Getting to know Nicola Marriage

10 March 2021

Markel International, London

What’s the career highlight you’re most proud of?  

Well, I think that heading up the Political Risk team at Markel comes pretty close to it. There are not that many female heads in our market (nor at Markel), so it’s nice to be part of a small, but ever increasing group.

What was your first job?  

At 15 I got a Saturday job at a shoe shop in town. I was paid £3.85 an hour and I thought I had won the lottery! It gave me financial independence and enough money for a night out with my friends. After leaving University I joined Euler Trade Indemnity as a Graduate Trainee in the Foreign Risk  underwriting team - and that set the tone for the rest of my career. 

What do you love most about your job? 

I like that every day is different. It’s easy to assume that with an office job every day is the same, but that just isn’t true. Our workload is truly dependent upon whom our clients are trading with and that varies massively, so whilst we may be doing research and analysing risk, it is never the same nor boring. It’s also such an interactive role as we do spend a lot of time talking to our brokers and clients.

What tips would you give someone new to the industry?

You have to love your job – you spend far too much time at work to be unhappy! So look into all aspects of the industry (broking, underwriting, claims etc.) and focus on where your skill set and personality suit best. If you are not in the area that interests you immediately, then get some work experience in another area that does. In this market news of a very capable newbie travels fast, so making good contacts and working hard should open doors for you.  

What three objects summarise you as a person?

Well, maybe not objects... but the most treasured items in my life are my husband, my little boy and my mum. If the last year has taught me anything, it’s that so many things don’t matter as long as my loved ones are safe and well. 

What is the best book you have ever read? 

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. Maybe this links back to my fascination with India – but it’s a true story about an Australian convict’s experience with the underworld in Bombay (Mumbai). It’s not far off 1,000 pages – but it’s definitely worth investing the time reading.

How do you help give clients the confidence and freedom to perform at their best? 

We aim to offer bespoke insurance solutions for our insured’s. The Political Risk market has evolved over the years as we try to keep pace with our client’s changing needs. Sometimes this involves discussions with regulators, Lloyd’s, reinsurers and management. We understand that insurance is not our clients day job, so if we can make the process of purchasing their insurance as smooth as possible, then we believe it gives them more time to spend doing what they do best. 

Nicola Marriage
Senior Underwriter & Head of Political Risk - London

Our political risk team works with clients to manage their cross border portfolios and overseas investments with tailored, specialist policies. Our key clients include financial institutions, corporates, exporters, and traders. Click here to find out more. 


About Markel International:

Markel International is a division of Markel Corporation, a US-based holding company trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MKL). Markel International writes insurance and reinsurance business through six divisions and through offices across the UK, Europe, Canada, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Markel International’s insuring entities include Syndicate 3000, Markel International Insurance Company Limited, Markel Insurance SE., and Markel Resseguradora do Brasil S.A.

Its UK national markets business also provides legal and professional fees insurance cover as well as legal and tax consultancy services.