2015 Women to Watch: Amanda NguyenReprints
Aon Benfield Group Ltd.
"I like being part of the solution and not part of the problem,” Amanda Nguyen said of her favorite aspects of being managing director for Aon Benfield Group Ltd. “In doing that, I really enjoy working with different types of people, some more challenging than others, to find solutions that suit what they've got going on.”
Like many people, Philadelphia-based Ms. Nguyen fell into a career in reinsurance by chance, but unlike most, she's risen through the industry ranks at lightning speed.
Ms. Nguyen joined the brokerage as a technical broker in 2001 after meeting employees of Aon's analytics group at a university career fair. After working in various roles for 10 years, she was promoted to managing director in 2011.
A specialist in placing casualty reinsurance, Ms. Nguyen also has led the environmental liability practice for seven years, where she's tasked with being “a knowledge center and a networking center for all of the environmental that we handle, but also to know what's going on in the marketplace, who's writing what, and trying to keep ... abreast of the trends.”
Ms. Nguyen leads several large U.S. accounts, including one in which she increased the brokerage revenue by 500% in just 14 months.
“She really stands out relative to the crowd in terms of the time she takes to understand the client's objectives,” said Jeff Radke, Hamilton, Bermuda-based chief operating officer and head of global operations with Argo Group International Holdings Ltd. “The cherry on top is that she balances the client's short-term desires with the need to create long-term relationships.”
“When you think about any of our colleagues or any people on our team, she really sort of epitomizes what you want those people to look like. She's a great client person, she's a really good team player, she is kind and considerate, and is very easy to work with,” said Kelly Smith, Chicago-based president of Aon Benfield U.S., adding that she is “growing in her career as well as managing a family.”
With few senior women working in the reinsurance industry, Ms. Nguyen said she tries to support and mentor her female colleagues where she can. But she's adamant that women need no hand-holding to succeed.
“Women are capable enough to advance if they are supported by men in the industry and if they are supported by women in the industry. There's no need for women to have somebody say we need to lower the standards for women.”
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