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2015 Women to Watch: Teresa Black



P/C Insurers Ace More + Less -

Teresa Black

Senior vice president and chief operating officer, Ace USA Surety

Ace Ltd.

New York

Age: 42

Teresa Black became senior vice president and chief operating officer of Ace USA's surety division in October 2013. In 2014, the U.S. surety business grew 10%, due to improved execution of the existing business development plan, while maintaining historical profitability targets.

That accomplishment won recognition for the Ace USA surety division received when it received a Business Unit of the Year Award, announced at the 2015 Ace North America annual kickoff meeting. Each year, the Ace USA business unit that executes across all production and profitability metrics is acknowledged with that honor.

It also helped win Ms. Black recognition as one of this year's Women to Watch.

“Teresa is a terrific executive and demonstrates all the characteristics of a good leader,” said John Lupica, vice chairman of Ace and chairman of insurance-North America, in an email. “She is hard-working, disciplined, multifaceted and results-oriented. We are lucky to have her within the Ace organization. I'm thrilled she is being recognized by Business Insurance, and that we have a chance to celebrate not only her accomplishments as a business leader but her contributions as an insurance industry professional.”

Ms. Black said she was drawn to the insurance industry because she wanted to find a way to put her economics degree to work.

“I enjoyed studying economics because it was like learning to use a giant decoder ring to understand the world around you and the forces, big and small, that impact the economy of a country, business or individual household.”

She joined the surety group with an underwriting background from directors and officers liability and a distribution management background from various roles within regional Ace operations.

“Both experiences provided a good starting point, but I still had to learn how surety bonds work, what key factors drive our underwriting decisions and how we source surety opportunities across brokers and regions,” she said. “By reading everything I could get my hands on, talking with surety experts both within Ace and externally, I was able to ascend a steep learning curve quickly. Today, we are reviewing our client acquisition strategy, exploring how a new technology platform will impact our growth.”

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