Reflecting on 18 years in insurance with North America VP of Client Success, Katy Murray

Posted on 18th March 2024

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Reflecting on 18 years in insurance with North America VP of Client Success, Katy Murray

Posted on 18th March 2024

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We can hardly believe that our Vice President of Client Success for North America, Katy Murray, has been at INSTANDA for two years. As she celebrates her second anniversary, we interview Katy about her long-standing insurance career, her achievements at INSTANDA, and ambitions for delivering exceptional client value.

Before we talk about your role at INSTANDA, could you tell us a little about your insurance career?

Absolutely. I've been working in insurance for about 18 years.

I started my career in various client and customer service roles for a life insurance company, before moving into the property and casualty space. I spent the last eight of those years, before joining INSTANDA, at a global technology-enabled insurance outsourcing company.

I held various roles over that eight-year span. I started as an account manager overseeing everything from the servicing of policies and auto ID card issuance to renewals. Essentially, my role was to secure favourable terms for customers. Following this, I was promoted to the position of implementation manager, where I was responsible for onboarding new clients; getting them started on new systems and training operations staff in India to provide back-office support.

There were a couple more senior roles that I held in between, but my last role with the company was as Senior Director overseeing the Philippines Service Centre and the US P&C Sales Team. A personal highlight for me was setting up the Philippine Service Centre from scratch. We started with five Filipino agents and by the time I joined INSTANDA, there were 28.

What drew you to INSTANDA?

Naturally, my background is all about customer success and so when I saw an opening for the role of Strategic Account Manager, I knew it would be a great fit.

In my view, working directly on behalf of clients is very similar to what we do here at INSTANDA in servicing clients’ needs.

I love getting to know clients and working with INSTANDA’s cross-functional teams to implement exceptionally smart solutions. There’s nothing more fulfilling than watching clients achieve their goal and knowing that your team has helped make it happen.

Congratulations on your promotion. When were you promoted and what does your role involve?

I was promoted to Vice President of Client Success in June 2023, and report directly to INSTANDA’s COO, Ben Snape.

When I first joined INSTANDA, my role as Strategic Account Manager was to work closely with clients, understand their needs and play a pivotal role in helping them achieve their goals. I still do this today, but as Vice President of Client Success, I have taken on additional strategic and team management responsibilities as our client accounts team grows and we expand our client service offering.

No day is ever the same. There’s a great sense of professional challenge. I feel as if I am pushed and given the opportunity to find creative solutions. It’s very rewarding.

Client Services are the first line for client queries or escalations, and so it is important that we have a direct line into the right people. Along with clients, my team and I work very closely with INSTANDA’s support and engineer teams to make sure that everything is on track.

From a strategic point of view, I always try to look at the big picture and not just an individual task.

At the beginning of each month, I review client growth and progress to make sure that INSTANDA is achieving the milestones that each client expects from us. A key part of this is working creatively and strategically to identify and remove any blockers that may be preventing milestones from being achieved.

Staying ahead of client business the entire time, and supporting my team to do the same, is my main priority. I meet with the team every week so that we can address anything outstanding in real time and make sure that we’re all marching to the same outcome.

Day to day, I also spend my time reviewing contracts and meeting clients. It’s an incredibly varied fast-paced role, which I find personally fulfilling.

What has been your biggest achievement at INSTANDA?

Client satisfaction is my ultimate goal, and I feel like it has been my biggest accomplishment. Knowing that our clients are happy, seeing them grow their businesses and commit to multi-year contracts with INSTANDA, is hugely rewarding.

Although insurance is a very large market, it is a close-knit industry. One of the most gratifying things is when clients happily share their positive experience of INSTANDA with other insurers and we welcome referral business.

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #InspireInclusion. What does inclusion mean to you?

Giving everyone the opportunity to succeed, regardless of their background, gender, age, beliefs, ethnicity, or health, is what inclusion means to me. Inclusion is about creating the right environment for everyone to thrive.

At INSTANDA, I like that we are all one company working to shared goals and that there’s a strong collaborative culture that recognises and celebrates everyone’s successes.

We do a great job at supporting equality in the workplace. We’ve got dedicated Slack channels and have a very active culture committee that helps make everyone feel welcomed and accepted.

What one piece of advice would you give to women looking to enter the Insurtech space?

The most important thing that I would share is to not be too hard on yourself. Be open to change and be careful what opportunities you turn down. A new role or opportunity could offer you the chance to grow in ways that you may not have envisioned.

What I’d say to any woman is to ‘stand up’ and be proud of being a woman in the industry. Take the right courses and classes that broaden your Insurtech knowledge. When presented with opportunities to speak, take those opportunities and just be as present as you can in the Insurtech space and the sector, and you will go a long way.

What do you like most about working at INSTANDA?

INSTANDA has a fantastic talent pool – we are truly an A-Team environment.

At the end of the day, everyone wants the right thing and so I genuinely enjoy working with every team to make a positive impact for our clients.

We’re a global business, and so I love working with people across the world, much like I have done in previous roles. Last year, I visited our London office, which was great because you can’t quite beat meeting your colleagues in person. I remember, our Lead Scrum Master, Karen Lean, making a special trip to the office to come and say hi!

The employee benefits are great too. Personally, I appreciate INSTANDA’s Dynamic Days program, where employees can take an extra day’s leave each month to step away from work and do the things that they enjoy. My first Dynamic Day, in January, will always be special as my husband and I took a family day to visit the ultrasound clinic to see our baby girl for the first time. It was a lovely day.

In February, my son was out of school and so we used my Dynamic Day for a mommy and son playdate, which was so much fun. For me, Dynamic Days enable me to spend precious time with family, which is so important as children are only young for a small amount of time.

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