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Adrian's Admiral journey on the Future Leaders Program

Adrian joined Admiral in 2015 as a Business Development Manager on the Future Leaders Program (FLP) after completing his MBA at Warwick Business School in the UK. 

Tell us a bit about your first projects?
In my first year I completed four or five projects (two-three months each) across all areas of the business. I also did a project at conte.it (our Italian insurance operation) for two months exploring a new app and looking at the kind of features customers would use. I came in with a fresh pair of eyes to analyse what we currently do, what we could be doing, and to provide strategic recommendations.

I also worked on a project assessing the viability of expanding into life insurance. I was both directly and indirectly managing teams running tests. Putting numbers behind those strategic projects was key. We tested hypotheses around distribution channels and dug into the economics behind it all. This allowed me to learn more about insurance in general as well as life insurance more specifically.

Did you have any prior insurance experience?
Not at all. When I joined Admiral I had no knowledge about insurance. I came in, in a very high-profile position, and was advising stakeholders with upwards of 20 years of experience in the industry. That was an interesting challenge in stakeholder management and humility. I had to be willing to learn every day. In particular, I learned the value of spending time with teams across the business, to understand exactly what they do before I proposed recommendations.

What made you choose Admiral?
Firstly, the job itself appealed greatly to me. I wanted to put into practice all that I learned doing the MBA and the FLP offered this. I was looking for a strategic role and I found it with Admiral.

However, the decisive factor for me was the culture. I had read many company manifestos with bold claims about their culture. But what was special to me about Admiral was how this culture really came to life. It impacts every area of the business.

The way the Future Leaders Program combines a management consulting position with a sustainable work-life balance and strong company culture gives you the best of both worlds. It’s something quite unique that I don’t think many other places can offer.

How did you find moving to Cardiff for the role?
Although the role was more important than the location for me, Cardiff was a great fit. I was married and looking to start a family, and the city is very well-suited to young families. It’s compact enough to get around quickly and I was happy to avoid lengthy commutes and rush hour traffic. It's also a very international city and I’ve been impressed with the number of cultural events, bars, restaurants and entertainment on offer!

What advice would you give to MBAs applying to Admiral?
I think it’s important to come with an open mind, determination and a readiness to learn from those around the business. It’s natural, coming from the MBA, to want everything to happen fast. But having patience in those initial stages of learning and developing a network means you’ll be able to deliver even more insightful and stronger results. 


You can find out more about the journeys our MBAs have taken here or read more about our MBA Leadership Programs. Alternatively, follow our MBA Leadership page on LinkedIn.

