Influential women in re/insurance: re/insurers and brokers
Instead I decided to pursue a career in the City where insurance
particularly appealed because of its variety.
I made the right choice—experiences in my first year ranged from
placing an all-risks policy for a Rothschild’s jewellery collection
to broking the claim for the damage to Ronald Reagan’s suit after
the assassination attempt against him. Life in the London Market
has never been dull.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
There have been many. Being part of the close-knit management
team which steered a small startup business through the most
difficult years in Lloyd’s history to take the company public was
certainly a proud moment. More recently I have very much
enjoyed mentoring younger colleagues, helping them develop
and proudly watching them take on greater responsibilities and
being rewarded accordingly.
What has been the biggest challenge you have encountered?
There have been many tricky moments: hard to place risks,
demanding clients, and always budget pressures. By far the
biggest challenge was juggling a career and motherhood. When
my children were small there was no mobile email, no internet
shopping, no logging on from home and no flexible working.
We all moan about technology but it has definitely made it
easier for women to stay in the industry after having children.
And that is a very good thing.
“I have very much enjoyed mentoring
younger colleagues, helping them
develop and proudly watching them take
on greater responsibilities.”
Job title: Non-executive chair
2016: Non-executive chair, THB
2015: Non-executive director and member of audit and risk
committee, Pembroke Managing Agency
2014–2016: Non-executive director, Red24
2011: Chair, Howden
2008: Director, Howden
2005: Divisional director, Aon
2003: Head of run-off, Lloyd’s of London
1993: Director, Novae
1987: Joined Novae
After studying politics at university Lorraine Adlam joined the
graduate scheme of a large global broker and spent five years
in its financial institutions division. From there she moved
to a startup Lloyd’s syndicate to underwrite the same class of
business, in time progressing out of underwriting and eventually
becoming CEO of the managing agency.
At the age of 40, having listed the company on the London
Stock Exchange, and in serious need of some sleep, she
thought she had retired to a life of school and supermarket
runs. That turned out to be less stimulating and rewarding
than life in EC3. Some 18 months later Adlam returned to
the market in a variety of temporary and part-time
When her youngest child started secondary school she went
back to insurance broking for a further nine years. In 2014 she
decided to pursue a portfolio career as a consultant and non-executive
director (NED). Three NED positions later she now
enjoys combining her chair responsibilities at THB with life
partly spent in the West Country.
Why did you choose to work in this industry?
As a passionate feminist, thinking about possible careers in my
final year at university, I was determined not to follow the
typically “female” paths my peers were considering: teaching,
human resources (or “personnel” as it was then known) and the
M&S Management Training Scheme were definitely not for me.
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