Underwriting Manager Job Description

Underwriting managers work primarily in the financial service and insurance industries, providing management and oversight for underwriting activities that include loan applications and insurance products. Underwriting managers provide support and approval for team members on standard underwriting projects and may conduct research, analysis, and underwriting for special or complex applications.

Underwriting managers are team leaders, directing the activities of associate-level underwriters while supporting risk management and financial due diligence activities. Since underwriting managers independently conduct risk assessments and underwriting, this position requires an excellent balance of team leadership, administrative, and financial analysis skills.


Underwriting Manager Duties and Responsibilities

Lead Underwriting Teams

Underwriting managers usually oversee a team of associate-level staff members, assigning them loans or insurance plans to assess and underwrite, ensuring that they understand expectations and delivery timelines, and stepping in to provide support, answer questions, or conduct research on specific or complex applications. Underwriting managers are ultimately responsible for driving profitability within their region or office, so building and leading effective teams are vital.

Assess Financial Risk

As part of the underwriting process, underwriting managers assess risk and determine rates based on that risk. They conduct research, using risk assessment and financial modeling software to make high-level decisions about loans or insurance products. Successful underwriting managers have a solid grasp of factors that impact the risk and overall financial objectives of their organizations.

Report to Upper Management

Underwriting managers frequently report to upper management, providing information on team performance and specific issues that might arise. They also confer with management and executives to set departmental goals, guidelines, and objectives. They also provide information on certain loans, trends within the department, and [TT1]

Develop and Implement Procedures

In addition to leading teams and conducting risk assessments, underwriting managers also play an important role in developing and enacting policies and procedures within individual, district, and regional offices. They collaborate with team members, finance and human resources departments, and upper management to establish guidelines and best practices.

Conduct Quality Control

Finally, many underwriting managers conduct quality control audits and prepare monthly, quarterly, and/or annual reports, examining data and ensuring that personnel followed proper procedures and company guidelines, and properly documented client materials and communications.


Underwriting Manager Skills and Qualifications

Underwriting managers balance team coordination and leadership with financial and risk management acumen. Companies typically hire applicants with at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, along with the following skills:

  • Personnel management – as team leaders, underwriting managers effectively manage, inspire, and assist associate-level personnel
  • Financial analysis – underwriting managers should also have experience conducting financial oversight activities, analyzing financial projections, and assessing risk
  • Reviewing loans and insurance products – frequently, underwriting managers review loan and insurance packages prepared for clients, particularly if client applications are complex or special circumstances exist
  • Written and verbal communication – successful underwriting managers should be skilled communicators able to convey information to their teams and to upper management
  • Process enhancement – ideally, an underwriting manager should also possess the ability to examine and assess internal processes, identifying areas where practices can be improved and enhanced


Tools of the Trade:

Underwriting managers usually work in office settings and should be familiar with office technologies and software, in addition to:

  • Underwriting software (Pega, Majesco)


Underwriting Manager Education and Training

In general, underwriting managers have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as actuarial science, business administration, finance, or accounting. An advanced degree can help in this position, so many underwriting managers return to school to complete a master’s in business administration. Many underwriting managers begin as underwriters and achieve a record of accomplishments and successful performance of their duties before taking on management duties.


Underwriting Manager Salary and Outlook

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide information on specific salaries or employment estimates for underwriting managers, both Salary.com and Glassdoor offer similar estimates. Glassdoor estimates that the median annual wage for underwriting managers is $105,059, with the highest earners making more than $140,000 per year.

Salary.com reports that the median annual salary is $104,809, with the highest-paid 10 percent making $149,855 per year and the lowest-paid 10 percent earning $75,259.


Helpful Resources

We found many resources on the web if you’re interested in learning more about a career as an underwriting manager:

Underwriting Management: Things to Consider Before Accepting the Role of Manager – Underwriting manager Bill Berthiaume explores his career change from underwriter to manager, examining the leadership aspects of the role and providing insights.

First Step of Credit Risk Management: Basics of Credit Underwriting – This book explores the principles and best practices of credit underwriting and risk assessment.

Group Underwriters Association of America – This group provides information, articles, and opportunities to connect with others in the underwriting field.

Credit Risk Assessment: The New Lending System for Borrowers, Lenders, and Investors – This book proposes a return to traditional underwriting and financial risk management following the 2008 financial collapse.


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