Having grown up in Pakistan, Raza Hassan is all too familiar with the concept of load shedding – electricity suppliers cutting power in order to reduce demand on power generation plants. That awareness of the potentially unreliable nature of electricity supply led to a growing interest in the energy sector and a career as an energy insurance broker.
Having dropped out of university, Raza sought a role in which a degree was not a necessity. Accounting and air traffic control were both high on his list but then he found insurance. “Insurance sounded cool,” Raza remembers. “I did some research, found out about Lloyd’s of London and the City and got a first job working for a car insurance operation in Southampton. My funds had dried up so I needed to earn.”
Having settled into his new role, Raza set about contacting underwriters in the London insurance market. This led to a role as an underwriting assistant with insurer Munich Re looking at the risks of extracting oil and gas from the ground.
Today, Raza is a broker focusing on the renewable energy sector with broking firm Ed. “Working in renewables means that I’m predominantly involved with wind and solar energy as well as battery energy storage,” he explains. “My clients tend to be independent energy companies buildng new facilities and solar farms. They depend on loans from banks so need insurance to protect their investment.”
For Raza, the prospect of working in the energy sector as it under goes the transition to cleaner forms of power is an exciting one. “It’s a really dynamic space at the moment,” he says. “The risks are changing, the tech is changing and the scale of projects is increasing. Insurance protection needs to be more specific and more bespoke.
“Overall, we’re in a world in which the renewable energy sector is still new and changing. It’s where the oil and gas sectors were 20–30 years ago – and I get to be on the front line of how the market is developing.”