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Amanda Blanc’s Path to Global Leadership and Impact

By P Navya
By P Navya

Dame Amanda Jayne Blanc, born in 1967, grew up in Treherbert, Rhondda, Wales. She went to Treorchy Comprehensive School. Her grandfathers were both miners. Blanc pursued Modern History at the University of Liverpool and earned an MBA and Chartered Insurer (ACII) from the University of Leeds. Blanc is married and has two daughters, is also a skilled piano player. During her youth, she aspired to become a professional musician. In March 2023, she appeared as a guest on the enduring BBC Radio 4 program Desert Island Discs, hosted by Lauren Laverne. Since July 2020, Amanda Blanc has served as the Group Chief Executive Officer of Aviva. Aviva boasts 19.2 million customers in the UK, Ireland, and Canada, with £376 billion in group assets under management and a workforce of 28000 employees.

Career growth

After completing her studies, Blanc started her career at Commercial Union in Luton. She began as a fleet and casualty underwriter, later advancing to roles including area development manager. Notably, she became the youngest and first woman to serve as a branch manager at Commercial Union. In 1999, Blanc transitioned to EY before joining Axa as Regional Director. By December 2003, she moved to Groupama, taking on the newly established distribution and customer services director position. In 2006, Blanc joined Towergate Insurance, overseeing the retail broking division, and in 2010 she was promoted to deputy CEO.

In February 2011, Blanc joined Axa to lead its commercial division amid speculation of a potential UK business sale, which she successfully navigated. She earned the Insurance Times ‘CEOs CEO of the Year award twice in three years. Promoted to oversee Axa’s entire General Insurance division for the UK & Ireland in 2015, she became Group CEO of AXA UK, PPP & Ireland a year later. Blanc was Appointed as CEO for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at Zurich in April 2018, Blanc resigned over reported “personality clashes” with Group CEO Mario Greco a year later. She held multiple non-executive roles post-Zurich, including with InsurTec startups, Aviva PLC, and chair of Lloyd’s of London motor insurer ERS, and Welsh Professional Rugby Board chair.

On March 17, 2021, Blanc became HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Champion, succeeding Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia. She promotes the Women in Finance Charter for gender diversity in UK financial services. In November 2021, Blanc joined the board of the Geneva Association, a key insurance industry think tank. She was appointed to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Business Council in February 2022, advising on COVID-19 recovery and global investment. Blanc also co-chairs the UK Transition Plan Taskforce for climate transition plans in UK firms. Starting September 1, 2022, Blanc serves as a non-executive director on BP p.l.c.  and was appointed as senior independent director in April 2024.

Awards

In 2008, Blanc was honored as a Woman of Achievement by Women in the City, recognizing her advocacy for women’s advancement beyond her professional role. She was featured in Yahoo! Finance’s 2019 HERoes Women Role Model Executives list for her efforts in promoting gender equality in the workplace. Blanc also made Forbes’ 2021 Power Women list, highlighting her influence as one of the world’s top 100 influential women.

In 2022, Blanc received the Insurance Personality of the Year award at The British Insurance Awards and was named one of Financial News’ 100 Most Influential Women in Finance. She was also recognized among the Financial Times’ 25 most influential women of 2022. The Sunday Times named her their business person of the year in January 2023. Blanc was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2024 New Year Honours for her contributions to business, gender equality, and promoting net-zero initiatives.

Leadership styles

Amanda Blanc’s leadership style reflects a blend of transformational, visionary, inspirational, collaborative, and strategic approaches, aimed at achieving organizational success and fostering positive change in the industry.

  1. Amanda Blanc drives significant changes and improvements within organizations.
  2. Amanda Blanc articulates clear strategic directions for the future.
  3. Amanda Blanc motivates teams through passion and dedication while working closely with diverse stakeholders to achieve common goals.

Amanda Blanc’s career path from Wales to global leadership in finance and insurance showcases her style of making big changes, setting clear goals for the future, and motivating teams with passion while collaborating closely with diverse groups. Her achievements, including prestigious awards and roles promoting gender equality and sustainability, highlight her significant impact on business and society alike. Blanc’s leadership continues to inspire positive growth and responsible business practices worldwide.

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