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Admiral Life

Meet Costantino: Head of International Insurance

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MBA

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Blog

** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

08/06/2021

Summary

Costantino Moretti joined Admiral in 2007 after completing a master’s degree in Business Engineering. He is now Head of International Insurance for the Admiral Group, overseeing our operations in Spain, Italy, France and the USA. Can you give us a bit of an overview of your career pre-Admiral I studied Actuarial Science and Statistics in Italy and started my career in Pricing, Reserving and Underwriting for a large Italian insurance group, which had multinational operations. I did some product development too, primarily in the motor insurance business. I worked there for about seven years, so I came to know the Italian insurance market quite well, which set me in good stead for my career at Admiral.   How did you come across Admiral? There was an element of opportunism, as I was looking to change my career path. In my previous technical roles, I had spent much of my time looking at the numbers without being able to see the bigger picture. I wanted to move beyond this and progress into general management. When I came across the opportunity to be a part of Admiral’s Italian launch (Conte), it seemed too good to miss!  What really attracted me to Admiral was the culture. It was refreshing to see the entrepreneurship, openness and the element of fun. People seemed to really enjoy their work. I was exposed to senior leaders in the business from the start, first meeting Milena in Italy (now our Group CEO) before being interviewed in Cardiff by Henry (founder and CEO emeritus) and David (co-founder and former CEO) as well as Peter (International Pricing Director). It was clear that this was a company with a unique culture that took their people seriously. I was captivated by the energy and competence of everyone I met. Tell us a bit about your Admiral journey? I started as an underwriting manager and am now Head of International Insurance. After starting, I quickly moved on to cover other roles at Conte, setting up new teams, including complaints, compliance, legal, product, operations and more. I kept moving around the business to learn as much as I could and continued to build my experience and skills. My number of reports increased with time and I seized each new opportunity to get involved in something bigger. In 2016, I was well positioned to become CEO of conte.it after nine years in the business. I held this role for four years before stepping into my current role of Head of International Insurance in the middle of 2020. It has been an eventful journey and each new role has brought new challenges. There is still so much to learn but I am deeply excited by the future. We know that 2020 was a tumultuous year for many. How has your experience as Head of International Insurance been shaped by the pandemic? I became Head of International Insurance but did not make a single international visit in 2020! It was a shame. I wish I could have travelled around our operations to meet everyone in person. This face-to-face contact is something I think many of us will appreciate in a new way after the restrictions of the last year. Nonetheless, it has been an incredible year in many ways. We have demonstrated strong resilience as a business and as a community. We were able to deliver fair outcomes to customers and I was blown away by the efforts that went into making this happen. Seeing staff step up and go the extra mile was humbling. We adapted to working from home, increased engagement with our staff, overcame new challenges with each day and have learned so much. While there have been a lot of difficult moments, I truly believe that the Admiral culture, particularly it’s four pillars, has supported us through it all: Communication, Reward and Recognition, Equality and Fun. These have been so valuable to us in the middle of a pandemic. Did you notice any cultural differences between the UK and the Italian operations? The key pillars of the Admiral culture remain the same across our operations. When you walk into an Admiral office, whether it is in the UK or overseas, there is a distinct Admiral atmosphere. The infrastructure (and the weather!) may be different in the UK vs Italy for example, but the people are the same. The Admiral DNA translates very well across our international businesses. There is of course a cultural richness that the international operations bring. Nuances in behaviour and customs for example bring a diversity that can only be considered a strength for us. The mix of international cultures and individuals we have in the Admiral Group is something quite powerful.   What has been your proudest moment to-date? My proudest moment to-date was when Conte became profitable in 2014. I will never forget that feeling. It was truly one of the most rewarding times.  We’d set up the business from scratch and seen it grow and face numerous challenges. So, to see it turn over a profit was quite special.  What advice would you give to MBAs considering a career with us? First, be truly passionate about what you are doing. If you don’t have passion, then your work will be extremely difficult. Secondly, cultivate your talent. If you are hired as an MBA at Admiral, it is very likely that you are talented. You will have been selected for a reason. But having talent means having the responsibility to develop it further. It’s great to be naturally skilled at something, but if you don’t cultivate your talent, you won’t become a true champion! Finally, be brave. Take opportunities that come your way. Go the extra mile. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes but keep learning and failing fast. You can find out more about the journeys our MBAs have taken here or read more about our MBA Leadership Programs. Alternatively, follow our MBA Leadership page on LinkedIn.

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Joining the Future Leaders Program during a pandemic - with Sree Uppu.

