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CHARLOTTE ALLEN Manager, enterprise risk

Commonwealth Financial Network

Waltham, Mass

Charlotte Allen joined Commonwealth Financial Network after brief stints as both a teacher and working for her father’s roofing company. “Lots of risk there,” she said of the latter. Her desire to chart her own course brought her to Commonwealth 10 years ago. “In our jobs, helping your company manage risk, you’re helping to protect a company that you care about,” she said.

What’s your advice on navigating the current insurance market?

It’s so hard right now. All the forms we have to fill out have become more detailed; a good example is cyber liability. What we have to complete now is much more intense than I’ve ever seen. One advantage is having really strong controls; applications are including the control side in greater detail. Stronger controls make you a better risk. Strengthen your controls.

How will your work change going forward?

It changes constantly, and the pandemic pushed it even faster. The pandemic has pushed many companies to speed up some strategies, like looking at doing more frequent scenario tests and revisiting risk appetite. Things that weren’t common before are now top of mind.

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

Risk management is naturally kind of behind the scenes and doesn’t get as much recognition as more visible roles. Maybe we need to be more visible — in our organizations, in our industry — and show our value from behind the curtain.

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I grew up on a farm and I know how to drive a forklift.

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

Backgammon. I’m starting to really like backgammon. My husband and I have been doing that a lot. I’m a little more competitive than I thought I was.