"It's one of the most intellectually challenging roles I've had" - Senior Policy Adviser Julie Shah blogs on her work at the ABI
Category: testimonial, BAME, BAME Inclusion, Association of British Insurers, Regulation, Insurance, What Our People Say, Staff Testimonial, BAME Diversity
Senior Policy Adviser Julie Shah
Tell us about your role at the ABI – what do you do and why?
I lead on the ABI’s work on international trade – this includes advising the UK Government on behalf of our members to try and influence their international trade strategy; developing international relationships such as in the World Trade Organisation; and coordinating lobbying efforts with global insurance associations.
As London is a leading financial centre for (re)insurance, it is really important that our members’ concerns and future opportunities in overseas markets are highlighted so that we can maintain this position.
What’s been your highlight and what’s been your most challenging moment?
Going to the World Trade Organisation for their annual conference and meeting some of the Ambassadors has definitely been a highlight.
Putting together a template for a future Free Trade Agreement for the (re)insurance sector was a challenge, although an extremely rewarding and valuable exercise that has been welcomed by UK Government officials. It involved researching a lot of Trade Agreements and existing rules for (re)insurers, to see what could be usefully included as part of this proposal.
Where did you work before, how and why did you come to join the ABI?
Before the ABI, I worked in the European Parliament for an MEP, who led on financial services for her political group, and also for the Pension Protection Fund, where I was the Public Affairs Manager. I joined the ABI as a Policy Adviser on European Affairs and focused on lobbying the EU on behalf of our members on pension and conduct regulation – which my previous two roles equipped me well for.
What’s the best thing about working here?
The variety of issues in the role – that is what has kept me here. It is one of the most intellectually challenging roles that I have had. As well as developing our international trade position, we regularly welcome delegations from all over the world who are keen to understand how the UK insurance market works.
What surprised you most about working here?
How competitive, and impressive, the annual bake-off competition is!
Describe your team in three words.
Geeks. Chatty. Sugar-addicts.
What does #OneABI mean to you?
Working collaboratively across the ABI for the same purpose – to ensure that the UK’s insurance industry’s voice is heard and to make sure that our messages are aligned.
If you weren’t working at the ABI, what would be your second career?
I had always toyed with the idea of becoming a marine biologist as I’m a massive fan of David Attenbourgh’s Blue Planet. For now, I’ve settled on having a small fish tank!
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