February/March 2008

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Diversity In Action


Chubb’s loss control department needs plenty of techies

Some 300 out of 400 loss control folks have science or engineering backgrounds. “We look for people with strong technical acumen,” says a VP

Victor Sordillo.
Victor Sordillo.

Chubb’s loss control department is the company’s technical arm of underwriting, says VP Victor Sordillo, home office loss control manager. “We have about 400 people in the loss control department,” Sordillo notes. “Our main task is to provide an analysis of risk for the underwriter so the business can be priced properly.”

How do they do that? “We’ll go right out and visit the account,” Sordillo explains. “We walk through the facility, review their records, analyze their accident exposure and write a report for the underwriting groups.

“We’ll talk, for example, about a product that has a high potential for a very large loss, an explosion or toxicity. We analyze exposure and discuss the controls they have in place and how they will mitigate a potential explosion or illness.”

Approximately 300 people in the loss control department have science or engineering backgrounds. “When we recruit, we look for candidates with strong technical acumen,” says Sordillo. “We want people who can mix common sense with being able to talk to the engineering staff and the design teams.”

For example, when an assignment involves assessing liability for a toy manufacturer, “We need to understand the chemical processes that are used to ensure that the chemicals are not toxic.”

A strong technical background is important, but Sordillo says he’s also looking for two other factors. “One is common sense. For some it comes naturally but others struggle with it. I also require excellent communication skills. Our information collecting is based on our ability to have a good conversation and review technical data and convert it to basic terms for the underwriter.”

Chubb no longer aggressively recruits right out of college for the loss control function, but continues to work closely with minority engineering programs at several schools.

Kathleen Marvel, SVP and chief diversity officer: always room for more inclusiveness.
Kathleen Marvel, SVP and chief diversity officer: always room for more inclusiveness.
The diversity effort at Chubb began in the 1980s, says Kathleen Marvel, SVP and chief diversity officer. The first corporate employee group supported people of color, which at that time meant primarily black employees. Since then, the minority development council has broadened to include all people of color, with a specific focus on women of color.

There’s always room for more inclusiveness, Marvel notes. For example, Chubb’s gay and lesbian employee network, which was formed in 1966, started in IT, then went nationwide throughout the company.

IT, Marvel says, tends to be a highly diversified department and career. “IT is a newer profession, so it automatically includes more women and people of color as they come out of school.”


Chubb Logo.

Headquarters: Warren, NJ
Employees: 10,800 worldwide
Revenues: $14 billion
Business: Property and casualty insurance

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