Members' Area

Insurance Ireland Inclusion Breakfast Briefing

Insurance Ireland's Inclusion Breakfast Briefing - Wednesday, 15th February, 2017


The Year of Inclusion is a calendar of activities, built around four quarterly themes, to highlight inclusion best practices in our member companies and to consider incluson issues in the contect of the insurance industry. 

The event will feature a panel of industry experts as well as a presentation from Charlotte Sweeney, the lead on the City of London's Diversity Programme "The Power of Diversity". 

The full agenda for the morning is included below. It will run from 7.30am until 9.30am in The Shelbourne Hotel. If you would like to RSVP please email Ann O'Leary, Communications and Events Management Executive on 



Brid Horan is on the Steering Committee of the 30% Club Ireland and was Former Deputy CEO ESB. She serves on a number of boards including DCU Governing Authority, chairs ISAX (Ireland Smart Ageing Exchange) and has been a member of the boards of FBD Holdings and IDA. She spoke with Kevin Thompson ahead of the launch of Insurance Ireland’s Year of Inclusion. 


Kevin: We are excited to partner with the 30% Club, particularly for our Year of Inclusion, but for those not familiar with the organisation, can you give an overview of the 30% Club and its work in Ireland?


Brid: The key focus of the 30% Club is to work towards achieving gender balance in business in Ireland. The 30% club launched here in 2014 and we now have over 150 supporters who are leading businesses and business organisations in Ireland.


We are business focused and encourage business leaders to understand the importance and the proven value of gender balance. We engage with businesses at all levels but in particular the most senior levels as leadership and commitment from the top is critical to make progress.


While there has been enormous progress in female participation in the workplace in Ireland over the past 20 to 30 years, we seem to have plateaued somewhat and are clearly not getting to a balanced position at the most senior levels. For that to happen, business needs to take action and make changes.


Kevin: In developing the Year of Inclusion, we started with the importance of inclusion for the individual but were also mindful of the business case for inclusion. Can you discuss why the 30% Club is important for Irish businesses and the wider economy?


Brid: The core arguments around gender balance are linked to the whole question of inclusion. Clearly having a genuinely inclusive workplace is important to all aspects of a business. In the gender space, there is widespread and credible research that more balanced teams from a gender perspective, and businesses that are led by teams that are more balanced, do outperform. Businesses perform better with more gender balanced teams and there is also research that shows that mixed and balanced teams improve the performance of all the members of the team.


You can look at that research in many ways, but if you think about it the customer base of most businesses is half female, and in many areas most purchasing decisions are made by females.


Also, in educational terms, 50% of the talent we are producing is female. Talented people are key to business success and it makes complete sense to fully develop and utilise all of that talent. However, the experience to date in Irish business and internationally is that female talent is being developed at more junior levels, and at middle management level to a degree but you see a steady decline from senior manager level to CEO. There is a complex set of reasons for this but it is affecting performance.


Kevin: For those considering attending the event, why would you encourage them to attend and engage in this discussion on inclusion?


Brid: What we are finding as we engage with business leaders is, while they have unique challenges in their own businesses, they also recognise that this is a broader challenge affecting other businesses. Coming together to share international and local experiences, to share learning and to hear what other people are doing is a powerful way of addressing this.


Through the 30% Club we are identifying good practices and have also developed initiatives to support companies in what they are trying to do. Therefore, one of the benefits of taking part in the Insurance Ireland Year of Inclusion is hearing about what can work and having access to these initiatives. There will be representatives of the 30% Club in attendance on the day who will be happy to discuss these and how you can get involved. 


I would particularly commend Insurance Ireland for becoming a supporter of the 30% Club which is a signal of leadership, and would encourage Insurance Ireland’s membership to engage fully in the activities that will take place during the Year of Inclusion. The content of the launch is very interesting and it is an opportunity to start thinking about these issues in the context of insurance. For more information on the 30% Club in Ireland visit:






Registration & Refreshments 




Kevin Thompson, CEO, Insurance Ireland - Welcome 




Frank Mee, Chairman, Insurance Ireland Inclusion Task Force - Opening Address 




Charlotte Sweeney, Business, Diversity & Inclusion. Charlotte is Vice-Chair of the UK's Department of Business, Innovation and Skills external Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Panel and lead on the City of London's Diversity Programme "The Power of Diversity"



Panel Discussion:

MC - Terry Kelly Oroz, Head of Regulatory & Compliance at Irish Life Health and Insurance Ireland Inclusion Ambassador 

- Carol Andrews - Managing Director and Head of EMEA Service Delivery, BNY Mellon - 30% Club Representative 

-Penny Bryant - Head of Communications, Western and Central Europe, MetLife

-Sean McGrath - CEO, Allianz Plc

-Charlotte Sweeney - Vice-Chair, UK's Department of Business, Innovation and Skills external Diversity & Inclusoin Advisory Panel



Panel/Audience - Q&A




Terry Kelly Oroz, Closing Remarks 








  Frank Mee, Deputy CEO & Finance Director, Allianz Worldwide Care 

Frank Mee is Deputy CEO and Finance Director of Allianz Worldwide Care, the Allianz Group’s international health insurance subsidiary, which is based in Dublin. Born in 1954, Frank Mee completed a BComm degree in UCG in 1975 and subsequently qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte, with which he worked for 11 years.

