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2019 Women to Watch: Kris Hill

Kris Hill

Kris Hill
President, alternative markets
QBE North America
New York
Age: 53

One could say Kris Hill is a dreamer, which she wholeheartedly admits.

“I get visionary and ‘Pollyanna’ sometimes,” she said of her 25-year career in the insurance industry, where she now helps to lead the alternative markets segment for QBE North America, helping businesses stay afloat through creative approaches to risk financing.

“I used to tell my kids I was helping to build America,” she said of a career that is all about keeping business moving.

The industry “enables everything to grow; it makes businesses go. It’s more than just insurance products; it’s more than just compliance,” she said. “Businesses need us to manage their risk and grow their business.”

After graduating from college, Ms. Hill arrived to the industry from public accounting via a professional recruiter, because she wanted to find work in upstate Connecticut to start a family with her husband, she said.

“It was the best decision I ever made,” she said. “A lot of my moves are based on family.”

Her children, now 25, 22 and 18, grew alongside her industry knowledge and career, which put her in leadership roles with several large insurers, including Liberty Mutual Surety and Aetna Life & Casualty, where she started her insurance career. In 2017 she landed at QBE North America, a unit of Australian insurer QBE Insurance Group Ltd.

“Insurance is a big piece of the business puzzle,” she said. “Something that drives me is finding that piece of the puzzle that’s going to make a difference, that’s going to make it happen.”

She starts by asking a lot of questions, whether about workers compensation for janitors or managing risk in excess and surplus lines.

“I often have so many questions,” she said. “People used to say, ‘Why don’t you just run a business?’”

Work expertise aside, colleague Pamela Konops, New York-based senior vice president for human resources at QBE North America, called Ms. Hill a “phenomenal role model for people who juggle work and family.”

“People follow her,” said Ms. Konops. “She lives her life to the fullest.”

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