Catherine Turvey

rocking the risk of precious stones

Producing high-end jewellery; from the excavation of the precious stones to cutting them into sparkling stones and then selling them is fraught with risk at every stage. Catherine is the person who helps producers, makers and buyers to keep them safe.

Catherine works for insurers, Chubb, having started her career in insurance with a broker A  J Gallagher after studying history at the University of London. She works in a global industry with clients all over the world and an active travel schedule to visit everyone from diamond merchants in Antwerp to exhibitions in Las Vegas of the latest watches. The businesses might be family-owned (many jewellery firms are passed from one generation to the next) or they might be multi-national mining companies. “These items are incredibly high value” says Catherine “an item that is worth £100,000 is not valuable enough for us to insurer it. And because they can be easily damaged or stolen, or taken apart and sold, our clients are looking to us to ensure that should a disaster occur they don’t take a big financial hit”.

One of the things Catherine enjoys most about the business is the sheer variety of what she sees every day. She could be visiting the cutters who turn the rough diamonds into polished beauty, talking to stores about their security or insuring actresses on the red carpets who are borrowing millions of pounds in earrings and necklaces. “It is fascinating to see what other people do in these specialist areas. Traditional finance can be rather boring, and I was looking for something that was less formulaic and where you could think on your feet. Because no two risks are the same, you get to use your creativity in figuring out about how to solve them”.

The other aspect of insurance that Catherine likes is its sense of community. “This is a marketplace and you know almost everyone else that works in the same specialist area as you, whichever firm they work for. And a lot of it is done face to face, not on screen, so you build friendships through work which is rare in many other parts of the City”.