Salmaan Saeed

Bucking expectations

Two years ago, Salmaan Saeed, a broking and markets apprentice at WTW, chose to carve his own professional path by choosing an apprenticeship over a university degree like everyone else in the family. Instead of university debt, he now spends his days talking to companies about the risk they face from governments behaving badly – a career he describes as “super awesome.”


A conversation during a summer job with Mercedes Benz opened Salmaan’ s eyes to the concept that he could ‘get paid to learn’ – and he checked out banking and accountancy options before deciding he was most attracted to insurance. “The process was really interesting and I was intrigued at the idea of combining my interest in economics and politics with protecting companies against the risk they face doing business in different countries.

“Companies make big investments in different economies and those can go wrong if governments decide to confiscate their property or their cash, so my team works with companies to look at what they need to do to protect themselves. You need to be looking at how much that might cost and what are the chances of something going wrong”.

Two years into the scheme and Salmaan is well on track to securing his CII diploma, the same qualification which graduates work towards. The only difference is the level of support offered while training. Salmaan explains: “We spend around 20% of our time training, broken up into different sessions. As an apprentice you have more structured study, with lessons covering each module on a course. But you end up taking the same exam.”

Another plus for Salmaan is the fact that the London insurance market is so closely co-located. He reckons he has met 140 underwriters at over 40 companies during his time as an apprentice. He has attended 28 networking sessions, plus he’s had the benefit of being mentored by two insurance market executives, one from within the business and another through the insurance cultural awareness network. “I can’t think of any profession that gives you a chance to work in so many different settings with so many different people. It’s more varied even than consulting”.