Western & Southern has an immediate opening for a Director of New Business & Underwriting.
Summary of Responsibilities:
Leads Underwriting/New Business Department, supporting the application processing, risk assessment and policy issue process for life and health new business and underwriting for W&S Agency, Lafayette Life and/or Columbus Life Insurance Companies.
Establishes short- and long-term plans to ensure appropriate risk appraisal decisions for life insurance and new business processing. Leads underwriting staff and makes sure that underwriting guidelines and decisions are in line with corporate objectives. Meets or exceeds service-level standards and scorecard objectives to support introduction of new products, product and system maintenance and specific sales campaigns and initiatives.
Leads and develops department managers and associates to ensure staff performance is maximized and evaluated accurately. Accurately assesses strengths and development needs of employees; gives timely specific feedback and helpful coaching; provides challenging assignments and opportunities for development.
Ensures that service levels and quality standards for processing and underwriting are met or exceeded.
Ensures overall compliance with federal and state legislation and SEC requirements, including the interpretation of legislative notices, legal consultation as required and procedural/systems changes as required.
Serves as a point of contact on behalf of Underwriting/New Business with regard to internal and external audits. Evaluates services and systems provided by vendors and negotiates vendor contracting on behalf of Underwriting/
New Business, utilizing RFP methodology, conducting cost and service comparisons and implementing methods for control. Authorizes vendor payments on behalf of the Enterprise in excess of $5 million annually. Manages reinsurance premium process, authorizing over $26 million in payment annually.
Works closely with field sales associates and management to encourage and promote profitable new business revenue into our organization and routinely interacts with senior-level management of the Enterprise with regard to daily administration and projects/initiatives.
• Works closely with Chief Underwriter to establish underwriting policies and standards. Assures that standards are met so that risks are consistently classified.
• Provides leadership, vision and direction for Underwriting/New Business.
• Leads and develops department managers to ensure that the staff performance is maximized and evaluated accurately.
• Responsible for underwriting large amount cases as well as concurring on cases underwritten by underwriting staff.
• Leverages current and new technology across Underwriting/New Business for a service level and strategic advantage.
• Helps support new product development and processing changes or enhancements, creation of procedural documentation and corporate projects and initiatives that impact department reporting to him/her.
• Assists in the establishment of policies and standards in conjunction with the VP, Medical Director and the management staff of Underwriting/New Business to assure that policies and processing standards are met, toward an objective of consistently classifying risks which will produce favorable mortality and morbidity.
• Assists in the development and maintenance of reinsurance support for both facultative and automatic reinsurance arrangements. Oversees reinsurance administration including first-year and renewal premium payments totaling $26 million annually. Maintains accurate treaty information and policy data to ensure timely and accurate payment of premium. Establishes and executes self-audits to ensure ongoing quality control.
• Ensures compliance with all federal and state regulations and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requirements associated with the risk appraisal process. This includes privacy regulation, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, OFAC, SEC requirements, fluid testing and other privacy and disclosure rules. Ensures that product administration, process, procedures and correspondence are compliant at all times. Understands the implications of non-compliance and ensures risk is minimized. Serves as a point of contact for internal and external audits, and holds responsibility for audit results.
• Works with VP & Chief Underwriter and MDs to help develop underwriting training for the underwriters and for our field associates attending Home Office schools.
• Evaluates services and systems available through various underwriting vendors including laboratory services, paramedical and medical record providers, inspection services and other underwriting service providers. Works with VP to negotiate pricing and implements selected contracts. Responsible for validation and authorization of vendor payments totaling $3 million annually.
• Assists the VP & Chief Underwriter in the direct underwriting budgeting and planning toward a goal of effective expense management. This includes ongoing analysis throughout the year of expense variance results and recommendations of expense reduction changes.
• Assists with the handling of complaints (both formal insurance department complaints and complaints from agents and policy applicants relative to underwriting) and assists the New Business and Claims management in analyzing and/or answering complaints and disputes.
• Builds strong relationships with producers from Enterprise companies. Recognizes the importance of customer satisfaction and utilizes interaction with our field associates to foster strong relationships towards a goal of generating business for W&SFG. Seeks customer feedback through surveys and informal communications. Utilizes this customer feedback to evaluate our standards and policies, and works with the Vice President and Director of New Business to initiate process or service improvements. Provides counseling to underwriters on appropriate personal relationship improvement techniques to foster good rapport with the producers.
