2016 Women to Watch: Ana RobicReprints
Executive vice president and regional commercial insurance manager for Canada
Ana Robic thought about becoming either a lawyer or a journalist, but decided she needed office experience before graduating from Queen’s University with an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science in 1999.
She took an internship with then-Chubb Corp. and the rest, as they say, is history.
What won Ms. Robic over and led to a 17-year career in the insurance industry was that the company was uninterested in having its interns perform menial tasks such as fetching coffee. By the end of her three-month internship, she was making a pitch on an auto parts manufacturer’s account, one of the ways in which Chubb “gave a really good glimpse” at what a career in the industry would be like.
The company frequently transferred her to different divisions and positions, at times before she herself thought she was ready, allowing her to utilize her skills and expertise but be constantly challenged by learning about new industries. “You don’t have to know everything to try everything,” she said. “Women do themselves a disservice by thinking every box has to be checked off.”
She considers herself fortunate to work for Chubb in Canada where “there’s no glass ceiling,” with two female CEOs during her tenure. But she understands that isn’t true for the rest of the industry and other sectors.
“It’s an anomaly amongst my friends,” she said, adding that major industry events, including a recent golf tournament in which she was one of only two women playing, are still dominated by men.
Ms. Robic was integral in ensuring a smooth transition of the Canadian operations of Ace Ltd. and Chubb after the insurers agreed to merge in July 2015. That included leading “ice breaker” meetings for Chubb and Ace staffers to get to know each other and determine how to integrate their portfolios, including detailed conversations about risk selection, said Ellen Moore, president and CEO of Chubb Insurance Co. of Canada in Toronto.
“She’s a very calming, stabilizing influence,” said Gregory Belton, executive chairman for Hub International Ontario in Toronto, who works with her on client insurance placements. “There are no surprises with Ana. She’s a straight shooter. You don’t always get what you want from her, but you understand where she’s coming from.”