Beazley's Patrick Hartigan talks about the personal side of reinsurance business.

How did you make it to where you are today?

I have been fortunate to learn the tools of my trade from highly knowledgeable and inspiring individuals, first in broking and then underwriting. This plus a conscientiousness and determination to succeed have held me in good stead.

What has changed the most since you started in insurance?

The number of insurers, reinsurers and brokers has reduced significantly; what was a fragmented market with many thinly capitalised businesses is now more well-regulated. Enterprise risk management has also enabled the industry to take a more holistic view of risk.

What advice would you offer to someone just starting out?

Get a professional qualification. For someone with an interest in reinsurance, a good grounding in insurance would enable you to understand the motivations of direct writers and help differentiate between a good and a mediocre client.

What comes to mind when you think of contemporaries and friends in the industry?

Despite the huge technical and technological advances in market and constantly evolving efficiencies, such as e-trading, relationships are still a fundamental part of our business. The insurance market, and Lloyd’s in particular, has been instrumental in providing the framework for nurturing talent. I have been lucky to have spent much of my formative years in insurance engaging in Lloyd’s sponsored educational, sporting or social activities – domestically and abroad – which have cemented friendships and business relationships that have proved invaluable in securing good trading partnerships for Beazley.

What do you do to relax?

Play and watch sport (more of the latter these days); listen to music on my iPod; do the children’s homework.

Patrick Hartigan is head of the reinsurance division at Beazley