Reinventing Carrier Relationships

Tom McGrath

SVP & Head of US Programs, AIG

Tom is responsible for overseeing our programs portfolio. While doing so, he looks to bring on new clients, establish parameters and business strategies, and oversee plans to make sure we deliver on our commitments.

With his background in finance and accounting, Tom started his 35+ year insurance journey in reinsurance - but really wanted to get into the underwriting side of things. In the late 90s he worked on the client side as the first Program Manager on the VFIS program with Glatfelter Insurance Group - which is especially notable because he’s at AIG now and AIG recently acquired Glatfelter. After many different roles, Tom’s experience has come full-circle, so to speak.

With all of this experience, Tom sums up what he has learned quite simply: it’s all about the people. “It’s about our clients and AIG personnel too,” he notes, “how we execute on promises and the standards we set.” Tom feels that good business strategy means focusing on key relationships…and that insurance is about those relationships. “Reputation and service have to be earned every single day, so that’s what we set out to do,” he explains. “The client needs quality - not just promised quality but validated quality. It’s a mindset. We want to make it easier to do business with AIG and add value. We genuinely care about their needs and provide service, focus, help and support.”

Tom found this last year to be especially rewarding—being able to transition programs to AIG with alternative solutions, such as using a fronted model. “We’ve been able to work with prior carriers to keep the business in place until we are ready to move the client - making it as smooth and efficient a process as possible. We have to get creative to make these types of solutions possible. There are always business risks involved when you move a program to a new carrier - but we can make it as seamless as possible for our partners (and minimize their transition risk) by working with their current carriers,” he notes.

Tom is here to help fix things for clients. To be an advocate. To support them in what they do well - and to help make them more successful. 

Erin Fry

Chief Underwriting Officer – AIG Programs

Erin works to provide organizational consistency in underwriting and ensure that we’re always operating as efficiently as possible when it comes to our underwriting approach and guidelines.  She’s responsible for the oversight, coordination, and implementation of the underwriting strategies for AIG Programs, ensuring that we help deliver long-term and sustained underwriting growth. Erin is also responsible for the Product Development and Product Line Officer teams, who provide innovation solutions to our clients’ insurance needs.

The Chief Underwriting Office provides thought leadership and evaluates emerging trends across the insurance industry. Erin and her team work to bring an industry-wide view to niche market segments to consider all aspects of underwriting exposure and risk. She’s an attorney by background, serving as Staff Attorney at the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Her deep interest in environmental law led her to the start of her insurance career – as a claims attorney, and paved the professional path that took her to where she is now.

Erin strongly believes that diversity of thought is essential to success—the more variety of experience you can bring to the table, the better your perspective. “It’s like adding building blocks that help you continue to grow,” she noted. “To tap into diversity regularly, it’s essential to recognize the deep value of other people’s experiences.”

Erin has been a part of the insurance industry for over 14 years. One of the most rewarding moments of her career occurred when she had the opportunity to mentor and promote talent within her team. She enjoys seeing individuals grow professionally and helping them to craft plans to further their professional ambitions.

In a prior role, Erin had a manager who was out on maternity leave, so she had the opportunity to present three skip level team members for an elite leadership program. In doing so, she got to deeply know the three female team members and gain an understanding of their professional goals. Erin had the privilege of advocating for these women and presenting a case on why they should be accepted into the leadership program. All three women were ultimately accepted into the program and are, in Erin’s words, “superstars” in the business world today. Being a part of their professional journey meant a lot to Erin—just as helping clients to succeed means a lot to Erin.  She prides herself on building open and honest relationships and advocating for her business partners and team members alike.  

You can expect transparency when working with Erin and her team. She will always evaluate risks and relationships openly and discuss what works well and what needs to be fine-tuned as market trends change.

Shawn Yingling

Alternative Channels Distribution Leader, North America General Insurance | AIG

Shawn has worked in insurance for nearly 35 years—he entered the business just after graduating from college. Originally, he was planning to go to law school and spent the summer after his graduation working for the family business. In 1988, his friend suggested that he try an underwriting position with Glatfelter Insurance group—so he jumped into insurance wholeheartedly and has never looked back.

Shawn sees insurance as a people business, and puts lots of emphasis on dependable, quality communication. He believes in thoroughly understanding issues at the onset of each business relationship he makes, so that he can help positively impact clients. To do so, Shawn says establishing solid relationships is a must. He finds that these relationships, coupled with his commitment to accessibility, allow him to find solutions for efficient, successful operations.

Day-to-day, Shawn works within AIG Programs by partnering with Program Administrators and the AIG Programs team to further develop existing programs and explore new program relationships. Their goal is consistent innovation and improvement. His focus is on executing a consistent distribution strategy and driving profitable growth plans.

Shawn sees insurance as a critical cog in the economy’s wheel. “The U.S. economy does not work without commercial insurance and business owners rely on the insurance industry as a means to transfer risk so they can focus on running their businesses without fear in the event of a loss,” he explains. He also sees insurance as a hybrid of other industries, involving operations such as accounting, actuarial, IT services and legal.

The opportunity to step up for clients is something that has always appealed to Shawn. “I remember working closely with an insured on first-and-third-party damages of a particular claim and the insured was uncertain about the next steps in the process. I offered to come visit them to go over the claim and talk about the next steps to getting things resolved. They were truly grateful and gracious. That moment has always stood out to me, because I was not doing anything out of the ordinary, but the client felt better supported throughout the process and was grateful,” he explained.

Shawn looks ahead to new opportunities in his current role as Alternative Channels Distribution Leader for AIG Programs. He hopes to bring positive energy to the table and continue to make a memorable impact for anyone he partners with.