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Vice Chairman, International Operations
Guy Carpenter & Co. L.L.C.
Considering her love of travel, it's not surprising that Victoria Carter has been a trailblazer during her three decades in the insurance industry. Since entering the industry in 1979 as a broker in London, Ms. Carter has consistently charted her own course. She co-founded the broking operation Dunn & Carter Ltd. in 1992 and became the first woman to establish an intermediary in Lloyd's of London, when the firm was registered as a reinsurance broker there in 1996. In 2004, she became chair of U.K. and international operations for Towers Perrin. In September 2010, she assumed her current role as vice chairman of international operations at Guy Carpenter & Co. L.L.C., where she focuses on the priorities of clients' C-suites, helping to craft customized solutions that often are beyond the scope of traditional reinsurance. An avid traveler, Ms. Carter continues to chart new territory outside the office as well. Her next trip will take her above the Arctic Circle by dog sled. “I am a great believer of having fun in life,” she said.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO WOMEN ENTERING THIS FIELD?
My first advice would be to forget that you are a woman — in the nicest sense. You shouldn't worry whether you are male or female, black or white, just be yourself and do the best job that you can. You are what you are, so make the best of it.
WHAT'S THE BEST ADVICE YOU'VE RECEIVED IN YOUR LIFE?
Live every day to fullest. This isn't a dress rehearsal, so go for it. Work hard and play harder.
WHAT'S THE BEST-KEPT SECRET ABOUT WORKING IN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY?
The friendships you make. I've been in the industry for 32 years and have been fortunate to make incredible friendships through the business. These friendships have meant a lot to me, and they have been there through the good times and not-so-good times. It's what keeps you going.
WHAT'S THE NEXT MAJOR CHALLENGE IN YOUR BUSINESS SECTOR?
The biggest challenge for everybody right now is growth while maintaining profit. Every company is looking to grow, so the challenge is how to maintain profit and create value for your shareholders.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELIEVE STRESS?
Smash down walls! I love renovating houses, and interior design is my absolute passion.
WHAT'S YOUR SECRET VICE?
I can't possibly tell you because then it will no longer be a secret! I couldn't possibly repeat it anyway.
WHAT SKILL HAS BEEN AN UNEXPECTED AID TO YOUR CAREER?
I would say people skills and being able to communicate and bring people together, successfully. It's absolutely essential in a people business.
WHAT'S AT THE TOP OF YOUR BUCKET LIST?
I know it sounds a bit ridiculous and totally impractical, but I would love to rescue all the stray dogs in the world. I'd also love to renovate an old stone farmhouse in Italy. And there a still a few remote parts of the world I haven't been to yet.
Business Insurance's annual Women to Watch feature recognizes women doing outstanding work in insurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields.