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2018 Women to Watch EMEA: Jane Kielty

Jane Kielty
Managing director, U.K. retail, commercial risk
Aon UK Ltd.
Manchester, England
Age: 42

Jane Kielty didn’t always want to work in insurance, but she’s quickly made it into a very successful career.

After studying law at university, she reviewed her career options and was impressed by the role that insurance plays in all commerce and the variety of the work.

“One day you might be going to a nuclear power plant and trying to understand how that works and how the money flows and what the risks are, the next day they might be going to an ice cream factory, the next day may be to a mine; it’s really a varied and interesting job,” she said.

She joined Marsh Ltd.’s graduate program, where she gained wide experience over six years, and has spent the past 13 years with Aon PLC.

In her role as managing director of U.K. retail and commercial risk, which she took on earlier this year, she leads a team of 1,200 across 29 offices that produces £150 million ($192.8 million) in annual revenue.

Richard Pike, group chief financial officer of Biffa PLC, has been a client of Ms. Kielty in his various roles for 15 years. “She’s far and away the strongest person I’ve come across in the insurance industry,” he said.

After his previous firm was quoted an increase in premium, Ms. Kielty successfully explained to insurers that they were looking at the components of risk in the business in the wrong way and managed to negotiate a marked premium reduction, he said.

“She brings huge creativity to all situations I’ve seen her involved in,” Mr. Pike said.

Based in Manchester, England, Ms. Kielty is involved in various diversity initiatives with Aon including Step Up, its social diversity program for underprivileged young people.

With two sporty daughters aged 11 and 16, she and her husband, who is also in the brokerage business, work as a team to achieve work/life balance but also have parental support.

“I work really hard to encourage other people to realize that you can have work/ life balance and you don’t have to pretend that you don’t have a family,” she said.

Finding balance also ensures she has time for book club and trips out for afternoon teas. “I think I should have been born as Lady Mary in ‘Downton Abbey,’” she said.

NEXT: Jacqueline Legrand
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