Inspirational Women in Risk – Sian Fisher


This month we hear from Sian Fisher, CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute, on how she gives the organisation an authentic sense of purpose and empowers and motivates her colleagues.

Sian Fisher
Born: Erith, Kent

Sian Fisher with quote

Your current role:

I am CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute. My job is to give the organisation an authentic sense of purpose and to empower and motivate my colleagues to get on with it. The CII has a Royal Charter from 1912 making us the Professional Body for Insurance and Financial Advice with a responsibility to “secure and justify the confidence of the Public”.

Your nickname as a child:

Lady Jane. I’ve always been one to make my opinions of how things should be, clear.

What was your first ever job? 

Cutting the grass edges in the garden which neither of my parents liked doing.

When did you join the insurance/risk profession?

In 1984 as a graduate trainee at broker Marsh.

What is your single proudest achievement?

The next one. So much to do in this world.

Relevant qualifications/awards:

Law degree from Oxford, Exec MBA from Harvard, ACII from CII, Exceptional Service Medal from Insurance Institute of London, Freeman of London and member of the Worshipful Company of Insurers, Honorary Lifetime member of the Managing General
Agent’s Association.

Favourite work focused saying:

“Stop examining the problem and solve it”.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

“Be comfortable in your own skin” from my parents.

What did you want to be when you were a child? 

I loved anything legal on the television like “Ironside” or “Crown Court”. In particular, that ITV daytime series was very inspirational as it showed serious, professional lady lawyers winning cases and helping their clients.

When did you last ride a bike?

At university. I always hated it, it is hard physical work which is counter intuitive for me. Difficult drinking champagne riding a bike.

Do you have hidden talents? 

I am awesome at tidying – it gives me the momentary illusion that I am making the world a better place.

Are you competitive? 

Only with life. I couldn’t care less whether I win or lose a game or a discussion but if something seems to need doing or changing, I am driven to try to fix it. This is a nuisance for me because I would much prefer not to!

Sian Fisher

Your Journey:

Born into an independent, clear thinking, straight talking family, we all loved history, debating, books and travelling; my brother filled our house with music. Moved around UK a lot, formative years in West Midlands, comprehensive education, concrete brutalist architecture, closure of heavy industry and arrival of wonderful Asian immigration. Fixated on escaping village life: for Oxford University as first in family and huge desire of my welsh mining grandparents, and London, my true love. Always interested in the risks of life via Victorian literature so Lloyd’s combined profession, London and life – starting at Marsh. Combined law to get role in new class underwriting of Professional Indemnity. Used analytic skills and creativity to spot new sector and create new revenue stream. Huge support from meritocratic boss and quality corporate employer, Hiscox. Held nose and jumped into entrepreneurship Oxygen. Pioneered MGA model in UK and sold to AJ Gallagher so saw full start-up cycle from start to finish. Explored non-exec life took role ASTA then joined the CII as CEO.

About the Insurance Supper Club

The Insurance Supper Club is a private members’ group of senior leaders from around the globe. It provides a forum to meet, network and debate business issues while seeking to inspire the next generations of leaders in the industry and the community as a whole. It is recognised that companies currently have an imbalance between genders at the senior executive level. It is also recognised that having a more even gender balance has a positive effect on the performance and value of a business, yet change has been slow. Many reasons are used to justify this lack of progress: career breaks, reduced opportunities, poor networking and also inaccessible female role models. The Insurance Supper Club offers a platform which promotes active participation of its members.

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About the Chartered Insurance Institute

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) is a professional body dedicated to building public trust in the insurance and financial planning professions. Their 125,000 and more members commit to high professional standards and success in CII qualifications is universally recognised as evidence of knowledge and understanding.

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