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VP, Specialty Operations

Chicago, IL, USA | Allstate Insurance Company

  • Industry:
    Insurance - General
  • Position Type:
  • Functions:
    Business Development
    General Management
  • Experience:
Job Description:
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Specialty Operations is responsible for the management and administration of the Property/Liability Discontinued Lines and Coverages segment’s business including Northbrook Excess and Surplus Company (NESCO), Allstate Reinsurance Division (Pre-1985 liabilities), Primary Commercial Insurance (ABI Pre-1989, Canada Commercial and National/Corporate Accounts) and International (Puerto Rico automobile, Germany PIP liabilities).


 Specialty Operations is also responsible for the administration and oversight of all Property/Liability reinsurance (excluding FCIC).This includes Voluntary reinsurance (Catastrophe reinsurance, Commercial reinsurance, WYOF, Canada, Encompass, Uber Captive Reinsurance and Northlight), Involuntary reinsurance (MCCA, NJUCJF, North Carolina Auto and Homeowners Reinsurance Facilities, Mine Subsidence), Assumed reinsurance (Ivantage and Allstate Protection Plans (Square Trade)) and all Discontinued Lines and Coverages segment’s reinsurance programs.


Specialty Operations also provides specialized claim handling for Protection, Encompass and ABI (asbestos, environmental, workers comp and lead paint claims) and manages corporate legacy issues that do not naturally reside in the ongoing business units, such as Surety Bonds issued to ALIC and ALNY, and resolution of ongoing issues from the divestiture of PMI.

Key Responsibilities

In alignment with corporate goals, specific responsibilities for the Vice President Specialty Operations will include:

Strategic Partner – VP Specialty Operations

Builds strategic plan for Specialty Operations.

Oversees business matters across the enterprise to ensure integration across teams and effective decision making to enable business success.

Collaborates and partners with business teams and attends and actively participates in senior management meetings, understands the business, and leverages knowledge to promote business practices, objectives and initiatives.

Knowledge of complex insurance-related third-party contract negotiation to help navigate, plan and strategize for business continuity. 

Advises and collaborates with the senior management team and others on a wide array of insurance-related issues.

Identifies trends that will impact business results and promptly develops strategies for addressing those trends, assessing risks and opportunities, tradeoffs and benefits, and impact on short and long term goals.

Leader and Manager – VP Specialty Operations

Builds team capability with a focus on evolving industry trends, building business partnerships, and developing deep subject matter expertise.

Manages the delivery of services to the operation – ensuring that the business receives high-quality, cost-effective, commercially sensitive and fully responsive services. 

Oversees and leads the day-to-day operations of all segments of the department.This responsibility includes talent management and development, performance and compensation talent conversations, managing the group’s budget, and ensuring collaboration across One Finance.

Collaborates and partners with other officers within One Finance on matters relating to Department-wide operations and administration, strategy, planning, coaching and development of talent, performance conversations and compensation planning, diversity, systems and data management, and expenses. 

Challenges within 12 Months

The most significant challenges for the VP Specialty Operations for the first 12 months include:

 Gaining the respect, trust and confidence of senior leadership, both within and outside One Finance, and becoming familiar with the Department including the culture, processes, data and systems;

Working through and assessing the array of issues, projects, and other matters being led and supported by the Specialty Operations staff on behalf of the enterprise; 

Working through the enterprise’s priorities/challenges and related emerging business trends; and

Developing and mentoring the Specialty Operations team to build broad and deep bench strength.    

Educational Background

Bachelor’s degree is required.Achievement of insurance or financial services related professional designations, such as the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation, is a plus.

Leadership Traits

The successful candidate will be a change leader and manager. This individual must also have the following personal and professional attributes which are consistent with the Company’s stated values and should possess substantive business experience, or the substantial equivalent thereof, in a variety of areas including the following:


Advanced knowledge of insurance company operations including product development (and substantive product knowledge), claims, pricing, underwriting, marketing, distribution/sales, and claims.Knowledge of property and casualty insurance operations is preferred. Familiarity with emerging technology related to shared cars and autonomous vehicles is a plus.

Proven ability to establish, maintain and leverage favorable relationships with insurance and/or financial services regulators, trade association members and leadership, and industry representatives.

General knowledge of the insurance and/or financial services legislative and regulatory schemes as well as the regulatory and legislative environments (state and federal) in which those industries operate.

General knowledge of corporate governance principles, corporate legal compliance, corporate secretarial matters, insurance holding company requirements, antitrust compliance, banking and treasury functions, intellectual property, and privacy. 

Reputation for ethics, integrity and professionalism.Must be perceived as a person who can be trusted with confidences and will deal appropriately with them, consistent with ethical and other legal imperatives. 

Leadership Traits Con’t

Excellent communication and listening skills, including the ability to explain complex matters, conduct oneself with appropriate “executive presence” in internal and external settings, hear the concerns and ideas of others, and effectively work with as well as influence those in and outside the organization.

Proven leadership skills including the ability to set a strategic vision and goals for the Specialty Operations team, align the appropriate resources to support business needs, inspire and motivate others to perform at high levels, and delegate responsibility while holding oneself and others accountable for achieving results.

Function independently while maintaining and promoting an environment of accountability, teamwork, collaboration, and shared knowledge and ideas.

Pursue lifelong learning and development and thrive on change and continuous improvement.

Ability to manage a budget effectively, including an aptitude and experience in leveraging data to ensure the efficient management of a portfolio.

Demonstrate and foster a sense of urgency, strong commitment, and accountability while              making sound decisions and achieving goals.

Ensure the development of a diverse pool of talent to meet current and future organizational needs.

Create an environment that values diverse backgrounds and perspectives, attracts and retains top talent.

Be of unquestionable integrity, ethical and moral character.

Deal effectively with ambiguity, change, and adapt appropriately to a range of situations.

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