Q&A with 2021 APIG Gilchrist Connell Frank Earl award winner Lucinda Conlon
2021 APIG Gilchrist Connell Frank Earl award winner Lucinda Conlon describes her recent trip to New York for the PLUS D&O symposium and explains why she sees having a reputation for honesty and integrity as crucial to being successful in the insurance industry.
Before transitioning into insurance, you began your career as lawyer. What prompted your move into insurance client-side?
I enjoy the analytical side of underwriting. You look at all the different facets of a company to understand how they work. When you’re an underwriter you gain a really good understanding of how companies are put together and how the people that run them tick. I really liked that.
You were nominated and selected as the 2021 APIG Gilchrist Connell Frank Earl award for embodying the values of integrity, honesty and transparency in your work. How important do you see having these values as for someone to be successful in the industry?
I think particularly in insurance it’s very important. We’re not selling something tangible. We’re selling a promise to do something – a promise to pay a claim.
I think for anyone working in insurance – whether that be insurers, brokers, or lawyers – having a reputation for honesty and integrity is crucial. It can be so easily lost and if that happens it can have huge implications for your business or for your career.
You used your prize money to attend the PLUS D&O Symposium in New York. Can you tell us about your trip? What were some of your highlights?
The trip was fantastic. The conference was really such a great educational experience. The quality and range of speakers was phenomenal and there was so much content to choose from. You were able to select the sessions dependent on your focus area, whether that be discussions on what’s happening in the public offering market, or updates to the warranty indemnity space.
The PLUS Symposium didn’t only cover D&O, there were speakers from all around the world running sessions across all financial lines. It wasn’t just American focused either. While you will definitely come away knowing more about the US, I found it a very ‘worldwide’ conference.
During the networking events, you have the opportunity to make industry connections from all over the globe. I think that given the market we’re working in – where many of our insureds are international – it’s great getting that sort of international industry exposure and information.
For those who are thinking about nominating themselves or a colleague, can you tell us about the benefits of being able to utilise your prize money to attend an international conference?
In terms of networking, the world is your oyster! You have access to insurers, claims people, underwriters, lawyers and brokers from all around the world, who are all very well represented.
I’m lucky to work for an international company where there’s a lot of knowledge sharing, but I can see such a huge benefit for any Australian focussed lawyers, brokers or insurers in attending conferences like the PLUS Symposium, especially where you’re working with clients who may be internationally exposed. Attending these sorts of international conferences will give you a holistic worldview of what’s happening in the market.
For anyone considering attending these sorts of conferences in the future, my one piece of advice would be to do your research beforehand and see who’s attending. Reach out to the people that you want to catch up with and make a plan so that when you get there, you’ve got meetings organised and you’re seeing the right people.
Is there anything else that you’ve been able to bring back from the conference into your everyday working life?
Absolutely, things have changed in the past few years – we’re all more limited in our ability to travel and aren’t flying around the world for a meeting. Attending this conference was not only a great opportunity for me to make new connections but also to catch-up face to face with some of my own international colleagues. Being able to reach out to people in different sections of the world is invaluable to me.
Nominations for this year’s award are open to insurers and reinsurers, as well as consultants, advisers and lawyers, amongst others. Winners will receive a credit towards attending a domestic or international conference of their choosing.
Don’t miss out on nominating yourself or a deserving colleague for the 2023 APIG Gilchrist Connell Frank Earl Award. Applications close 10 July.
For eligibility, criteria and more, full details here.