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2023 Women to Watch Awards Americas EMEA

Kay McMenamin Head of client

Willis Towers Watson PLC


Kay McMenamin started her insurance career as an entry-level underwriter but soon jumped to the broking side where she has spent most of her more than 30 years in the business.

“For the bulk of my career the ability to actually talk directly to a client has been what’s interesting,” Ms. McMenamin said.

Her entry into the industry was not by chance. She chose to study insurance management at the University of Central England, now Birmingham City University, while working at HSBC Insurance Brokers Ltd.

In 2010, HSBC was acquired by Marsh LLC, by which point Ms. McMenamin was head of office. She continued in that role for a couple of years before joining Willis Towers Watson.

“The role was within the leisure and hospitality industry practice, but I joined as an account director and then took over the lead of that role. It’s a great sector to work in because it’s dynamic and fun,” she said.

It was also a good grounding for her current role as head of client because the hospitality sector “constantly puts itself in the shoes of the people they want to give an amazing experience to,” Ms. McMenamin said.

What sets Ms. McMenamin apart is “her ability to stand in the client’s shoes and think about them at the core of our services,” said Amanda Scott, London-based managing director, global M&A leader, at WTW.

“I also admire her conviction around diversity. She always has a keen eye on female talent and making sure that we have real tangible career paths for people to own and deliver against,” Ms. Scott said.

Ms. McMenamin says she is an active mental health champion at work, raising awareness and creating space for people to talk and then directing them to support and services.

“In a big corporate organization where we had an opportunity to provide that volunteer role within the business, I felt it was important to stand up and be counted as a leader and say, ‘This is part of who you are and it’s OK,’” she said.

Claire Wilkinson