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LIAN PHUA Underwriting manager, political risk, credit and bond

Axa XL, a unit of Axa SA

New York

Lian Phua started in the industry in 2006 as a risk analyst at a boutique credit insurer. She had seen the job posted on New York University’s career site and thought it sounded intriguing. Ms. Phua studied economics as an undergraduate at NYU and has a deep interest in world affairs and the global economy. A risk analyst role at QBE North America followed, then an MBA from Columbia Business School before she joined Axa XL in 2013.

What’s your top tip for working remotely?

Try to maintain a morning routine as much as you had when you were working in the office. Doing conference calls if possible on the phone and walking around in your apartment or house is good so as not to be sitting down all the time.

How will your work change going forward?

The definition of innovation is going to be very different. Part of how insurers can be innovative is to look at how people are working and communicating in this new reality.

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

Insurance has not done a good job of communicating that it is an innovative industry. Younger professionals don’t realize insurance is trying to disrupt and innovate with the future. If they could hear the testimonials of other young insurance professionals that would be more helpful.

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I’m first generation. My dad is from Singapore, my mum is from China, but I’m from the Jersey Shore, and I went to high school with someone from the show “Jersey Shore.”

What’s one habit or hobby you adopted during the pandemic?

I’ve taken an interest in all things interior design — how to do more with less, how to make your space feel comfortable.