The Real Life of Regional Vice President Shayne Albine: Making Surety Cool

Real Life of RVP Shayne A - Updated“Seeing people grow into their roles and assisting them reaching their full potential is something I am very passionate about,” says Shayne Albine, who has worked her way up over the last decade from Underwriter to Regional Director and now Regional Vice President for the Southeast Commercial Branch at Old Republic Surety. “Sometimes that means I have to sell people on the possibilities in our industry, and I especially value helping someone who might be a little lost on their career path and giving them the encouragement and insight they need to get their footing and a bit of motivation back.”

As she explains, “I know that surety doesn’t always sound exciting, but it really is a different kind of animal — I feel an obligation to show others why it’s so interesting an unique. Every day brings something new, and you’re always looking at risk from a different perspective. It honestly never gets boring.”

Describing the range of topics she may touch on in a single day, Albine highlights how she might move from construction issues to probate or permit problems. “There are so many different categories you have to deal with — and that means you’re constantly switching gears and thinking of way to mitigate potential losses,” she says. “You really are exercising your brain. We might be dealing with the same forms, but it’s never rinse and repeat, and you’re considering risk based on so many factors: capital, character, capacity and more.”

Underwriting roots

Even in her current management role, Albine says she’ll always think of herself as an Underwriter at heart. “Not everyone can be an underwriter,” she proudly says. “You have to be confident, first to make a timely decision and then to stand behind it.”

As a mentor, she works to develop that kind of confidence in her team. “If someone expresses an interest in anything I’m doing, I want to pull them in and foster that curiosity,” she explains. “I do my best to share my experiences and knowledge of this industry – the good, the bad, the ugly, the uncomfortable. If I tried something and it didn’t work, I explain why and how I think we should adjust. If we have a success, I talk about that too, so the person learns more for their own future.”

Always looking for more

Since becoming Regional VP, Albine has worked with her team to streamline the underwriting process and make Old Republic more competitive. Her team is always looking for new program opportunities and creative ways to write more business. “We want to find solutions instead of just accepting a quick ‘no’ on a project,” she says.

Another area that Albine focuses on is mitigating losses. “We’re always tracking the trends. For example, if bond losses start to increase, instead of pulling out of the game, we’ll change how we underwrite a risk. Sometimes, just asking a few additional questions will help us find a different way to write bonds,” she explains.

Even decades into her career, Albine still loves traveling and meeting agents and their clients. “I want to build relationships, and to do that I have to actually meet the person behind the email,” she says. “And even when Old Republic doesn’t have a solution to their problem, I’ll point them in the right direction if I know someone in the industry who does. Relationships last when the agents know we always have their best interests in mind.”

Vested in others

“One of the great things about Old Republic Surety is that they give you the latitude to make independent decisions, and that makes me feel very vested in our outcomes,” Albine explains. “I know that what I do affects, not just me, but everyone on my team and our coworkers and agents.

“My goal is to be as transparent as possible, and see things from other people’s perspectives. It’s not always easy, and mentoring is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it’s honestly the best part of my job.”

Shayne Albine

Shayne Albine is the Southeast Regional Vice President of Commercial Surety for Old Republic Surety. Before joining Old Republic Surety Company in 2013 as a Senior Commercial Underwriter, she was an Account Underwriter of Bond and Specialty Insurance for Travelers.