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2016 Women to Watch: Marguerite Dixen

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Marguerite Dixen
President
Third Coast Underwriters, a division of AF Group
Chicago
Age: 53

Building a company from the ground up presents challenges, and that’s what Marguerite Dixen had to navigate at Third Coast Underwriters, a division of Lansing, Michigan-based AF Group that launched in 2010.

Chicago-based Third Coast specializes in providing workers compensation insurance for industries that may have difficulty being insured under traditional workers comp programs, such as the oil and gas sectors, construction and agricultural operations.

The workers comp industry “was performing very poorly, and I was looking to write business in what was the toughest part of the market,” said Ms. Dixen, who has been president of Third Coast since its launch in 2010. Before that, she was Midwest regional vice president and senior vice president for construction at SeaBright Insurance Co.

Ms. Dixen selected the leadership team for Third Coast, which had a combined ratio of 89.6% in 2015, an accomplishment the firm attributes to its underwriting, claims and loss control approaches.

Michael A. Valiante, Chicago-based vice president of production and agency management at Third Coast Underwriters, calls her “a true inspiration to the entire team.” “From working directly with her personally, I have learned the value of building a team which shares the vision to benefit those we work with on a day-to-day basis.

It is critical to create an inclusive environment where diversity of thought is paramount, which leads to better outcomes for those we work with,” Mr. Valiante said.

Ms. Dixen credits her curiosity for getting her where she is in her career today.

“My degree was in economics and political science, but I started studying risk and insurance in college and really developed a passion for what insurance can do to move the economy and the world forward by diversifying risk,” Ms. Dixen said.

“I’m kind of a risk management character that is spurred by curiosity and having the opportunity to watch the economy grow,” she said.

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