Surety Bond Quarterly - Winter 2014 - (Page 14)

feature traiNiNg the Next geNeratioN of surety taleNt NEW PEOPlE COME to the surety industry with a wide variety of education and experience. Many companies like to recruit business graduates or those with strong accounting backgrounds. Others prefer liberal arts majors who have demonstrated critical thinking, strategic planning and communications skills. Whatever their backgrounds, however, these new talents rarely have any real knowledge of surety bonds and the surety industry. Their initial training becomes key to their longterm success. New hires at Merchants Bonding Company start their training program during their first week on the job. The self-paced course is done online, with trainees working under the supervision of underwriting managers. As the trainees complete assignments and assessments, they review what they've learned with the manager, who may assign additional training as needed. "Underwriting is only half the program; the other half is marketing," said Josh Penwell, Vice President, Contract Underwriting. "We train new underwriters to have meaningful and productive meetings with their agencies and their contractor clients. "We spend a considerable amount of time and energy explaining to new underwriters how we look at each account on its own merits," he continued. "Our underwriting involves 14 WhATEvER ThEIR BACKgROUNdS, hOWEvER, ThESE NEW TAlENTS RARElY hAvE ANY REAl KNOWlEdgE OF SURETY BONdS ANd ThE SURETY INdUSTRY. ThEIR INITIAl TRAININg BECOMES KEY TO ThEIR lONg-TERM SUCCESS. the analysis of subjective criteria and that can be challenging to teach. You can't fully grasp the fundamentals of underwriting just by reading books and articles, so we devote a significant amount of time covering real-life applications and examples in their training." CNA Surety's program is nine to 12 months of training in headquarters or a field office, using books and online practice. The trainees are closely monitored by underwriting manager mentors, who spend time with them every day to answer any questions they may have. Trainees accompany underwriters on client visits to break up that study time and garner real-life experience. J.M. "Bud" Herndon, CNA Surety Underwriting Director in the Baltimore Branch, said he meets weekly with his new employees to review their progress and make sure that they have thoroughly grasped all the concepts. "There's a certain amount of knowledge that has to be drilled in early so that it can be applied later," said Herndon. "We make a substantial investment in the trainees, and there is no substitute for devoting a lot of time to them." surety BoNd Quarterly | WINTER 2014 Introducing an employee to the company culture is a key part of Chubb Surety's training program, according to Rick Ciullo, Chief Operating Officer at Chubb Surety. "We are focused on bigger, more sophisticated clients, and those clients expect underwriters to show up and interact with them as intellectual equals." Chubb's surety school starts with three weeks of surety and insurance classes, after which trainees work with their managers on a professional development plan. They return to Chubb's surety school four times over the next two years, alternating field time with classes. The later classes are less about financial analysis and more about business planning, marketing and running effective client meetings. In addition, Chubb sends trainees to its own workshops. Top-performing underwriters with three or four years' experience may have the opportunity to intern in a contractor's office for a week or two. Bond producer firm Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has set up its own training program because it's harder for them to recruit new producers with surety company backgrounds.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Surety Bond Quarterly - Winter 2014

NASBP Upcoming Meetings
2014-2015 NASBP Executive Committee
From the CEO: Education is everywhere and in everything we do
Practical Insights: What You Need to Know-Lease Accounting, A new standard is coming
Surety Up North
Training the Next Generation of Surety Talent
EJCDC’s New P3 Document
The Top 10 Things Public Owners Should Know About Surety Bonds
What's a Construction Company's Most Valuable Asset?
NASBP Virtual Seminars
School’s Back!
New NASBP Resource: Information map of advocacy issues
Meetings in Photos
The Importance of Cracking the “WIP” Monthly
U.S. Customs and Border Protection to Deploy eBond
NASBP Outreach Continues Throughout the Year
Index to Advertisers

Surety Bond Quarterly - Winter 2014