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Aon Re Americas
Kelly Smith has worked in the reinsurance field for 21 years, including 17 years at Aon Re, and six years in her current position. Ms. Smith’s responsibilities include ensuring that Aon Re meets its client needs, while generating revenue and managing expenses. Among other things, she led the development of an online system to help Aon Re clients gain real-time claims, accounting and contract information on their reinsurance programs. Before joining Aon, she was employed at brokerage Thomas A. Greene Inc.
Q: Who has had the greatest influence on your career and why?
A: “There’s been a couple of people in my career who have been mentors: Michael Bungert, who is the president and CEO of Aon Re, has been a mentor for me for my entire career and continues to be, and Michael O’Halleran, who is chairman of Aon Re. I’ve been very fortunate to have mentors throughout my career that have made a difference. I really think there’s a lot of people who have had a hand in my career.”
Q: What advice would you give young women entering the industry today?
A: “The advice I would give to a young woman is no different than I would give to a young man—working hard, keeping your head down, focusing on what’s important to your clients and what’s important to your job, as opposed to politics and gossip and rumors. Always focusing on the client and never having your own agenda.”
Q: If you had the ability to change one thing about the industry what would it be?
A: “To learn from our mistakes—something which this industry does not do. It’s incredibly cyclical and we repeat the mistakes of the past constantly.”
Business Insurance's report on "Women to Watch" is our attempt to identify some of the women who are leading change in commercial insurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields.