Rising Stars in Insurance 2016

WeAreTheCity are proud to announce the winners of their Top 100 Rising Star awards. The Rising Star awards were introduced to showcase the UK pipeline of female talent below management and to create female 100 role models across 20 different industries and professions. The awards also included a new category in 2016 which celebrates the efforts of senior individuals who champion gender equality both within and outside of their organisations.

The awards were entered by 850 individuals were judged by a panel of 21 independent judges. Over 28,000 public votes were received for the 200 shortlisted nominees from across 110 countries. The awards were kindly sponsored by Barclays and supported by AON, Bloomberg, Cancer Research UK (Women of Influence), The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Executive and Personal Assistants Association, EY, Keir, Lloyd’s, ISS, Morgan Stanley, Newton Investment Management, Oliver Wyman in partnership with UN Women National Committee UK, PA Consulting, PedalSure, PwC, Reed Smith, Societe Generale, Twenty Recruitment, Virgin Media Business and Worldpay.

Vanessa Vallely, MD of WeAreTheCity said “It has been a total honour to run this years awards and highlight the achievements of so many amazing women, the calibre of entries was truly phenomenal.  WeAreTheCity is very much about supporting the female pipeline and introducing these awards was a perfect opportunity to showcase the amazing talent of women across the UK. We are exceptionally proud of our winners and look forward to following their future success.  We wouldn’t have been able to launch these awards without the support of so many organisations who took no convincing to support these women and recognise their achievements. Both myself, my team, our sponsors, judges and supporters are very much looking forward to celebrating with all of our winners at Barclays on 30 June”.

Once again, we would like to congratulate all our winners and extend a sincere thanks to everyone who supported Rising Stars during 2016.

Adobea Atsrefi


I joined AIG in 2014, wanting to make a positive impact, in any way. I am still blown away by the things I have achieved and the progress I have made since then. It motivates me to continue striving.

I work in the Multinational department dealing with wide ranging commercial insurance products and complex international regulations. I also lead the external networking of the African-Caribbean Employee Resource Group. Here I am involved in a number of initiatives, from teaching GCSE students “soft skills”, showing University students the different avenues available within insurance, to facilitating discussions with industry leaders regarding the business benefits of having a diverse workforce.

None of this would be possible without the encouragement and support of women within this company. I have been blessed to have a number of figures championing and helping me throughout this journey, and I aim to do the same for others.

Charlotte Lach


Charlotte joined AIG in 2011 as part of the Professional Associate (Graduate) scheme and worked as an Underwriter within the Liabilities team for three years. Charlotte commenced her current role, as Executive Manager, in 2014 and currently works alongside the CEO of AIG Europe Limited, supporting the development and execution of key strategies and initiatives impacting the breadth of the business.

Charlotte co-founded the Young Professionals Group at AIG in the UK, which focuses on Networking, Professional Development and Community Engagement, the group obtained over 200 members in its first year. In addition she is an active member of the Insurance Institute of London’s Young Members Committee. Charlotte completed her ACII in 2014 and received the Crawford Prize for achieving the best overall performance in the Advanced Diploma in Insurance in 2014.  Charlotte was awarded Young Achiever of the Year at the British Insurance Awards in 2015.

Sarah Millman


Sarah’s career began at LV= as an administration assistant, having graduated from Reading University with a degree in English Literature in 2008.

Swiftly gaining a reputation for energy, enthusiasm and a drive to succeed, Sarah naturally developed within analytical and risk management roles; building her expertise whilst becoming an accomplished people leader. Sarah is passionate about relationship building, problem solving and troubleshooting, and is dedicated to helping teams and individuals improve their processes and ways of working.

Recognised as a high potential, talented individual, Sarah was selected for a 2 year fast-track development programme with personal sponsorship from the Life Executive team in 2013. Having excelled on the programme, Sarah progressed into her current position in 2015 as Senior Risk Business Partner supporting the Protection management team.

During this time, Sarah also co-founded the first women’s network at LV= to help women achieve their full potential and drive postive cultural change as part of the D&I agenda.

Outside of work, Sarah is excited to be planning her wedding in December and lives with her fiancé and step-daughter in Poole.

Amy Sinnott


I joined AIG’s Human Resources team in 2011 to complete a year in industry for my four year sandwich degree in Business Management.

I continued to work part time at AIG whilst completing my final year, becoming a graduate employee in 2013 after gaining a First Class degree.  I later completed a Masters in Human Resources.

After graduating I specialised in Talent Management, with a main responsibility of organising leadership development programmes across the EMEA region and supporting all Talent Management activities.

I am truly passionate about Diversity and have been a member of our Women and Allies Employee Resource Group for 4 years.  I believe that we should focus on building the female pipeline and help others to achieve, we actively work together in our ERG to provide our female employees with soft skill training, networking events and key note speaker events.

Christy Mitchell


Currently I am a Graduate Construction Underwriter (engineering lines) for the London Market at Zurich Global Corporate. I have spent the previous 16 months on rotation for the Graduate Programme in Personal Lines strategy and Corporate Casualty claims, gaining both specific technical expertise and also a breadth of understanding about insurance businesses in their entirety. In every rotation I have been focused on making a positive difference to the team or department, for example implementing a new forum in Personal Lines to help improve our products according to specific customer feedback. I have also just become Diploma qualified with the CII having passed all modules with a distinction.

Alongside my day-job and exams, I am on the National Board for our Women’s Innovation Network. For the last year I have strategically lead 10 regional committees across the UK and have recently been given to the opportunity to lead our networking and influencing strategy; this year I have helped form a new group which amalgamates 5 separate women’s networks from across the industry – our first event is a panel debate sponsored by Bloomberg which will be attended by over 250 senior leaders and colleagues in June. I firmly believe that to really create and sustain lasting change, helping our organisations co-ordinate and work together is crucial for success. I recently won an internal ‘outstanding achievement’ award for my work in the network.

Previous to Zurich, I completed an MSc in Sociology at the LSE and also a BA in Sociology from the University of Nottingham where I won the Arthur Radford Award for achieving the top first-class mark in the year.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.