Link’s revised mission is to make the insurance industry the employer of choice for the LGBTQ+ community by:

  • Supporting the attraction and development of LGBTQ+ talent into, and within, the insurance industry.
  • Engaging and collaborating with market participants, the LGBTQ+ community and diversity networks to drive inclusion and acceptance within the workplace.
  • Working cross-industry to support and champion new and innovative products and services for LGBTQ+ customers.

“Our board shows the breadth of talent and experience within the insurance industry, and how promoting diversity and inclusion at all levels is good for representation, good for individuals, and great for business,” said Ben Johnson, Senior Advisory Board member and Managing Director and Head of Global Insurance at executive talent consultancy Sheffield Haworth. 

“I’m very much looking forward to working with my fellow board members to help promote inclusion and the great work that Link does,” he added. 

The board will meet on a quarterly basis, with its first meeting in June to coincide with Pride Month. Meetings will be held virtually to begin with, moving to in-person meetings later in the year if and when circumstances permit. 

The new Senior Advisory Board members in full (listed alphabetically by last name):

  • Vishal Desai Vishal Desai is Chief Risk Officer at MS Amlin, after 12 years working in the Bank of England’s insurance directorate, where he organised the BoE’s first public, insurance sector event and executive director level speech on LGBT+ inclusion. He also supported work on the Bank’s first LGBT+ inclusion “charter” approved at board level to make specific, actionable, public commitments to developing a more LGBT+ inclusive workplace.
    Vishal has been a trustee of the support helpline Switchboard LGBT+, where he has overseen the strategic plan to build out BAME representation of the volunteer base. Vishal was shortlisted for the 2019 Dive In D&I Awards and also invited to sit on the Insurance Insider D&I advisory board alongside other recognised D&I subject matter experts. For his work to promote LGBT+ inclusion and BAME intersectionality, Vishal was recognised through inclusion in the Yahoo Finance 2019 annual global awards in the Top 50 emerging future LGBT+ leaders category.
  • Catherine (Cat) Drummond is a Partner in Lane, Clark & Peacock LLP’s Insurance Consulting practice. In addition to her role advising insurers and reinsurers across all areas of actuarial, risk and strategy, she co-founded LCP’s LGBT+ network and has several people leadership and DE&I responsibilities across LCP.  Cat is passionate about ensuring both LCP and the wider insurance industry provide a positive and supportive environment where all forms of diversity are valued so that everyone can reach their full potential.
  • Ben Johnson is Managing Director and Head of Global Insurance at Sheffield Haworth. After 14+ years placing executives, interims, and consultants at C-suite level across some of the biggest names in Insurance, Ben is on a mission to build out the Sheffield Haworth Insurance practice into the number one provider of transformation talent solutions in the industry. He has a BA in Fashion Marketing from the University of the Arts, London and he is a passionate advocate of the role of creative thinking in business. 
  • Louisa Lombardo is the Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) for EMEA at Chubb, responsible for developing and delivering the DEI strategy across the region.  Since joining the industry in 2014, Louisa has played an active role in a variety of market-wide initiatives, including the formation of the Gender Inclusion Network, which she chaired from 2017-2019, as well as the Balance programme and the DiveIn Festival.  In 2017, Louisa was awarded the Rising Star award in Diversity by WeAreTheCity and was also highly commended at the European Diversity Awards as ‘Head of Diversity of the Year’ in 2018.
  • John McNamara has been Managing Director of Canada Life International in Ireland since 2017, having held a number of senior finance and commercial roles at AXA, NatWest and PwC. John is Deputy Chair of the Association of International Life Offices, chair of its D&I committee and sits on the D&I committee for Chartered Accountants Ireland. He chairs a national charity focusing on youth information and crisis services as part of the Irish government’s youth mental health strategy. He is a current OUTstanding Top 100 Role Model LGBT+ Executive.
  • Richard Owen is is a Partner of Lockton Companies LLP and a member of the Europe Execuive Committee. Richard is also the head of Lockton’s specialist Global Real Estate & Construction practice, having built his 20+ year career at the firm. He is a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute and a Non Underwriting Member at Lloyd’s of London, as well as being a representative member of the Lockton Charitable Association.
  • Aubrey Stearn is a CTO with years of experience, and a former Executive Director of Software Engineering at JP Morgan Chase. As someone who is classed as diverse, she carries an inherent responsibility to make things better in the organisation that she engages with. She believes that being visible and open about her journey on Youtube, and holding and executing the role of CTO, speaks volumes to folks like her when it comes to looking at their own career opportunities and glass ceilings they may face. Aubrey has previously spent time looking at talent pipelines and hidden barriers to entry in recruitment processes, with a focus on encouraging applicants to bring their best selves to interviews.