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2019 Women to Watch EMEA: Tammy Richardson

Tammy Richardson

Tammy Richardson
Managing director
Willis Towers Watson PLC
Age: 52

Tammy Richardson learned her management and finance skills in a varied career at General Electric Co. and now applies them to the insurance sector.

Born and raised in upstate New York, after college she joined the financial management program of GE Capital, the financial services unit of GE, winding up in its mortgage insurance unit in Raleigh, North Carolina.

From there, she took an opportunity to move to Leeds, England, in a finance role at GE Capital’s consumer finance unit before taking other roles at the company and then various roles at Genworth Financial Inc. when it was spun off from GE Capital.

She took a year off in 2011 but soon decided to return to work as a consultant at Towers Perrin, before the merger that created Willis Towers Watson PLC.

“I decided to go into consulting because of the variety — every day is different,” Ms. Richardson said.

In 2015, she was asked to head the firm’s property/casualty consulting business and earlier this year was named managing director, U.K. and Ireland, insurance consulting and technology.

Building on her technical training, Ms. Richardson built her career by “grabbing different skill sets” so she understands the functional skills necessary for the businesses she runs, she said

Isabel Hudson, chair of the National House Building Council, a Milton Keynes, England-based warranty organization, said Ms. Richardson contacts her to ensure the board, in addition to the management of the organization, is informed about the work Willis Towers Watson is doing for NHBC.

“Not everybody does that, and I think it’s an indication of her broader thinking about whether the work they are doing is adding value,” she said. In addition, Ms. Richardson puts herself forward for different roles. “She’s gutsy,” Ms. Hudson said.

Young women in insurance need to understand that they have to put themselves forward to advance their career, Ms. Richardson said: “When I was in my 20s, I thought if I worked hard someone would recognize me and pluck me out and give me new opportunities, and it took me too long to realize that’s not how it happens.”

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