2009 Women to Watch: Carol L. MurphyPosted On: Dec. 6, 2009 12:00 AM CST
Aon Risk Services
In the slightly more than two years that Carol L. Murphy has led Aon Risk Services' Midwest region casualty practice, Aon's casualty book of business in the region has grown 30%. Ms. Murphy joined the broker in 1990, rising through the ranks before assuming responsibility for Aon's casualty business in the Midwest in 2007. In serving as a client advocate, among other things, Ms. Murphy has worked with insurance markets to craft innovative casualty program collateral arrangements that minimize obligations during a multiple-year period, established benchmarks to achieve pricing efficiencies and helped develop broad customized policy wordings. At Aon, she also is a leader in the company's Women's International Network, a group working to promote the advancement of women at Aon and in the insurance industry overall.
Your professional role model: I'd have to say Corbette Doyle was a very important role model for me. She's no longer with Aon, but she was our chief diversity officer.
Best professional advice you've received: The best professional advice I ever received was early in my career. My mentor at that time told me always to focus on what was best for the customer and that, if I always focused in any situation on what was best for the customer, I'd never run into any challenges. And she was right.
Advice for women entering the field: To work hard and keep the focus always on the customer. At Aon, we have the Aon Client Promise, which is a consistent, rigorous, global discipline of how we serve customers. Stay focused on those tenets and always doing our best work for customers or helping colleagues help customers, and their careers will move in the right direction.
What you wanted to be professionally while growing up: It was indirect, but I did want to be in business and I wanted to serve large corporations. That's all I knew, that I wanted to work with large companies.
Best book you've read recently: I think I'll go with "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" by Malcolm Gladwell.
Phone or e-mail and why: I think that they're both very useful in different ways. One of the things I like about e-mail is that it can be very transparent. So I communicate with insurance companies on customers' behalf, and many times I may send the same e-mail to multiple companies and copy the client so everyone has exactly the same information and we can make sure it's fair and honest. I do think, though, that there are some things that don't lend themselves to print. I guess I would say I prefer phone because I think it's more personal and there are just certain intonations or expressions—you may need to speak to a customer about challenging situations—that you can't really put in an e-mail.