Hi Larry. Please tell us about your career so far? How did you get into employee benefits (EB)?
I’ve been in the global employee benefits world for eight years now, supporting MAXIS and MetLife Global Employee Benefits. Since 2011, I’ve held various roles for MAXIS, in Finance, Reporting, Underwriting and now Business Development.
Prior to my current role as Account Executive for US East Region, I worked as an Underwriting Manager for the Americas working with over 50 multinational customers. I am the third generation of my family to work for the MAXIS parent company, MetLife. With over 50 years of combined experience at MetLife, we like to say our family has ‘blue blood’!
How did the transition from Underwriting to Business Development go? Do you think your technical expertise helps you be more successful?
Relationship management skills and emotional intelligence are definitely required for success in Business Development as it is all about working with people. As our multinational customer base shifts their global benefits approach – particularly to employee benefits captives – it’s a real advantage for clients if we also have good technical acumen. I use my actuarial skillset and experience from my roles in the MAXIS Technical team to drive efficiencies and maximise value for our customers.
How do the two roles compare? What do you like most about your Business Development role?
In my view, both roles require a delicate balance of relationship management (‘the Arts’) and technical elements (‘the “Sciences’). In both you need to engage with clients, consultants and our network members and you need the technical skills too. In my Business Development role, I enjoy working with so many different teams at MAXIS such as Account Management, Health & Wellness, Marketing & Digital, Legal and Underwriting to deliver a great customer experience to our clients. There’s lots of variety working with all these different teams.
What are the common questions multinational employers and global brokers/consultants are asking about in EB at the moment?
Obviously, the outbreak of COVID-19 is one of the biggest topics our clients are thinking about at the moment. Multinational employers are looking to protect the safety and wellbeing of their most valuable assets: their employees. Our account teams have been working to proactively review local market coverage levels around pandemics and provide support to our customers during these unprecedented times.
Aside from COVID-19, increased access to data in the global health and wellness space, the market is looking for actionable recommendations and approaches to address the cost drivers and trends.
When you’re not helping multinationals run their global EB programmes, what do you like to do? What are you particularly passionate about?
When I’m not working, I’m a full time, 2nd year MBA candidate at a top MBA school in the US – the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. I really enjoy the exposure to broad, diverse functional areas that enrich current and future executive competencies. I also enjoy golf and try to play at least once a week. And I’m a “foodie” – on the weekends, you can find me trying some of the top-rated restaurants in the NYC area – when we’re not practicing social distancing, of course.
If you could choose any career path (aside from your current one) what would you do?
My dream career would be to own a vineyard in eastern Long Island, NY. But if I had to choose a profession, I’d choose to be a teacher. I believe education is truly a lifelong journey!