Guardian director of claims & underwriting strategy to leave role on 31 July
Julie Hopkins has decided to retire from the insurance industry after 50 years of service.
As well as starting her career at the original Guardian (in 1970), Hopkins spent over 25 years at Hannover Re and five years as a consultant. Later, she played an integral role in bringing new entrant Guardian to market in 2018, as well as setting up the firm's reinsurance relationships.
Known for her dedication to fair underwriting and commitment to extending the value of protection far and wide, she leaves Guardian after helping to establish its broader, simple approach to critical illness definitions alongside its holistic added-value service claim proposition, HALO.
Hopkins is also responsible for Guardian's underwriting rules engine and, more recently, led its team of underwriters though the challenges brought about by Covid-19.
At the end of the month, she hands over her formal ExCo responsibilities to Duncan Mosely, Guardian's chief operating officer and will remain on an advisory basis until 15 October when she will leave the business.
Cavendish Ware associate director Roy McLoughlin offered the following tribute: "Julie is in many ways the ‘jewel in the crown' of the protection industry. Engaging and educational, she bridged the gap between re-insurers and advisers particularly at a time when our industry needed this understanding. She took the time to appreciate advisers and broke down barriers with her positivity, mutual understanding and empathy. Loved by all she would always light up the room with her infectious personality and she was hugely popular. We will all miss that smile and I know the protection industry will implore her to never be a stranger."
Katya MacLean, Guardian CEO added: "Anyone who knows Julie knows that insurance is her passion. As she'd say herself, it's not just a job. We've been so lucky to have had access to her skills and talent for so long at this stage of her career. She's been an incredible part of our journey and an inspiration to everyone who works here. She leaves behind fantastic underwriting and claims teams, who will build on her successes, but she'll be sorely missed by us all. We wish her well for her retirement."
Hopkins herself said: "Who can believe that when I started my career at Guardian in 1970 that I'd be finishing it 50 years later at the same company! Needless to say, it's been a blast! I can only think I've lasted this long because I'm passionate about doing the right thing and I value what we do. My focus has always been on how to make things better for the customer, so when Guardian came along (again) - with its clear commitment to doing the right thing - I jumped at the chance to be part of this exciting challenger. It felt like the right culmination of my life's work.
"While I'll obviously miss everyone, I leave the team in great hands."
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