Living Our Culture

By Mike Karmilowicz, Executive Vice President, Chairman, Everest Global Insurance

As we think about the future of (re)insurance, President and CEO of Everest Insurance® Mike Karmilowicz provides three keys to growth and expansion in today's uncertain environment.

Climate catastrophes. War. Ongoing knock-on effects of the global pandemic. Supply chain issues. Social unrest. Spiking inflation. Demand for talent. With rapid social, political, environmental, and economic change hitting our industry at all angles, our jobs as leaders are more complex than ever. It’s no longer enough to drive the strategy, we need to rally and galvanize the people executing it. The most resilient companies will be those that can effectively filter the noise and keep colleagues focused and aligned on what matters.

For Everest Insurance®, this comes down to a very simple, yet extremely critical focal point for our business and strategy: culture.

I often say that at Everest, our people and our culture are our oxygen. We live and breathe by a strong set of core values and entrepreneurial behaviors that remain our true north no matter how much things may change.

It can be tough to make a case for qualitative value drivers in a world where numbers rule. However, I believe a few core tenets can help leaders establish a more inclusive set of metrics to quantify their critical focal points and chart a successful path forward:

  1. Invite others to share your vision: Leaders must provide their teams with clear-cut and coherent plans for where the company is headed. But in order for people to follow, they need to understand and connect with why they are moving there. This is where purpose becomes paramount. Aligning colleagues around a sense of purpose helps to create less of a “me” and more of a “we” culture – an aspiration we are constantly pursuing. This is a commitment that requires investment daily. Even as we grow and scale, Everest has maintained a flat structure where egos take a backseat to the collective effort.
  2. Invest in your people: As leaders are looking to grow their company, it’s important to first invest in the existing pipeline of talent. At Everest, our people are the bedrock of our culture and are instrumental in driving our success. That’s why professional development and growth opportunities are paramount to Everest. We’re committed to equipping our people with the next-generation skills and breadth of resources needed to do their jobs more nimbly, strategically and collaboratively. We also provide opportunities for mentorship and to explore new areas for career progression, which further enables us to maintain our core company culture. Once an internal talent audit is conducted, leaders can then explore the strategic hires needed to fill any gaps. But to maintain the foundational company culture, it’s essential that leaders focus on developing their existing talent first.

  3. Rally around purpose: In today’s fierce competition for talent, companies that clearly communicate their core values and demonstrate their stance and commitment to them will be the emerging leaders and preferred home by the top talent. Establishing relevance is vital to recruiting and retaining employees and people want to ensure that what drives their company aligns with their own personal values. Committing to a broader purpose, and integrating it into your company’s culture, adds authenticity to your organization and can serve as the backbone.

As an industry, we all recognize that the future of insurance will be driven by a series of dynamic transformations, but what will separate the leaders from the laggards are those that have clearly defined their core values and are ready to evolve despite uncertainty. For Everest, our dedication to our culture is our driving conviction and is what will enable us to navigate these unknown and evolving circumstances. Success is shaped by the structural principles we put in place today, so it’s now or never. If we’re all able to commit to laying a strong foundation now and implementing plans that support our company’s core beliefs and value propositions, then I’m confident we’ll be ready to evolve and grow into something better, regardless of the external environment.

The content of this article is intended for informational purposes only. The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the individual author and do not reflect the views of Everest Re Group, Ltd. (“Everest”), and its affiliated companies. Additional information about Everest, our people, and our products can be found on our website at