Rising star at XL builds his cyber liability insurance skills
Bermudian Noel Pearman is a rising star in the Island’s international business arena. An underwriter at XL Insurance (Bermuda), he has now been promoted to vice-president within the company’s professional lines insurance department.
He has also just spent a month in New York City expanding his knowledge of and refining his skills in cyber liability insurance, an area of expertise at the leading edge of the insurance field.
Applying his skills and immersing himself in the sharp end of insurance innovation excites Mr Pearman, and he was viewed within XL as an ideal candidate for taking on such a role.
“He has tremendous skillsets,” said Matthew Irvine, senior vice president and chief underwriting officer, commenting on the level of competence displayed by Mr Pearman. “I’ve seen him exhibit the core qualities; professionalism, hard work and tenacious competency.”
For these reasons Mr Pearman, a former Regiment lieutenant, was put forward for further development in this expanding segment of the insurance world.
“Getting involved with cyber liability is exciting. It is at the leading edge,” said Mr Pearman, explaining how the insurance can provide financial cover for companies that are ‘hacked’ or suffer a network breach and have data such as clients’ details and credit card numbers stolen. He adds: “And if a network is taken out of commission you would want business interruption coverage.”
Mr Pearman, 33, has made an impressive rise through the ranks at XL. He gained an honours degree in economics from the University of Western Ontario before returning to the Island to work in cash management at an international company. When he was made redundant in his early 20s, he handed his CV to a friend who worked in the (re)insurance sector and landed himself a job as an underwriter.
He acknowledges that timing was on his side. It was 2003 and there was a hard market; insurers and reinsurers were looking to expand in the wake of disasters such as 9/11. He spent the next eight years honing his skills before joining XL.
“There was an opening and I applied. It was an opportunity to gain international exposure. I saw the company was very resilient. XL was coming out of a difficult time and was showing its resilience and they were very serious about attracting good talent,” he said.
Initially, Mr Pearman was exposed to established insurance lines, including directors and officers (D&O) and errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. Last month he was given the opportunity to increase his skillsets, working alongside one of XL’s senior cyber liability insurance teams in Manhattan.
“It is an area of concern for all our client base. We want to increase our knowledge for the Bermuda platform,” said Mr Pearman.
Mr Irvine refers to the company leveraging knowledge within the group globally and being able to take talented, quick-learning staff, like Mr Pearman, and dropping them into new environments to further expand their knowledge.
Achieving at a high level is something Mr Pearman demonstrated during his six years with the Regiment, which saw him undergo officer training at Britain’s esteemed Royal Military Academy Sandhurst leading to his elevation to the rank of lieutenant.
Away from work, he spends his leisure time happily with his wife and their two young children and has an active involvement with his church.
Reflecting on his career path, which has now taken him a vice-president level with one of the world’s leading insurance companies, he said other Bermudians considering a similar career must bear in mind the hard work and application necessary succeed.
“It will stretch you professionally. This company is looking for international quality. You have to work towards a target of being world class,” he said. He noted the job market is tougher today than when he entered the industry, but said those committed to establishing a career should not be dissuaded by that, and he has seen some people working as volunteers for months in order to prove themselves.
He added: “My 10 years of experience has helped. You pay your dues along the way.”
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