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Chief Underwriting Officer, Professional Liability Operations
XL Insurance (Bermuda) Ltd.
As the chief underwriting officer of XL Insurance (Bermuda) Ltd.’s professional liability unit, Sherron Williams oversees a team of 15 people managing the second-largest portfolio of business within XL’s Bermuda operations. Ms. Williams—who joined XL as a trainee underwriter in 1991—regularly participates in industry events, sharing her industry knowledge and expertise with peers. Most recently, she co-chaired the 2007 Bermuda Professional Liability Underwriting Society Symposium, held on the island in June.
Best professional advice: "It was by my prior manager when I assumed this role…he said to me 'Don’t forget the importance of empowering those who report to you.' Essentially, he was saying that often times you find a manager who is threatened by a (employee) who is smarter than them, more creative than them, has a better working relationship with key contacts…and as such feels that (he/she) shouldn’t develop them further. Embrace those strengths and allow them to soar. I have tried to adapt that. I feel that I have a very loyal team. They are welcome to disagree with me. If they come to me with an idea, I say go with it. As a manager, that’s probably the best piece of advice I’ve received."
Best about current role: "I like the fact that XL gives me a great deal of autonomy. We agree on goals, and then they leave me to execute. There is no one hovering over me, telling me what to do and…feeling as if you really are in charge of your destiny appeals to me to a great extent."
Advice to young women: "Work hard, be punctual, be consistent. But, I also say to them, 'don’t forget that you are a woman, embrace your femininity.' Women bring unique talents to the workforce. Let us not forget that as we progress on. But, please don’t use the fact that you are women as an excuse to why you cannot excel. That I do not find acceptable."