in Property, General Liability and Construction insurance from her 25-year career in the insurance industry in Southeast Asia and Canada with RSA, AIG, Catlin and Axis. She has in-depth knowledge of best practices in cross-border and multinational compliance and insurance requirements. In conjunction with her continued management of governance and training for Specialty Lines, Vangie will head the inbound and outbound cross-border and international placements facilitated by the Specialty Lines team.

Vangie shares highlights of her expertise, experience, and current responsibilities in this Q&A.

Q. Can you share the highlights of your career experience and what has lead you to this current role?

A. I started my underwriting career with Royal International Insurance Holdings in Manila 25 years ago with the responsibility of managing the marine portfolio in South East Asia. When my family migrated to Canada, I was fortunate to find a home with RSA Canada to further pursue my career in a more dynamic and challenging insurance market. Over the years, RSA had given me the opportunity to grow my technical and leadership skills as I assumed a variety of underwriting roles within the Commercial Division. 

In 2004, I had the privilege of leading the international property division of AIG Worldsource which was the start of my underwriting practice in the global specialty insurance space. After AIG, my underwriting experience in global programs were further solidified when I joined two start-up companies in Canada, Catlin Lloyds Syndicate and Axis Reinsurance who have footprints across the globe. It was a challenging and yet rewarding experience to build the book from ground zero and establish the brands of these companies in the Canadian market. As new entrants in Canada, I had to be resilient and disciplined in growing the book. I brought all these experience, skills and values with me when I rejoined RSA in 2015 as well as a fresh perspective in achieving RSA’s ambition to drive further growth into our GSL portfolios.

Q. What are you most proud of in your career?

A. I’m proud to be an insurance professional. Insurance is the only career I’ve ever known since I graduated from school. Insurance had given enormous opportunity for me and my family so it is now time for me to give back. I had the privilege of mentoring and coaching underwriters who are now specialists and experts in the industry – many of whom I still work with today. I’m proud to have been a part of their journey.

I’m also a volunteer ambassador of the Insurance Institute teaching high school and college students basic business knowledge and life skills. I introduce to them the world of insurance and motivate them to explore career opportunities in P&C insurance.  Insurance is a people business, and I’m proud of the relationships I’ve established throughout these years. I think that’s the secret of your longevity in any career.

Q. What are your key responsibilities as Director of Multinational Business?

A. My key responsibilities are to support the creation of effective and efficient product programs within Specialty Lines as a driver to continue to grow our risk-managed specialty business area. I will also ensure that best practices are in place to comply with both internal and underwriting policies and regulatory requirements in Canada. I will be working to ensure brokers are aware of our capability to create customized, tailored underwriting solutions for their multinational customers.

Q. What do you aspire to accomplish over the remainder of this year?

A. I will be focused on strengthening our relationships with our global network partners. Another important goal of mine is to strengthen the knowledge and technical capabilities of our front line underwriters’ in underwriting multinational programs. In the fall, Canada will be hosting the RSA global network conference. This conference will bring together RSA network partners in Europe and Americas to share knowledge, report new trends, and expand on different industries and markets. We will take advantage of this conference to showcase our global capabilities to our brokers and give them the opportunity to meet our key global network partners.

In terms of our long-term ambition, we want RSA to be recognized as the “go-to” market in Canada for all multinational placements.  RSA is a top 10 insurance carrier for international fronting capability; I want to showcase our strong global network capabilities and technical expertise, and ensure brokers know about our desire to grow our multinational accounts.

Q. What’s new in Multinational?

A. We have been building our global risk team by hiring three underwriters in the last 12 months who each have more than 10 years of industry experience in international business. Since having them join the team, our turn-around time has dramatically improved. We will continue to build our technical expertise and make sure our underwriters are able to provide top notch service.

Q. RSA has undergone a lot of change over the past year and a half – how has that impacted the way you do business?

A. I’m very pleased to see the support and recognition from our executive team that our Specialty Lines proposition is solid and that they view it as a key area that will help achieve our overall plans for growth. With endless opportunities in large international business with national brokers, our vision is to be recognized as the leading specialty insurance carrier in Canada, and the changes that have been happening at RSA recently have placed a focus on our ambition to do just that.

Also, our VP Specialty Lines, Colette Taylor, has a dynamic management style and she is engaging brokers and customers across Canada to promote our brand so that we can move from being seen as a general commercial market to one with highly specialized underwriting and multinational capabilities.

Q. A current focus at RSA is centred on being agile in business and having an agile culture. How does that come to life in Specialty Lines?

A key part of RSA’s business transformation is centered on agility, and I think there’s lots of things happening in our global network to support that philosophy. For example, we are working to upgrade our international platform to better organize our global network technology, which will result in better service. It’s very important in any global operation to have efficient, agile technology so that we can deliver our international proposition. I think we’re all excited because it will support the placement and day-to-day management of our international insurance business.

I also want to ensure that our front line underwriters are equipped with the necessary underwriting tools and skills to be able to provide our clients with the most efficient and cost effective multinational insurance solutions in order to compete and grow their business around the globe.

To reach Vangie to discuss your multinational specialty programs, please call 647-776-8886 or email [email protected]