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Global Benefits Practice Leader
Hewitt Associates Inc.
Monica M. Burmeister leads Hewitt’s global benefits practice, comprised of about 2,000 associates in 35 countries. Ms. Burmeister, who has spent her entire professional career at Hewitt, has worked extensively with clients as the lead actuary on issues related to defined benefit plans, and as a consultant on merger and acquisition issues. She currently serves on Hewitt’s leadership council.
Q: What advice would you give young women entering the industry today?
A: "You don’t want to be too narrowly focused. You want to understand the breadth of employee benefits. You need to step out from a narrow focus and into a broader one. That will give you more flexibility."
Q: Who has had the greatest influence on your career and why?
A: "A great influence on me was Jerry Wilson, who led Hewitt’s actuarial practice for many years. He taught me two very important things that made a difference in my career. One was problem solving. Jerry had a unique way of looking at every problem from every angle and from every perspective. That is something that has stayed with me throughout my career. Second, I learned from him to have an intense focus on clients. You have to make sure it always is about the client first. That has stuck with me throughout my career."
Q: If you had the ability to change one thing about the industry what would it be?
A: "In terms of the benefits consulting industry, I would love for the industry to have a more organized and cohesive way of influencing change."
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.