When someone gets to be a CEO at the age of 36, perhaps it’s a good idea to listen to his story about how he got there and some of the lessons he’s learned.

Executive Summary

In just 14 years, Mike Krefta has accumulated experience in accounting, catastrophe modeling and reinsurance underwriting—all preparing him for his new roles as CEO of Hiscox Re and Hiscox Bermuda. Here, the 36-year-old executive, currently serving as CUO, reveals that even his activities outside of insurance—as a mountain rescuer and trustee of multiple charities, for example—have groomed him to be an agile and adaptive leader of people.

From his current position as chief underwriting officer at Hiscox Re in London, Mike Krefta will move to Bermuda in July, taking over the role of CEO of Hiscox Re and ILS and Hiscox Bermuda.

It’s been a relatively quick progression for him. He joined Hiscox’s accounting department in 2003 as a recent university graduate and subsequently took on interesting roles across the company when opportunities arose. If he’d stayed in one place, Krefta said he wouldn’t have ended up on the underwriting path, which he has found very fascinating.

He admits that he’s relatively unique in the market because he’s young for the role he’s had and the role he’s about to take. “Essential for my career progression were the experiences I’ve gained throughout the group. Of course, I’ve worked hard, which is a given, but the reality is that moving around the company provided me with the depth of experience; connections to senior, mid-level and junior people; and all the opportunities that have come my way.”

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