Emma White

dealing with risk in the art world

Not every job will give you a chance to work on the world’s greatest art collections – but it’s all in a day’s work for Emma.

Emma works for insurer Liberty Specialty Markets, working on a team thinking about what could possibly go wrong in the art world, and how much it might cost someone to put right.  An English literature graduate from the University of Exeter, she spent a day working in Lloyd’s of London, the heartland of specialty insurance, and was hooked. “I loved it! At the end of the day, I knew I’d found what I wanted to do. The people, the culture, it all just clicked.”

Art is an international business and as part of a team based in London, Emma travels frequently. She was in New York in April 2022, Malta in May and in June she went to the TEFAF art fair in the Netherlands. Later in the year she hopes to travel more to visit her colleagues, brokers, and clients.

Emma says: “You don’t need to understand art from the beginning – although I have since taken a course in art history to learn more. Our main requirement is to understand it as an asset. We need to know what it is, where it’s being displayed, what damage could happen to it, and whether someone could repair it. Context is key.”

As Emma builds her career, she sees the value of professional qualifications, so has passed the exams to be an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute and is working towards her Fellowship.

Her maths and economics A levels have been useful. She says: “You need numeracy. We’re a financial services company. We price things, we have business plans, every policy is a contract. But you’ve also got to be good with people and enjoy the networking. The London market is a very social place.”