People at IUMI - John Miklus

How long have you been associated with IUMI?

My active involvement with IUMI began in early 2014, however, I attended nine consecutive IUMI Conferences, beginning with Toronto in 1994, during my previous role as a marine reinsurance underwriter. I then took a hiatus from attending conferences after 2002 when I left the underwriting side. So it has been a reawakening to rejoin the annual conferences, beginning with Hong Kong in 2014.

What is your IUMI role today and what does it involve?

My primary role is Chair of the recently created Education Forum, but I also serve as Secretary to the Loss Prevention Committee. I was honoured to be asked by Dieter Berg, IUMI President, in the summer of 2016 to chair the new Education Forum and am excited to be working with Hendrike and my fellow committee members to develop an education programme.  The webinars – over 20 presented to date - have been a great success and next year an online e-learning cargo course will be launched.  Stay tuned.

And what is your day job?

President of the American Institute of Marine Underwriters (AIMU). Running the US marine insurance trade association has strong parallels with the IUMI Secretariat.  We both have the same number of staff (three) and rely heavily on our members to volunteer their time to accomplish our mission.  We’re both fortunate to have capable, talented staff and great support from our members!

What benefits do you get from being associated with IUMI?

I can think of several. The first is access to information such as the statistics compiled by the Facts & Figures Committee or the regular updates on key issues being followed by the Political Forum.

Next is personal learning, which fits well with my role as Chair of the Education Forum. Whether it is from IUMI Eye articles, conference presentations, or the regular webinars, there is always is something new that I learn about the marine insurance business.

Lastly and most important is the opportunity to meet and interact with marine insurance professionals from around the world. It is fantastic that so many individuals choose to devote their time and talents to IUMI in addition to their “day jobs”.

If you could change anything at IUMI what would it be?

I would like to see greater involvement of younger people in the association. In addition, expanding the membership to include more national marine associations is important and I know that the IUMI Secretariat and Executive Committee are actively trying to do so. IUMI has made great strides in becoming the recognised and respected voice of the global marine insurance industry and should continue these communication efforts.

How did you reach your current position in marine insurance?

Unlike many in our business, I don’t have a maritime educational background.  After graduating from Bowdoin College with an economics and government major, I joined a marine insurance training programme at The Hartford. I spent 21 years there, mostly as a marine reinsurance underwriter.  I then spent nearly eight years as a marine reinsurance broker with Guy Carpenter prior to being named President of AIMU in late 2013. While different jobs, I clearly enjoy being involved with the marine side of insurance and have benefited from working in London for two years and from handling international clients.

And what do you do away from the office?

I enjoy spending family time with my wife and 7-year-old son, as well as our two Labrador retrievers. It’s especially nice when we can escape for visits to Cape Cod where I have a small boat that gets far too little use!