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Executive Vp and Director, Global Operations and Technology
Hartford Life Inc., a subsidiary of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.
Sharon Ritchey is the highest-ranking female executive at Hartford Life. Appointed in May, she oversees the global operations and technology organization for the company. Prior to joining Hartford Life in 2007 as senior vp and chief operating officer for its U.S. wealth management group, she was senior vp of property and casualty operations for Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. She joined Hartford in April 1999 as the chief operations officer for the affinity unit in personal lines. Before that, Ms. Ritchey, who has 20 years of operations management experience in the financial services industry, worked at GE Capital and Citibank.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE INDUSTRY: "I spent (the) majority of my career in financial services. Hartford approached me about nine years ago. The beauty about being an operations person is it's very transferable and marketable across industries. The challenge is what intrigued me about joining The Hartford. From a comparison perspective, the insurance industry has always been behind financial services, relative to operational performance. When (the company) contacted me, it wanted me to come in and transform where they were to where they wanted to be. They saw an opportunity in looking outside the industry to someone with years of experience who could come in and apply those same skills from another industry within the insurance industry."
THE BEST ADVICE YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED: "I think the best advice I ever received was do the job you're doing very well and the next job will come. Do what you do really well and people will notice, and you'll move to the next job."
ADVICE FOR THOSE STARTING IN THE INDUSTRY: "Find a mentor that you think you can build an effective relationship with and bounce ideas off. Get some coaching from that person who would be outside your line of command."
WHAT YOU WANTED TO BE PROFESSIONALLY WHILE GROWING UP: "I grew up with eight other siblings and we were a pretty competitive family. The one thing I always knew I wanted to be was a winner. The question was all about how to win."
Business Insurance’s Women to Watch feature is our attempt to identify some of the women who do outstanding work in commercial insurance, risk management,employee benefits and related fields.