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2019 Women to Watch EMEA: Silvia Herms

Silvia Herms

Silvia Herms
Head of economics and financial affairs
Association of Mutual Insurers and Insurance Cooperatives in Europe
Age: 45

An interest in mathematics drew Silvia Herms to economics, on to actuarial science and into the insurance sector, but her career path took a different route when she moved into policy development, where she has helped influence the development of Europe’s key risk-based capital regulations.

Born and raised in Barcelona, Spain, Ms. Herms joined KPMG SA in the accounting and consulting firm’s local office after completing her master’s degree in 1998 and quickly specialized in insurance.

It was while working at KPMG that she first became familiar with Solvency II, a risk-based capital regime for insurers in the European Union that came into effect in 2016 but had been more than a decade in development.

In 2007, she was offered the chance to move to Brussels to join Insurance Europe, a federation of European insurer groups, but soon moved to the Association of Mutual Insurers and Insurance Cooperatives in Europe, which was looking for an expert in Solvency II.

In her role as head of economics and financial affairs for AMICE, she represents the position of mutual and cooperatives in front of European regulatory and legislative bodies regarding Solvency II and other issues. In addition to dealing with policymakers, she also fields questions from AMICE’s members about the directive.

While she still uses her actuarial training and technical insurance expertise, Ms. Herms also enjoys the first-hand experience of policy development.

“You see the whole process, and you can really influence the final shape of a regulation,” she said. “There are many countries involved, different parties, so it’s complex. But at the same time, it is very interesting.”

Ms. Herms’ dedication to her work, skill as an actuarial technician and experience negotiating with different European institutions sets her apart, said Sarah Goddard, secretary general of AMICE.

“There were only five organizations across Europe that were designated as key stakeholders in the development of the final format of the Solvency II directive. One of those five was AMICE, and there is no doubt in my mind that that was due in large part to Silvia’s expertise,” she said.

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