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2015 Women to Watch: Lindsey Frase

2015 Women to Watch: Lindsey Frase

Lindsey Frase

Executive vice president

Willis Re, a unit of Willis Group Holdings P.L.C.

San Francisco

Age: 35

The youngest broker to ever be promoted to executive vice president at Willis Re, a unit of Willis Group Holdings P.L.C., Lindsey Frase said there's promise in the next generation of industry professionals.

“The best thing we can do is build teams and mentor young talent,” said Ms. Frase, who started at Willis Re as an assistant vice president in 2007 and was promoted after her 31st birthday.

“You often hear bad things about the younger generations,” she said. “I have a great team of very hardworking people, working against every stereotype of millennials in the industry.”

A person who grew up simply wanting “to achieve and be successful,” Ms. Frase was named valedictorian of her class at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California, graduating summa cum laude and landing a job as an assistant vice president at Guy Carpenter & Co. L.L.C.

“It's been an interesting road,” she said. “I like math and numbers and the strategy of it all ... but our business is a people business. I started as a marketing major (in college) but decided finance gave me more marketable skills.”

Today Ms. Frase helps lead what she calls a “new era” in reinsurance, with insurance firms consolidating and reinsurers standing by. “Consolidation is only going to continue,” she said. “This is the information age, and there are a lot of ways to innovate.”

Ms. Frase called her career choice a “gold mine for someone like me.”

“I wanted to dive in and connect the dots,” she said. “Reinsurance is a macro-view of the insurance industry, and it is very strategic.”

On being young and successful, Ms. Frase said she not only worked hard, but worked with a mentor. “I was challenged and pushed hard, and before I knew it, I had that confidence. That was a big boon for me, to have someone to work with.”

She currently serves on the steering committee of Women at Willis Northern California and is part of the Sarah Turvill Leadership Forum for Women, helping to foster and promote the careers of women across the Willis Group.

Jim Bradshaw, Chicago-based chief executive officer for Willis Re North America, said Ms. Frase impressed him “from day one.”

“She is totally dedicated to serving her clients and will go through walls for them,” he said. “Her energy and enthusiasm for the business is unparalleled. She has an uncanny ability to distill complex issues into manageable tasks and then create workable solutions. She is a force majeure at Willis Re, and indeed within the industry, and it is a pleasure to work alongside her.”

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