When I arrived in London, armed only with a degree in Japanese and Psychology, I didn’t really have a clear career direction. I knew my language skills might open some doors and that I wanted a career that allowed me to travel, but that’s about as far as it went. Fortunately, I met a recruiter who told me about Lloyd’s Corporation and an opportunity to be the Personal Assistant to the Operations Director for Lloyd’s Japan. I got the job and have worked in various roles for Lloyd’s from then on.
After spending my first few years as a PA, and then as an executive in the International Regulatory Affairs team, I was given the opportunity to learn more about Lloyd’s business in Asia firsthand. I spent a year on secondment in key locations – Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo. Then I came back to take on the role of Overseas Network Manager in London. I did that for two years and then got offered the opportunity to work in Hong Kong.
As Lloyd’s General Representative for Hong Kong, I had a lot of different responsibilities. But it's that variety that made the job so interesting. One day I would have been liaising with the Hong Kong government to keep them updated on how Lloyd’s is working. The next I would be talking to different companies that are writing Lloyd’s business in Hong Kong – anyone from shipping to jewellery underwriters, or answering queries from brokers or clients about how to do business with Lloyd’s. I also did a lot of promotion work and sat on various committees and boards which discuss developments in the industry.
From Hong Kong I returned to London, joining the International Regulatory Affairs department as a Senior Manager for International Regulatory Development. The IRA team liaise with international regulators and governments to protect and improve Lloyd’s trading status around the world. We might be responding to new draft legislation which could impact the way Lloyd’s trades in a territory, briefing UK government ministers on insurance aspects for intergovernmental trade dialogues, or hosting programmes on Lloyd’s for international regulators. It was really rewarding to be working on projects which had a very tangible benefit to the market, both defending their ability to trade in various existing markets and working on new licence opportunities in growing and emerging markets.
I have now returned to Singapore, combining my experience of regulatory affairs and my knowledge of the Asia Pacific region in a newly created role, Regional Regulatory and Compliance Manager for Asia-Pacific. Working with colleagues in Australia, Japan and Singapore, I will be responsible for leading regulatory relationships and overseeing the regulated activities of the Lloyd’s market in the region. I think the main reason I have a job I love is that Lloyd’s really rewards people who are positive and interested to learn. If you can present a solid business case for something and you’re persistent enough, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to do it. That’s what I’ve done throughout my career and it’s really paid off for me.