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Horace Gon, BEng '01, MASc '04

(Electrical Engineering), (Electrical Engineering)

Uploading engineering skills to the insurance world

An interest in micro-processor chip design attracted Horace Gon to study Electrical and Computer Engineering, earning his undergraduate degree in 2001 and a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 2004.

But after launching his career as a software engineer with IBM, Gon moved into the financial world, first working for an investment firm and then shifting into insurance.

For the last six years he has worked at corporate insurance giant Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) in increasingly senior positions.

Gon’s current position is as Head of Financial Lines for the Hong Kong and Greater China regions.

“As underwriting manager in the Financial Lines division of the General Insurance industry, I’m mainly responsible for risk management of my company’s balance sheet by utilizing its capital to write profitable risks,” he says.

“I manage a team of 10 for the Greater China region, with a portfolio of $40M written premium per year.”

To handle the challenging role, Gon says he hits the gym to keep a health body and mind, and tries to maintain a work-life balance by spending good quality time with family and close friends.

While he’s migrated away from the engineering field, he believes his days at McMaster have served him well by equipping him with strong problem-solving and analytical skills.

“Engineering offers you a tough and demanding school life, but it trains you in a way you can never imagine,” he says.

“The fruits will come, but you need to give your 100 per cent in learning and struggling through these four golden years. This is the stage of your life where your brain develops to its fullest as well, so don’t waste this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”