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Specialization in Nationwide's Middle Market Cross Hairs

This article was originally written by Graham Shippy and published on

Columbus, OH (Nov 2, 2023) -- Middle market commercial specialization.

That's going to be the focus for insurance and financial services giant, Nationwide, according to comments made by Nationwide P&C Business Insurance President Russ Johnston.

Johnston commented recently that the hiring of Kristina Talkowski is a strong signal that his team plans to build out industry specialization as part of Nationwide's middle market strategy moving into 2024.

Both customers and intermediary partners are making specialization a priority. The company is focused on attracting and retaining industry expertise across the country as part of their flexible workplace.

"We want to be in alignment with that trend," said Johnston. "In order to be a world-class protection company, we've got to design solutions and services that are relevant to the end customer. Focusing on industry specialization will allow us to meet and serve the market in a very targeted way. Through strategy refinement, we’ve identified sectors where we can define ourselves in the market and are viable and profitable long-term.”

Johnston believes the approach will allow Nationwide to outperform the industry.

"If we get our underwriting proposition aligned accurately, along with the right claims approach, we should be able to grow this segment faster and more profitably than average industry growth rates."

Talkowski, who began her new role in October, is excited to bring the specialization focus to life as she leads Nationwide’s middle market team. An established and respected leader in the commercial P&C industry, she brings significant experience in delivering specialized solutions for middle market customers.

“Throughout my career I’ve experienced firsthand the benefit of industry specialization to understand the middle market customer needs, drive innovation and evolve as an insurer,” she said. “Joining Nationwide provides me the opportunity to continue focusing on addressing the unique protection needs of middle market businesses with the added leverage of Nationwide's strong brand, great talent and a customer centric foundation.”

The specialization approach is not new to Nationwide. The company has already implemented a similar approach successfully in its E&S operations.

"We have [E&S] capabilities we've not fully leveraged for our standard middle market strategy up until now," Johnston said. "But that will be important to inform our strategy going forward. Our vision is not just to be the traditional property, workers' comp, general liability, and auto player in the middle market. We want to bring all of our capabilities to bear in a way we haven't done until now."



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