THURSDAY, JULY 12: A Bermuda insurance executive has been named the 2012 Woman of the Year by the US-based Association of Professional Insurance Women (APIW).
Executive Vice President, Corporate Business Development for Bermuda-based Argo Group, Barbara C. Bufkin, was presented with the prestigious award at a ceremony in her honor at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel June 19.
President and CEO of Argo Group Mark E. Watson III, has noted how proud his entire organization is of Ms Bufkin.
He commented: “As both a professional and a mother in a male dominated industry, Barbara blazed a trail for women entering today’s world of insurance. I convinced her to join our company shortly after I took the helm and she’s been one of my most valued team members ever since. Her professional achievements, leadership ability and the example she sets for others have greatly contributed to our team’s success over the past decade.”
The APIW Insurance Woman of the Year award, presented annually since 1976, recognizes an exceptional woman who has achieved prominence in the insurance industry. Ms. Bufkin was chosen as this year's award recipient in recognition of her outstanding achievements and leadership within the industry, as well as her commitment to the advancement of women.
Barbara C. Bufkin had previously been Senior Vice President, Business Development of Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. since August 2007. She began working with Argonaut Group as a reinsurance consultant in 2001 and formally joined the company as Vice President, Corporate Business Development in September, 2002.
In 2007, after the merger with PXRE, Ms. Bufkin agreed to relocate to Bermuda and assumed responsibility for new business strategies and development as well as ceded reinsurance for Argo Group. Ms. Bufkin has spent her entire career in reinsurance and insurance.
A powerful leader within her organization and industry, Ms. Bufkin serves as an exemplary role model for women. She has spent considerable time and effort as an advocate for women in the workplace. Ms. Bufkin has encouraged the development of human resource policies that are more attractive to women candidates and, during her tenure, the number of female vice presidents at Argo Group has more than doubled.
Ms. Bufkin is a mentor to professional women inside and outside of the insurance industry. She participates in women’s industry groups in Bermuda, London and the US, together with other networking, which provides her with the opportunity to help others.
Ms. Bufkin serves as a director and on the membership committee for the Bermuda Centre on Philanthropy and has been a director for the Association of Bermuda International Companies since 2008. She has been an independent director of Behringer Harvard Opportunity REIT I since its launch in 2005, where she has chaired its nominating committee and served as a member of the audit committee. In addition, she served as a director of Southwestern Insurance Information Service from 1986-1993.
Ms. Bufkin has been recognized by numerous industry groups and publications, including Who’s Who in Insurance and Risk Management, Business Insurance Women to Watch 2006, Reactions Magazine Rising Star 2006 and the Top 20 Women to Watch – The Glass Ceiling, Reinsurance Magazine, August 2009.
In announcing this year’s award, APIW President Carol Ann O’Dea said: “APIW is proud to bestow this honor on Barbara Bufkin. She serves as an outstanding role model. Her mentoring, flexibility and accommodation of personal situations extend equally to all colleagues regardless of gender. Her leadership and accomplishments, as well as her commitment to supporting and advancing women, are exceptional examples of all of the qualities that APIW looks for in the recipient of this highly prestigious honor.
“She has portrayed exemplary professionalism in all her activities and is highly respected both within her organization and within our industry.”
Founded in 1976, APIW is the leading organization dedicated to advancement of professional insurance women and to the recognition of their contributions to the industry. APIW sponsors programs that encourage professional development and provide opportunities for members to hone leadership skills.