60 seconds with William Mills
William Mills, the recently appointed director of EMEA market development at rating agency AM Best, speaks to Intelligent Insurer about building relationships, mediation and living in the Tower of London.
Why is this move right for you at this stage in your career?
This is definitely the right move as it enables me to now combine and build upon my reinsurance market and credit rating agency experiences in a re/insurance ratings leader in the form of AM Best.
What will you bring to the role?
Firstly, a deep understanding of the re/insurance markets, having spent more than 30 years working in the sector. I am also aiming to bring my experience of the debt capital markets and related rating agency work, given the past 15 years have been dedicated to developing business at Standard & Poor’s.
What are your initial objectives in the new role?
Primarily I will be working to continue the development of AM Best’s business footprint in the Continental European markets, using my market knowledge and language abilities.
What will be your biggest challenge in the new role?
To increase recognition of the value of AM Best’s ratings amongst insurance debt investors.
Why did you choose to work in this industry initially?
There is a network of interesting and friendly people in the insurance industry, with the sector providing constant stimulation and evolution over the years. Looking back, it is a great environment to be in. AM Best’s insurance rating specialisation provides that well connected access to the global insurance markets that suits me perfectly.
If you had chosen a different profession/career path, what would it have been?
I was interested in the law but realised I preferred building relationships to the adversarial nature of law. Relationship building plays a good role in this new responsibility.
What are you doing when you are not at work?
I enjoy doing community mediation which resolves conflicts between neighbours in my local area. It has its rewards, as you’d imagine.
What is your secret vice?
That definitely has to be classic cars. I have a 1973 VW Beetle Cabrio which is a financial black hole but great fun on the rare sunny day in the English countryside.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
I spent five years living in the Tower of London. My father was at the time the Resident Governor and Keeper of the Jewel House.