Mercer CEO M. Michele Burns and Senior Consultant Lisa Zeitel chosen as "Women to Watch"
25/10/2006
Mercer CEO M. Michele Burns and Senior Consultant Lisa Zeitel (US Health & Benefits), were among six MMC colleagues chosen as "Women to Watch" by Business Insurance magazine.

12 October 2006

The "Women to Watch" list identifies some of the women who are leading change in commercial insurance, risk management, employee benefits, and related fields. Eighty executives were chosen for this year's honor, with no less than six women representing MMC and our operating companies. The women profiled represent senior executives and innovators at a range of organizations.

According to Business Insurance, "We like to think of the Women to Watch report as a starting point, not an endpoint, for discussing the importance of women in the industry. Even though more women are taking on high-profile jobs, senior management in the insurance business has remained largely male. BI believes that diversity – whether through gender, race or ethnicity – is important for an industry that serves people and businesses in all walks of life."

Learn more about Mercer's "Women to Watch" by reading their short Business Insurance interviews below.

M. Michele Burns

Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer

Mercer Human Resource Consulting L.L.C.

New York

M. Michele Burns began her career as a senior tax partner at Arthur Andersen L.L.P. before joining Delta Air Lines Inc., where she last served as executive VP and chief financial officer. She then joined Mirant Corp., an Atlanta-based power company, and held several executive positions, including executive VP, CFO and chief restructuring officer. She joined Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. as executive VP and CFO earlier this year, and was appointed to her current position at Mercer last month.

Q: What advice would you give young women entering the industry today?

A: "Listen more than you talk. Work hard. Show up mentally and emotionally. Show up and give all to what you are attempting to do. Stay focused on your goals and don't be deterred."

Q: Who has had the greatest influence on your career and why?

 

A: "I had a college professor who inspired me to do more than I thought I could. My boss at Delta taught me how to take my drive and ambition and decisiveness and channel them into the corporate environment in a very meaningful way."

Q: If you had the ability to change one thing about the industry what would it be?

 

A: "I would not spend much time trying to change an industry. The industry is going to change and it is our requirement as business people to change with it."

Lisa Zeitel

Senior Consultant

Mercer Health & Benefits L.L.C.

Norwalk, CT

Lisa Zeitel provides health care and prescription drug consulting services for big corporations, state governments, and employer coalitions. Prior to joining Mercer, Ms. Zeitel worked for five years at Metropolitan Life Insurance Co./MetraHealth Cos. evaluating the effectiveness of managed care products and networks.

Q: What advice would you give young women entering the industry today?

 

A: "Find a mentor with good leadership, management and people skills, as well as strong problem solving and communications skills. Plus, never get locked into doing the same things."

Q: Who has had the greatest influence on your career and why?

 

A: "At each stage of my career, I've had several mentors. At Mercer, my mentors were Tom Ferguson, who hired me, Mindy Fox and my current boss, Dave Rahill. What they all had in common is that they really believed in me and challenged me to be the very best I could."

Q: If you had the ability to change one thing about the industry what would it be?

 

A: "The industry needs to provide more career development opportunities and the appropriate training to help people to achieve those different opportunities."

Four women at our sister companies were also recognized by Business Insurance:

* Tracey Ant - Managing Director Marsh's Multilines Practice

* Lou Ann Layton - Managing Director Marsh's D&O Practice

* Karen Beldy Torborg - Managing Director Marsh's Private Equity M&A Practice

* Lara Mowery - Managing Director Guy Carpenter & Company, Inc.