Interview with Sarah Murrow

Sarah Murrow started her new role as CEO of Allianz Trade UK & Ireland with effect from 1 June. Her objective is to work with clients and partners to expand our products and services, providing more businesses with the confidence to realise their ambitions.

Sarah moves from her role as the market management, commercial underwriting and distribution (MMCD) director for Northern Europe. She is the first woman to head up Allianz Trade’ UK and Ireland business and will remain based in London.

Tell us about yourself.

I'm an American, and I was born and grew up in Singapore. I completed my higher education in America and moved to Baltimore in 2004, which is when I joined the Allianz Trade America operation, and I have been working with Allianz Trade ever since. For the past 17 years, I have been working in various commercial roles in three different countries. On the personal side, I'm married with two daughters, Elizabeth and Abby ages eight and six.

What brought you to this new role?

I first visited Allianz Trade UK and Ireland in 2014, and since then I have had a great admiration for the business. Therefore, when the opportunity became available, I welcome the chance to join the market-leading organisation. I also joked with my predecessor Milo Bogaerts, who is now the Head of Northern Europe Region that I succeed in his past two roles within Allianz Trade and I'm following him around the company.

What are your priorities for your first 100 days?

My priority is to familiarise myself with the stakeholders of the Allianz Trade UK and Irish businesses, this includes staff, customers, brokers and partners. My other priority will be supporting our staff during the return to the office process.

And for the rest of 2021?

Over the balance of 2021, my priority will be to ensure that we are supporting our customers as their businesses return to normal. We are forecasting 6% and 4 % GDP growth in the UK and Ireland respectively. It is paramount that we support our customers by giving them the confidence to expand trade throughout the economic expansion.

What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?

I would have to say the biggest risk I have ever taken was accepting my first international assignment in Paris in 2016. Professionally, I was leaving the safety net at Allianz Trade America where I spent 12 years of my career there. In the new role, I was responsible for the global commercial underwriting and product development function of Allianz Trade. On a personal side this is also probably one of the riskiest things I have ever done as I was moving my family on our first international assignment. My daughters were quite young, and my husband became a stay at home dad at that time, which was quite a change for our family.

Who are your role models/mentors?

My first role model is Nelson Mandela, given his extraordinary leadership in the face of adversity. My second role model is my grandmother, where she dedicated her life to serving her community.

If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?

If I had to pick a superpower, it would be Flash as he can do things at extreme speed. I always found a problem trying to get as many things done, as I wanted to within the 24 hours in the day, so having extreme speed would allow me to achieve that.

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