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CEO, Mexico Operations
Lockton Cos. L.L.C.
After establishing herself as one of Lockton Cos. L.L.C.'s top 20 producers worldwide — and one of its top 10 employee benefits producers — Marcela Flores was elevated in May 2013 to CEO of the company's operating units in Mexico. In addition to her consistently high brokerage performance, she is a recognized thought leader and author in the employee health and retirement benefits field.
What's your advice for women entering this field?
You have to convince yourself that success is not a matter of gender. You need to have confidence in yourself and in your own abilities. You must work hard to take the utmost advantage of those abilities, and stay focused when you are convinced of your goals. Critically, you must also always keep in mind the interests of your client and your company. If you can do all of that, then you can be sure that success is just around the corner.
What attracted you to this industry?
I started my professional career in the area of pensions and retirement consulting. Professionally, that has been my main passion. While working as an actuarial consultant, I found that clients also wanted my advice in areas such as benefits and other types of risks, and I realized that by applying mathematics, I could generate innovative solutions. Creating these solutions and being able to negotiate them with the markets, applying them and watching the client's results is extremely fulfilling and has made my work a fascinating experience.
What aspects of your job give you the greatest sense of accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishments are the times I hear a client express his appreciation and recognition for the service we have provided, or for a project that went beyond his expectations. When we bid for a project, we work very hard to come up with innovative solutions, and each time we win, I know it is because we have made a difference. I also enjoy teaching and helping my teams grow, and learning from them as well. I am very demanding, but it gives me a great sense of accomplishment to watch them grow and reach their own goals.
What's the most important lesson you've learned in your career?
If you want to succeed in business, you must surround yourself with intelligent, energetic people who have a good sense of humor, and you have to make sure they share your same sense of ethics and decency.
Outside family, what woman has been your role model?
Alicia Solórzano, a math teacher in prep school who taught me to feel proud of being a woman and to believe that if you want something you must pay the price. She helped me get my family's approval to study my actuarial science bachelor degree. Also, I have to mention Claudia Mandato. When Lockton came to Mexico, she was a great role model for me, she supported me, and I decided to stay at Lockton. Her professionalism and energetic personality made an impression on me. She reflects many of Lockton's values and makes me feel proud to be part of Lockton Cos.
What's at the top of your bucket list and why?
I took over my current position only six months ago, so professionally my goal is to grow the full business and have Lockton Mexico become one of the top three brokers and advisers in the country, doubling our revenues in five years within the proper margins. Personally, I want to maintain a balance in my life, and continue sharing the love and unique relationship I now have with Eduardo, my husband. I also have to make time to foster and further develop family relationships — fortunately, Eduardo and I both come from big families. Finally, at some point in time, I want to write a novel.
What's your secret vice?
Refilling the candy dish I have on my desk with sweet and sour apple gummies, which I cannot stop eating. I also have a habit of carefully looking at the dessert menu in every restaurant I go to, asking the waiter for a detailed description and then refusing to try any of them.
Business Insurance's annual Women to Watch feature recognizes women who are doing outstanding work in commercial insurance, risk and benefits management, and related fields, including consulting and law.