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2017 Women to Watch: Lori Bailey

2017 Women to Watch: Lori Bailey

Lori Bailey
Global head of cyber risk
Zurich Insurance Group Ltd.
Age: 43

Lori Bailey first learned about the insurance industry during dinner-table talk growing up. Her father owned a small property/casualty agency in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and her mother helped in the office.

“So I grew up in an environment always surround by insurance,” she said, helping around her dad’s office as soon as she was old enough. A summer job at Commercial Union Insurance Co. while in college led to positions at American International Group Inc., Marsh L.L.C., then back to AIG before she joined Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. in 2009.

After serving as global head of special lines, she was named global head cyber risk earlier this year.

Landing a global position “was a tremendous accomplishment for me personally,” she said. “I’d always wanted to be in the C-suite,” and the global position “came a lot sooner than I ever thought it would.” 

But she remains approachable and collaborative. An expert in her field, Ms. Bailey “doesn’t intimidate others with that expertise,” said Dan Loris, Schaumburg, Illinois-based group head of technical underwriting. “She’s very welcoming in the way she engages others.”

“One of the things I’ve always prided myself on is to try to be very approachable and open,” Ms. Bailey said. She said she remembers her anxiety as a young claims analyst about approaching a senior official “and thinking I never want to be, or give off, a vibe like that.”

Ms. Bailey, who is married with two children, has been named to chair Zurich’s Women’s Innovation Network in North America, which has about 1,800 participants. “A large part of what we do is to drive professional development and networking opportunities for women not only within Zurich, but within the wider insurance industry,” she said.

Brian Little, Schaumburg-based head of human resources and the intermediary between senior management and the group, describes Ms. Bailey as “fantastic.” He said he decided to offer her the chairmanship of the group following a speech she gave last year on International Women’s Day for the network. “It was clear she had a passion for women’s issues, but also for how Zurich can be a company that women can thrive in,” he said.

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