Meet Andy White, Chief Underwriting Officer at QBE Singapore

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Tell us about your business

QBE is an international insurer and reinsurer offering a diverse portfolio of commercial, personal and specialty products, as well as risk management solutions. Our diverse product portfolio includes property, motor, accident and health, liability, professional indemnity, workers’ compensation and marine. Our purpose is to give people the confidence to achieve their ambitions.

QBE established its presence in Singapore in 1891 and celebrates its 130th year anniversary in 2021 as the Republic’s oldest registered Australian company. QBE Insurance (Singapore) Pte Ltd is part of the QBE Insurance Group which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and headquartered in Sydney.

What’s your role all about?

My role is really exciting; it spans a broad range of industries, clients, countries and insurance products. I get the opportunity to work with some incredibly talented people who are real experts in their areas. My role covers everything from setting boundaries for what products and industries we cover; determining our underwriting guidelines including what we need to consider when insuring specific clients; overseeing continuing professional development for our teams; and along with my colleagues driving our business growth. The best part of my job is getting out and meeting our clients first hand to better understand their business and how we can support each other.

What’s the hot topic in your sector right now?

There are always plenty but a current key focus area is sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG). QBE wants to drive positive global change and one way we can do this is to use our industry’s collective knowledge and skills. We also need to carefully manage these very important risks in a rapidly changing world, it’s crucial we continue to support economies and clients’ businesses as they evolve. For example,  QBE is a strong player in insuring the construction and operation of renewable energy resources.

Why are you a member of AustCham in Singapore?

I have strong ties to AustCham on a personal level, as an Australian citizen working in Singapore, and professionally, through my role in an Australian company who has been in the market for 130 years. QBE supports a large number of Australian and local businesses across Asia and AustCham Singapore, and its regional counterparts, provides an important on-the-ground network and is also an excellent source of information on relevant challenges and opportunities. I’ve been attending AustCham events since I arrived in Singapore and look forward to being able to do these more regularly in person in the future.

Where are your favourite places to go to relax in Singapore?

I’m most relaxed when I’m on my bike. One silver lining of the current COVID-19 situation is that we’ve all had more opportunities to explore our local surroundings. I can definitely say that I’ve now seen a lot of beautiful areas of Singapore that I may not have otherwise experienced – and become a bit fitter at the same time.

What are your predictions for the next 12 months?

It’s fair to say anyone who has answered this question in the last couple of years would probably have got it wrong! Of course, a key influencer of the next year will be vaccination rates and how countries then open up both internally and internationally.

Rather than predictions, my hopes are that we see COVID brought under control, borders open and travel resume to some level of normality. Importantly,  there are a number of areas where the world has actually moved forward in the last 18 months in ways that we would potentially not have done in more ordinary times. I do hope that a number of developments and lessons we have learned are not forgotten.

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