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Chief Risk Officer
Arthur J. Gallagher (UK) Ltd.
Sarah Dalgarno plays a significant role in implementing Arthur J. Gallagher U.K.’s international strategy and development plans. She is responsible for regulatory matters, compliance and governance of the company’s U.K.-regulated businesses, as well as its expanding international operations. With more than 20 years of insurance market experience, much of her early career was spent working on aviation and property claims. In 2001 and 2002, while at the U.K. Financial Services Authority, she worked on the so-called Tiner Project under former FSA leader John Tiner, which has been credited with significant reforms and strengthening the way insurers are supervised in the United Kingdom. Ms. Dalgarno, who joined Gallagher in 2006, is an associate of the London-based Chartered Insurance Institute and is a regular commentator on regulatory developments and market reform.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE INDUSTRY: "I wasn’t really settled on my intent of any one particular course of careers, and I was pretty open-minded. I saw an advertisement for an (insurance company) that was looking for a new intake of staff. I went to sit in on an entrance test. I did that and was invited in for an interview. Once I started talking to some of the people recruiting, it sounded like an interesting industry. What grabbed my imagination was the idea of working in claims. I liked the idea that your day was quite unpredictable."
THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED: "It’s essential to learn how to keep more than one ball in the air at a time. I think that’s true in our industry and many industries. You don’t come into work and tend to one thing at a time. Learning those skills early in your career is very important. You also have to be able to respect and trust the people you work with. If you don’t fully trust and respect the people you work with, you need to do something about it. You’re never going to work successfully as a team if you don’t trust one another. A lack of trust becomes quite destructive"
ADVICE FOR THOSE STARTING IN THE INDUSTRY: "Always keep an open mind about what you might do within the industry as your career develops. For people starting off, they shouldn’t think that if they start in one area today, they will be doing that in 30 years’ time. Look to the future."
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE PROFESSIONALLY WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP: "I always assumed I would—like a lot of people in my family—work in some sort of science-related role. Everyone in my family is either a nurse or engineer or someone who teaches science or engineering."
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.