Suzanne Liversidge is the Global Managing Partner at Kennedys
Q. Do you think that the industry has changed since you started working in it? If so, how has it changed?
A. The industry has changed dramatically over the last 30 years. Not only in terms of structure, market players and the global risks we all now face, but also in terms of how we have come together as a community.
I am particularly struck by how the Dive In Festival, which is run by Lloyd’s of London, has impacted the insurance market. 10 years ago, having a global diversity and inclusion festival would be unimaginable to me. As global festival partner, I’ve been able to see first-hand the messaging, connectivity and positive experiences it has created across the insurance industry. I believe that diversity in the sector has brought about not only positive change but also industry success. That’s a reason to celebrate and I’m very proud to support it.
Q. What has been the key positive or negative impact of change in your area of the market?
A. I’m pleased to see far more women in senior leadership positions in the industry. It’s still not good enough but the change is now tangible. I’m really proud to be part of the ISC Group and I’ve seen the positive influence it has had through its support of senior female role models in the insurance sector and how they’re looking to support the next generation of leaders.
Q. Who inspires you and why?
A. For me, it’s all the unsung heroes who work hard in the background to support me, our people and our clients. I certainly couldn’t do my job without their help. They don’t always know it, but they genuinely do inspire me to do better and achieve more every day so that we all make a difference. I need to tell them more often what a positive impact they have!
Q. Have you had/got a mentor? If so, what was the most valuable piece of advice they gave you?
A. My Dad has always been my mentor. Even as a small child he told me that I could do anything I wanted and that the only barrier I ever would face would be myself. When I was young, I had no concept of some of the prejudices I would face, but he taught me to be fearless, to care about others and to stretch myself. He taught me the value of supporting others and encouraging them to stretch themselves and grow too. And to be kind, which is so important, particularly in challenging times.
Q. If you had to choose one other company to work for, who would it be any why?
A. It’s a hard question as I genuinely love what I do, and I love the firm that I work for so it would take wild horses to drag me to another company. But if I had to choose it would probably need to be one in a completely different industry such as the arts, which is one of my passions. It would need to be something really different and special to make me want to work elsewhere… I think I’d rather retire!
Q. If you were not in your current position, what would you be doing?
A. I’d be a stand-up comedienne. It was my dream when I was younger. I have dabbled over the years and I sometimes daydream about what might have been! Humour is a key part of my everyday work; it keeps me sane.