It’s a case of going full circle for Delta Underwriting’s Financial Lines Manager - Phyllis Tham. She started her career with a major insurer more than 15 years ago, where she met and worked with the eventual founders of Delta Underwriting. Just recently, she has ‘come home’, joining the Singapore office in March 2022 and quickly making her mark in the rapidly growing business.

“It has been an exciting past few months with multiple initiatives underway, taking the Delta brand to a wider audience,” says Phyllis, with a recent visit to one of the Southeast Asian countries and participation in regional events among the highlights, “With borders reopening, there are a lot of opportunities to develop our business further within Singapore and other Asian markets. Meeting and reconnecting with brokers, cedents and other business partners outside of Singapore is rewarding. It gives us the opportunity to better support our business partners by directly sharing our latest innovative solution that has been developed for their markets. This in turn allows our partners to offer better solutions to their domestic clients.”

Tham says that as a niche insurer, Delta enjoys a unique selling point, often being first-to-market with innovative solutions which quickly go from ‘ground breaking’ to ‘in demand’. Personal Cyber Insurance with an embedded risk tool is just one example. “No other Financial Lines providers offer this solution right now, making it a unique product. When we consulted brokers and cedents on the solution, they recognized a need for it among their clients – it is something they can sell, and it is something their customers see value in.”

In many ways, it is this sort of innovation which has brought Phyllis back to Delta Underwriting. While she started in Financial Lines, her career has taken her into other aspects of the insurance business, driven by her ambition and desire to learn everything she can about the industry. This included stints as Practice Leader for Professional and Financial Risks, Head of Broker Channel and leading Financial Lines for two major insurers.

While these opportunities were embraced and she made the most of them, Phyllis admits to being drawn back to her ‘alma mater’. “Managing the distribution channel is invaluable because that is how insurance reaches the market. With my real expertise, this is the place where I feel I can make a difference by adding the most value - it is still Financial Lines,” she confirms.

Phyllis also relishes being in a growing company capable of creating competitive advantages through product innovation and the simple fact of getting things done quickly. “It soon became apparent [after coming on board] that while Delta just celebrated its 5th year anniversary in July this year, it is already a recognized brand, particularly in the Cyber and Technology space. That’s very impressive in Singapore, because this is a very mature market with more than 20 active carriers in Financial Lines.”

With a team working closely together at fast pace, she finds the ability to come up with ideas then see them implemented quickly. “There’s a strong customer-oriented mindset and a culture of independence and teamwork internally; it is amazing how rapidly new products are conceived, developed, then introduced to market. It’s an energetic work style with a clear focus on delivery.” The unique selling points that Delta enjoys in the well-traded Singaporean market give it an edge of other providers, Phyllis notes, which extends to the promising markets of neighboring territories. These markets have their idiosyncrasies and challenges and are far from homogenous – but are ripe for the insurance solutions Delta Underwriting has to offer. “Our approach varies country by country, but most importantly we pay close attention to a product’s relevance to a country as well as domestic legislation and customs while pursuing opportunities,” she says. Again, she stresses the value of agility and flexibility as a Delta advantage. “We look, we learn, we listen, and we respond. This is the beauty of Delta: we aren’t fixed in our approach, but we take careful consideration of operational realities as we grow our presence.”

Excited about her future, Phyllis says she is enjoying her current role. “The sky’s the limit. In due course, I would like to move into a broader role within the company. Meanwhile there is a lot of learning including operations, compliance, marketing and more. That’s what I love about this company: there is plenty of room to explore options and learn, developing myself further while contributing to Delta’s growth.”