Position: Vice president, professional liability
Most important job skill: Interpersonal communications
Career path: Stable
Admiral is a company where you can take on a problem, come up with a solution and they’ll let you run with it.
Vice president Nir Gabay’s career at Admiral reflects a course of steady advancement from underwriter to senior underwriter to the manager of a nine-member professional liability team for Admiral’s northeast and upper Midwest regions. Hard work played a large part in his advancement, but taking an entrepreneurial approach to his work also contributed heavily to his advancement. “From the time I was an underwriter managing my own book of business to now as a vice president managing a department, I ask myself ‘If this were my business, how would I run it?’ ”says Nir.
It’s a question that gives ownership to our work – helps to give direction, build initiative and instill responsibility. It’s how we define ownership for our work. “Admiral is a company where you can take on a problem, come up with a solution and they’ll let you run with it,” continues Nir.
So much of underwriting professional liability involves trying to understand an account – getting your head around the risks – that nothing is perfunctory about the process. Underwriting professional liability for architects and engineers, software developers or physicians – some of the toughest risks in the market – can’t be done by plugging data into a system. “It takes the smartest people out there, people who want to grow. I tell my staff to treat every day like they’re getting an MBA,” says Nir. “They should leave every day feeling they’ve learned something new and valuable.”
But getting an ‘MBA’ at Admiral doesn’t call for a 60- to 80-hour weeks. The hyped up benefits at some high profile companies come with a big cost that often has to be paid off with long days and weekends. But whether it’s a reasonable work day, telecommuting a few days per week, unencumbered weekend, Admiral strikes an even work-life balance. “Working for a company that really cares about its employees is a big factor for me,” adds Nir. “It’s something you can’t find at many other companies in or out of the industry.”