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2017 Break Out Awards, West: Sarah Sherman

2017 Break Out Awards, West: Sarah Sherman


Executive vice president

JLT Specialty USA

San Francisco

Age: 36

Sarah Sherman had no idea how to even read a homeowner’s or auto insurance policy when she applied for and received a Walter C. Wattles Fellowship at Lloyd’s of London, which is only available to women graduating from Vanderbilt University to give them a year of experience working in the insurance industry. She eventually landed at JLT Specialty USA, a unit of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group P.L.C. in November 2015 and is now the broker’s property practice leader.

Best advice you’ve been given

When you’re put in a difficult position, to not react immediately. To take a deep breath and sit on it for a little bit before reacting. Generally, you’re going to make a better decision if you do that. It’s difficult in this business because, especially on the deal side, a lot of decisions have to be made fast.

Top industry concern

I think the biggest issue that clients face today is the unknown of something they haven’t really imagined and haven’t been able to quantify. That’s when things can go really wrong, when there’s a surprise and you’re not prepared for it. Once you understand a risk and you’re able to quantify it, clients are able to make a choice either to do a traditional risk transfer or self-insure it.

Best-kept secret about insurance

I think it’s the opportunity to get to work with so many different clients. You’re not pigeonholed into one sector. You’re really exposed to so many different types of companies.

How do you unwind?

For me, my life is my family, my husband and my two little (twin) boys, Henry and Colt. They turned 2 in March and they are the busiest little boys you’ve ever met and they have certainly learned that they are smarter together.


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