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JAMES ROZZI Executive vice president

Risk Placement Services Inc.

San Francisco

As an econ-finance student at Bentley University, James Rozzi had considered a Wall Street career. That changed in 2006, however, when he was recruited on campus by American International Group Inc. A month later he started working as an underwriter at Lexington Insurance Co. in Boston and later transferred to San Francisco. In 2010 he joined Risk Placement Services as a wholesale broker.

What is the biggest challenge of working through the pandemic?

I love being around people and the pandemic doesn’t give me the ability to do that. I’m thankful that it’s 2020 and the tech world has given us the ability to interact. Second is the fear factor, as everybody is nervous about their own business and livelihood, or their health.

What should the industry do to attract more young people to work in it?

Education on how dynamic and niche-driven it can become. You can be a marine expert in Houston and focus on oil and gas risks, or a California quake expert and talk about complex parametric coverages.

What do you know now that you wish you knew at 18?

I wish I knew more about the insurance industry. I didn’t find out about it until my junior year in college because my roommate’s father owned a personal lines agency in Massachusetts. I wish my high school had more programs to talk about different insurance jobs you could get into, like when people used to learn trades such as woodworking, metal and auto.

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I like to cook. I like to make wood-fired pizza and my own pasta sauce and I don’t think people would expect me to be so well-versed in the kitchen.

What is your favorite meal?

Easy, my own pasta Bolognese sauce with rigatoni.

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