He joined the company now known as Allianz Ireland in 1986 and served on the Board of Management of that company for many years until 1999. He was instrumental in the decision by Allianz Group to base its new international health insurance operation in Dublin in 1999. He is one the founding Directors of that business with Ron Buchan and Claude Daboul and has filled the role of Finance Director since its establishment in 1999. He was also involved in the founding of Allianz Re Dublin Limited and has served on that company’s Board since 1999. 
  Charlotte Sweeney, Vice-Chair of the Dept of Business, Innovation and Skills external Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Panel. 

Charlotte has specialised in large-scale change programmes with a focus on diversity, inclusion, engagement and wellbeing for over 15 years. She is seen as a thought leader in her field and works with companies and executives from the private and public sectors to drive leadership and cultural change. 

Charlotte is also the founder of the ‘Creating Inclusive Cultures’ Programme which is a collaboration of companies to drive sustainable change on Inclusion in cities across the UK.  It is heralded as ‘the first serious programme that gets companies to work together on D&I issues in the UK regions’. She conducted an independent review on the Voluntary Code for Executive Search firms in relation to getting more women onto boards for the UK Secretary of State Dr Vince Cable. 
  Teresa Kelly Oroz, Head of Regulatory and Compliance, Irish Life Health

Teresa is a Head of Regulatory and Compliance in Irish Life Health and Company Secretary to GloHealth. Teresa has been involved in a number of financial services start-ups being on the founding management team of Vivas Health, Insurance Regulatory Capital and GloHealth.   In 2014 Teresa was shortlisted in the category or senior management for the Image Magazine Business Woman of the Year awards.  Teresa qualified as a barrister and has a Masters of European Law from the Universidad Carlos III Madrid.
Carol Andrews, Managing Director and Global Head of Client Service and Prime Custody for BNY Mellon’s Alternative Investment Services

Carol Andrews is Managing Director and Global Head of Client Service and Prime Custody for BNY Mellon’s Alternative Investment Services business, a leading provider of hedge fund, private equity, fund of fund administration and prime custody services.   Carol was appointed to this role in 2015 and is responsible for client service for alternative clients for fund administration and custody globally.  Carol was previously Head of Service delivery for fund administration services in EMEA including NAV and portfolio accounting, transfer agency and client services.  She has extensive experience with major integration initiatives, regulatory issues and migration projects including the expansion of the Eastern European servicing model.

Carol is founder and steering committee member of the 30% Club in Ireland.  Carol serves as CEO of BNY Mellon Fund Services (Ireland) DAC and as a Director of BNY Mellon (Poland) SP Z.O.O.  Carol is a graduate of the Women’s Leadership Forum, a Harvard Business School leadership development programme.  Carol is a Certified Investment Fund Director (CIFD) and holds a Diploma in Cloud Strategy (Part 1 of MSC in Business Practice) First Class Hons from the Irish Management Institute. 
  Sean McGrath, CEO, Allianz Ireland

Sean McGrath was appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer at Allianz Ireland in April 2016. 

Sean has worked within Ireland’s highly competitive insurance industry for 34 years. His tenure with Allianz runs over a 20 year period during which time he has held the posts of Group Actuary, Director of Actuarial and most recently, Director of Sales & Operations at Board of Management level within Allianz Ireland and Director of Allianz Irish Life Holdings plc. 

Sean’s current role includes the implementation of a new strategic direction for Allianz in Ireland, putting Customers at heart of the company as well as embedding business logic throughout the organisation to ensure continuity of service excellence, sustained competitiveness and profitable growth.

  Penny Bryant: Head of Communications, Western and Central Europe, MetLife

Penny is a senior communications professional with 15 years communications experience. Penny is globally experienced across several industries including; insurance, banking and finance and telecommunications. 

Penny has held senior communication roles within key financial institutions in Australia including AMP (Australia’s premier Pension company) and was a senior communications advisor for Westpac, where she oversaw the communications strategy planning for the Australian Financial Services division. 

Penny worked in the Group Communications division at HSBC’s head office in London where she developed and led the internal communications strategy for the 320 group executive team members across 80 countries. 










This Insurance Ireland Event is open to Insurance Ireland members only or by invitation from our CEO. 


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