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Chief underwriting officer
International Catastrophe Insurance Managers LLC
Ashleigh Cashman thinks insurance is an “awesome industry to be in.”
“What I like about it, particularly my job, is the relationship-driven aspect of it — how many people I’ve gotten to meet throughout the years,” she said. “It’s a lot more intellectually stimulating than someone might think it would be.”
Ms. Cashman has been chief underwriting officer of International Catastrophe Insurance Managers LLC since February 2018. She’s been at ICAT for more than 17 years and serves on its executive committee, focusing on overall strategy for the company.
“I’ve grown up with the company and the opportunity to build,” she said, adding that she’s stayed because of “the opportunity for continued challenge and development in my career.”
Working on a project in 2012 to build insurer relationships within ICAT played a pivotal role in her career. The first large capacity deal she did, with QBE Insurance Group Ltd., “was a really big deal for ICAT,” she said. “It shifted us from being single carrier focused to multiple carrier focused.” The deal also gave her a lot of confidence and showed managers and the ICAT board that she could “execute on something big.”
Ms. Cashman gives credit where due for her success. “I’ve been surrounded by great mentors along the way,” she said, crediting senior executives, board members and others associated with the company as among those who have helped.
All of which has led her to give back.
“Something I really enjoy is developing others, both people who work on my team and others,” Ms. Cashman said. “We have a strong culture of development across the executive group.”
This approach encourages employees to find and engage with mentors. “People seek out those they want to learn from,” Ms. Cashman said. “I’ve found that mentorships are best when they’re created organically.”
To those entering the insurance industry, her advice is: “Learn everything you can. Be intellectually curious.”
Ms. Cashman said she believes the insurance industry is “making strides” in terms of diversity and is “headed in the right direction,” but also that “there’s a long way to go.”
The Business Insurance Women to Watch awards program highlights the achievements of female leaders in the insurance sector to celebrate their success and promote gender diversity in the industry.