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2015 Women to Watch: Lynn Oldfield

2015 Women to Watch: Lynn Oldfield

Lynn Oldfield

President and CEO

AIG Canada, a unit of American International Group Inc.


Age: 52

Lynn Oldfield's appreciation for industry and business goes back to the summer job she once held in her hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, as one of the first two women allowed to work at a local steel plant.

This occurred while she was studying business at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, a chance at college she earned with scholarships, introduced to her by a high school English teacher who saw promise in the young steel-town girl.

During college, she interviewed with insurers and eventually landed at American International Group Inc., working her way up the ladder to lead AIG's Canada team.

Today her business mantra is “anything is possible.”

“When I began my business education journey, I did not have my eyes on the role of (CEO), but as my career progressed I truly believed the opportunities were open to me,” said Ms. Oldfield. “I put out my hands and reached for them.”

The mainstays of Canadian industry are mining and forestry, she said, adding that there's still variety in her everyday dealings.

“The most fun aspect of my job are the people,” she said. “I enjoy the diversity of our clients, our business partners and our team members.”

Ms. Oldfield started at AIG in 1991 in the role of regional manager in management liability. Since that time, she has held a variety of management positions including underwriting, client-and-broker relationship management, and sales and marketing.

According to an AIG spokeswoman, under Ms. Oldfield's tenure as president and CEO the organization has experienced double-digit growth and added new lines of business and associated products. For example, the Canadian aviation group, a division Ms. Oldfield brought to Canada, grew in excess of 100% in 2014. Since the 2008 financial crisis, she has returned the company to its billion-dollar-per-year gross written premium status.

Today she mentors younger talent and speaks at universities. She also helped develop AIG's Emerging Leaders program, in which 16 to 24 staff members are selected each year from across Canada to participate in the comprehensive industry educational program.

Marc Lipman, Toronto-based chief of staff for AIG Canada, said Ms. Oldfield shines in her ability to help those who are less experienced in the workforce.

“She has dedicated her career and much of her life to furthering young people and women in particular in the industry, elevating the professionalism of the industry as a whole,” he said.

» NEXT: Mary Beth Sanford

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