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2019 Women to Watch EMEA: Sabine VanderLinden

Sabine VanderLinden

Sabine VanderLinden
CEO for the insurtech business at SBC G Ltd. and partner at Rainmaking Innovation Ltd.
Age: 47

Sabine VanderLinden’s first foray into insurance came during a study abroad year in the United Kingdom.

As part of the graduate recruitment process, Lloyd’s of London was among employers visiting universities to give students an insight into the marketplace. It was on one of these visits that Ms. VanderLinden heard about the Lutine Bell and all the exotic risks that Lloyd’s insured.

“I thought that was an interesting market to tackle,” Ms. VanderLinden said. So upon graduating, she got her first job at Lloyd’s broker Miller Insurance Services LLP and then in 1997 became a regulatory officer at Lloyd’s.

An MBA followed, and at the end of 2000 she joined IBM UK Ltd., which was setting up a new consulting arm “to start challenging the way they were seeing the market. I was in the insurance practice,” she said.

It was here that she decided to focus on enabling technology to meet the business challenges of large enterprises. That mission continues today as she leads the insurtech business for SBC G Ltd., a global insurance accelerator that works with established insurers and startups.

Finding talent is a challenge, she said.

“In an entrepreneurial environment, finding people who have the right skills and commitment to the goal is hard and takes time,” she said, adding: “I’ve learned to deal with a very male-dominated environment, and I’m not fazed by it.”

Bringing new female talent into the industry is key, Ms. VanderLinden said. “I would like to be a voice to that, and also to remind businesses in general that women are role models if given the chance to do it the right way.”

Ms. VanderLinden is a “good leader and quite inspirational,” said Antony Elliott, Zurich-based global head of business transformation at Zurich Insurance Co. Ltd., who began working with her three years ago as Zurich partnered with SBC’s Startupbootcamp.

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