Surety is not something that many people know about. When I was in college, I probably never saw more than a paragraph dedicated to surety in a textbook. Now, I have worked in surety for 15 years, for three different companies. I’ve learned so much, and I’m excited to be working in this niche industry.

One of the things I like about it is that it presents me with new situations and puzzles to solve. At first, I worked in construction surety and after 7 years I made a switch to commercial surety. While there are many similarities in the underwriting, changing focus within surety required a lot of research in the beginning, and guidance and support from my colleagues.  

Since I joined Allianz Trade (previously Euler Hermes) last May, it’s been a similar type of adaptation. Allianz Trade appealed to me because of its unique capabilities and international presence. The company leverages immense pre-established knowledge, including partnerships with banks, local branches with surety expertise all over the world, and different bond forms that we do not typically see here in the US.

Most of the underwriting team joined our company just last year, and we are growing and learning together. I am thrilled to be part of something new and exciting. It is very motivating to be part of a great group of experts! It’s been helpful to have supportive and knowledgeable colleagues who I can go to with my questions. With challenging objectives and a global brand behind us – that kind of name recognition will definitely help us in the US market.  

Though I’ve been in surety for a long time now, it feels like there is a new momentum in the field at the moment. We are all excited about the impact we can have, and we’re eager to explore untapped opportunities. Ours is a competitive industry, but we have a lot to offer, and I am confident in our ability as a team to build relationships, prove ourselves, and meet our goals.

To do this, we’ll have to use our varied skillset. Working in surety, you need a combination of concrete knowledge, analytical abilities, and strong communication skills. It’s helpful to have specific technical knowledge – like the ability to understand and interact with financial statements and bond forms. On the social side, you also use skills to build relationships, anticipate needs and be responsive. Ultimately, we want to provide useful information and insight to ensure a good connection with the companies and businesses we advise.

It’s a dynamic job that combines analysis and social skills, and every day is different in this field. It’s also a small world, so there’s a real feeling of community. Once people find surety, they tend to stay, even if they move from one product line to another. That says something about the job satisfaction it offers. On top of that, I am lucky to work with a group of people who are both highly competent and exceptionally kind.

Nicole Beck

Regional Commercial Surety Manager at Allianz Trade in North America