• Works closely with VP and distribution partners to evaluate and make appropriate business decisions on customer complaints and requests for business exception. Fully understands implications of decisions made, including potential risk, legal ramifications, loss of revenue, fraud potential, establishment of precedence and impact on business relationship with distribution partners.
• Fosters a culture throughout underwriting and new business that promotes open communications, integrity, professionalism, a sense of urgency and teamwork. Mentors line managers and underwriters to embrace this culture.
• Possesses extensive knowledge and experience in life underwriting.
• Possesses prior management experience, skills and knowledge in insurance, banking or other financial services industry. Demonstrated knowledge of insurance products and regulations.
• Demonstrated success in performance management of direct reports.
• Strong project management skills - must cite examples of developing, organizing, initiating and maintaining a project and successfully accomplishing set goals.
• Proven ability to implement back-office systems and other relevant technologies.
• Proven strong decision-making ability. Must demonstrate a broad range of skill in making decisions that are practical, timely and fair, to include process for gathering of relevant information systematically, giving consideration to a broad range of issues or factors, grasping complexities and perceiving relationships among problems or issues, including others in problem-solving efforts when appropriate and evaluating alternatives. Must be able to show that decisions made benefit bottom-line results of the Company.
• Demonstrated experience in analyzing business processes, identifying opportunities for improvements, presenting and gaining support for the recommendation and successfully implementing the improvement opportunity.
• Demonstrated experience in accounting, budgeting and account reconciliation.
• Demonstrated experience maintaining a calm and professional demeanor when handling stressful situations.
• Possesses and displays excellent verbal and written communication skills with ability to convey information to internal and external customers in a clear, focused and concise manner.
• Proven work experience directing others to initiate a recommended course of action to solve a problem or increase efficiency.
• Demonstrated experience leading, developing and motivating teams. This would include providing direction, coaching and effective feedback to team members.
• Proven experience handling multiple duties and completing assigned tasks accurately and on a timely basis. Cite examples of project management experience in planning, executing and maintaining a project from start to finish.
• Must be able to cite examples from work experience on identifying complex problems, quantifying the problem and providing creative resolutions to solve.
• Proven experience handling and effectively resolving customer problems. Must provide examples of strong customer service skills. Demonstrated knowledge of current organization’s strategy to include customers served, organization’s core competencies and how these competencies are leveraged to offer value to the customer and sustain strategic advantage.
• Possesses strong negotiation skills and has experience "selling" adverse decisions to producers in a clear, concise and positive manner that leaves producers feeling good about the decisions.
• Demonstrated excellent verbal and written communication skills with the ability to successfully interpret and communicate business needs between internal contacts and external contacts in a clear, focused and concise manner. Possesses strong and effective interpersonal skills, expressing self well in groups and one-on-one conversations and has previous experience making numerous formal presentations to large groups.
• Bachelor’s degree in business, or related field, or commensurate selection criteria experience.
Computer skills and knowledge of hardware & software required:
• Proficient in word processing, database and presentation applications. Strong aptitude for the use and creation of spreadsheets.
• Working knowledge of database applications.
Certifications & licenses (i.e. Series 6 & 63, CPA, etc.):
• LOMA – FLMI or FALU preferred.
• Extended hours required during peak workloads or special projects.
• Occasional travel may be required.
Western & Southern Financial Group, a Fortune 500 company, is a dynamic family of diversified financial services companies that provides life insurance, annuities, mutual funds, retirement planning and investment products and services to help millions of consumers nationwide to plan and protect their financial futures.
With more than 5,000 associates and more than 50,000 individuals in our selling group, Western & Southern offers consumers and businesses the financial products and services they require to meet their insurance needs and investment goals. Having reached more in excess of $50 billion in assets owned and under management, we are leveraging our industry leading financial strength to fuel our growth through strategic acquisitions, increases in our current product revenue stream and expansion into new distribution channels and businesses.
Western & Southern provides a host of benefits that include medical, dental, life, pension, 401K, free fitness facility, on-site cafeteria, and generously subsidized parking. Western & Southern promotes a stable, fulfilling and challenging environment with an emphasis on excellence and continued career development.
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