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MBA

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Blog

** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

01/06/2021

Summary

Sree joined Admiral on the Future Leaders Program in September 2020 after completing her MBA at INSEAD. Pre-Admiral she worked in the oil and gas industry in India. What made Admiral the right choice for you? Pre-MBA I had worked in the oil and gas industry for seven years, primarily in operations and project management. I wanted a more strategic career in the long-term, so decided to pursue an MBA to allow me to make this shift. My goal after the MBA was to get into a P&L management role. I focused my search on companies that would provide this and soon realised that the Future Leaders Program at Admiral fit this criterion. Admiral is looking for strong leaders to pioneer multiple projects and business ideas so it seemed like the perfect fit for me. I also understood the importance of coaching and support. Managing P&L is a huge responsibility and I felt that I would want support to get it right. Admiral offered this, with a direct reporting line to our Group CEO Milena Mondini, as well as regular contact with the CEOs of our international operations, I was assured about my career development and progression. How did you find the recruitment and induction process? The recruitment process with Admiral stood out to me for its speed and comprehensiveness. The process was tied up in weeks and it was well-designed, in terms of the people I interacted with. I was able to meet managers from across the business and get a feel for the people and projects that I would be working with on the Future Leaders Program. Something that I admired was the company’s commitment to the agreed start-date. In a period of deep uncertainty and confusion for businesses globally, Admiral kept their word and I started when promised, working remotely from India until it was possible to relocate. The induction period was very thorough. At times I felt overwhelmed with the amount of new people and new information, but I am reaping the rewards of this now that I am working on my project and have contacts in all areas of the business to collaborate with. Did anything surprise you about the company or the industry when you joined? I was pleasantly surprised by the agility of the company. Coming from oil and gas where the pace was slower and the culture was far more corporate, this was a refreshing change. I’ve also really enjoyed finding out more about Admiral Pioneer – I had some vague awareness of the diversification of the business but since joining I have seen how much more the business is doing. Both within and beyond insurance, there is so much on the horizon that I am excited about. I was also blown away by the customer centricity of the business at every level. Insurance is all about the customer: we exist for them and because of them. Working on projects that directly impact the customer has allowed me to put into practice everything that I learned during my MBA. At the end of the day, what matters is whether we are satisfying our customers and seeing the impact of my work on them is something that my career before Admiral never fully offered. How did you find joining Admiral as a woman? I joined in a cohort with two other women, which I was pleased to see. At Admiral having women in leadership is totally normal. I can approach colleagues at all levels and can be more confident compared to previous companies I have worked for. Seeing diverse role models in the business is extremely motivating. The company is breaking barriers in many ways and this gives me a lot of confidence in the future of my career at Admiral. What are you currently working on? I am currently working on defining Admiral’s long-term (10 year) mobility strategy. We are not just focusing on insurance but also adjacent business models that could be interesting for us. There are a few exciting projects in the pipeline and it is likely that I will take on some of these before transitioning to other areas of the business. How have you found working directly with our CEO Milena Mondini? This is the biggest blessing of the FLP. Not only do we work together closely on my project, but she also takes a keen interest in my personal development. Milena is very skilled at coaching, taking time for it and helping me and the other MBAs develop. I also have a sponsor (CEO of conte.it) who is extremely talented and good at coaching. These regular coaching sessions make a great difference not only to the outputs of my project but also to my career progress. How did you find the move to Cardiff? Cardiff is a beautiful city. I absolutely love the location, but it has definitely been a challenge moving to a new city in the middle of the COVID pandemic. Lockdowns and quarantines created interesting obstacles, but I was well-supported by the business and by colleagues who had also moved to the city from overseas. Although we weren’t able to meet in person, I have reached out to employees for useful tips and found their first-hand advice and expertise so valuable.   How have you found the work / life balance on the Future Leaders Program? I am the social representative for the Future Leaders Program, which shows how seriously the team takes fun. It’s one of the company pillars and we have one or two social events together (albeit virtually for now) every month. It has really reinforced the importance of enjoying the job and taking time to unwind after our hard work and get to know each other. The Future Leaders Program is definitely not a simple 9-5 job. We are required to stretch ourselves at times, but I have not felt stressed out at all. I feel that I am just outside my comfort zone, which is a nice challenge but is sustainable and isn’t having a negative impact on my life outside of work. I feel like we’ve found the sweet spot! What advice would you give to MBAs considering Admiral? Read up on the company thoroughly. On the surface, it is an insurance company. It may seem like a traditional industry with a corporate environment. But on the inside, it’s agile and tech-focused and there is so much more happening beyond the insurance projects. Talking to people in the business and getting a true feel for the company is a great way of bringing that to life. So, my advice would be to invest time in understanding the business, the role and what it will offer you. You can find out more about the journeys our MBAs have taken here or read more about our MBA Leadership Programs. Alternatively, follow our MBA Leadership page on LinkedIn.

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