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2018 Women to Watch: Sarah Sherman

Sarah Sherman
Executive vice president, property practice leader
JLT Specialty USA
San Francisco
Age: 38

Sarah Sherman freely admits that she “had no idea about what a job in insurance really meant” when she received a Walter C. Wattles Fellowship at Lloyd’s of London, a program created to provide opportunities in the international insurance business.

“I probably wouldn’t have picked insurance without having been to London,” said Ms. Sherman, who was impressed that the entire business is based on trust and relationships. “Moving back to the U.S., I took that with me. It’s all predicated on trust and relationships. For me, I stayed in insurance because I liked what it was built on.”

Insurance has proved to be a good fit for Ms. Sherman, who has followed a career path starting as an aviation broker to her current position, since 2015, of executive vice president, property practice leader at JLT Specialty USA, a unit of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group PLC, and a place on Business Insurance’s 2018 roll of Women to Watch.

“First and foremost, my duty is to take care of my clients,” she said. In addition to growing the business, she makes sure that her people “have all the resources they need to be successful with clients.”

And according to one client, she is quite successful at doing so.

“Sarah is extremely knowledgeable in her field and as client-focused as they come,” said Steve Grimes, CEO of Rental Properties of America Inc. in Oak Brook, Illinois. She has “a unique way of commanding the room and getting what needs to be done done.”

In her current role, Ms. Sherman designed the special perils endorsement to cover losses not addressed by traditional property policies. She noted there is a lot of risk — such as lost revenue due to outbreaks of Zika and other diseases — that does not involve property loss.

She said JLT Specialty USA developed some wording that provides some coverage in those scenarios.

Ms. Sherman continues to play an active role with the Wattles Fellowship, noting that some fellows have gone on to senior management positions in the industry. “It’s a great network,” she said.

NEXT: Mary Beth Smykowski
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