Meet Chris Watrous, our Head of Marketing and Distribution. His role is to build and deliver a strategic plan for how Pathpoint engages and interacts with our agency and carrier partners across the US.
Chris started his career in insurance 18 years ago as an environmental underwriter at American International Group (AIG), “I didn’t choose insurance, I fell into it, like many people do,” because of his degree in Geology and its implementation in underwriting environmental risk. During his early days at AIG, Chris soon realized that he enjoyed engaging in agency relationship building more than sitting behind a desk, and transitioned into a sales and marketing role at AIG, ultimately running their commercial lines sales and marketing team in New England. He eventually left the carrier side of insurance to be a producer at Risk Placement Services, Inc. (RPS), cutting his teeth in wholesale distribution. When executives at RPS asked him to help build and manage a client relations team within the eastern US, Chris jumped at the opportunity to return to his marketing roots.
What made Chris stay in insurance? Simply put, he found his place. “Sales and marketing is the front line of an organization, building relationships, solving problems and helping agency partners deliver the best service and product to their own customers. Insurance is and always will be a relationship business, and that’s what drives me everyday”. His ability to find his niche in distribution throughout his career has kept Chris engaged, “obviously with 18 years in the industry, I still like it a lot.”
With his early years working in traditional insurance, Chris said joining Pathpoint was a “no brainer.” After seeing the many sides of how insurance is transacted, and with experience at the carrier and wholesale level, Chris says he saw a need in the industry for technology and the advancement of how agents are engaged within the E&S space. He says that “this is the perfect time for Pathpoint’s solution,” as everyone is seeing the increased need for efficiency. Agencies are getting more tech savvy, because carriers are as well. “Pathpoint removes the friction of traditional wholesaling and makes it faster and more efficient for the retail agent,” which is why Pathpoint’s solution is so relevant to the current E&S market.
Chris says he “loves the people and collaborative culture bringing technology expertise together with insurance industry professionals” at Pathpoint. There is an “innovative spirit and drive to build a better way of transacting business within the E&S space.”
Chris is quick to recognize the importance of relationships in insurance: “It’s a people and relationships business, even though we are a tech platform, people are still an important part of how we interact with agents. Relationships and people aren't going anywhere, even as tech gets added into the insurance process.”
Chris currently resides in the Boston area with his wife, 14 year old daughter and 12 year old son. When he's not dreaming about insurance, he’s an avid golfer and skier, plays soccer, and coaches sports when he can. He also enjoys hiking, boating and spending time with family and friends.