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Managing Director and National D&O Practice Leader
Before joining Marsh in 1987, Lou Ann Layton was an underwriter in Chubb Corp.’s executive protection department. Now, as one of the industry’s leading professionals in directors and officers liability insurance, she works directly with numerous Fortune 250 clients on their D&O programs. Ms. Layton, who is Marsh’s national D&O practice leader, leads the Client Advisory Practice for the broker’s Financial & Professional Liability Practice, where she is responsible for technical leadership, knowledge management, oversight of professional standards, staffing decisions and professional development and training.
Q: If you had the ability to change one thing about the industry what would it be?
A: "To retain more women at the vp-svp level. We need to provide women with balanced work/life situations that offer both short- and long-term career opportunities. We need to recognize that women may need to leave the ‘fast track’ for a few years to raise children or care for a parent. But they can provide much value during those years and even more when they are able to return to the fast track."
Q: What advice would you give young women entering the industry today?
A: "Take on greater and more responsibility than you believe you are ready for. Don’t work to obtain the next job level opportunity, work for two jobs ahead of the next. Don’t be afraid to make decisions with speed. You won’t always be right, but you will learn from those decisions."
Q: Who has had the greatest influence on your career and why?
A: "It would be unfair to single out any one person, as I have been fortunate to work with many good people who helped shape my career. My successes are a result of having good mentors, being surrounded by very smart people and working for a company that has offered great opportunities over my 20-year career. Working for managers who afforded me independence and responsibilities without worrying about any diminished success on their part has helped me understand the importance of developing younger talent within the organization."
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.