Mary O’Connor

Global Head of Financial Institutions Industry, Willis Group Holdings

Mary O’ Connor is the Global Head of Financial Institutions at the Willis Group, with responsibility for Willis’ world-wide practice in relation to all financial services clients.  Her role encompasses the development of Willis’ strategy and value proposition, and the delivery of innovative risk management and broking services through Willis’ global network. As a leading expert on risk and regulation, Mary has advised clients on all aspects of risk, regulation and financial crime

Mary’s work at Willis on capital market issues addresses the interplay of capital markets and insurance. This includes the role of capital market products such as derivatives in replacing insurance (and vice versa), the role of credit insurance solutions in obtaining capital relief, the use of insurance derivatives and other related products, and alternative finance areas such as crowd-funding.

Mary is a former Executive member of the Board of Directors of Willis Limited, a Non-Executive Director of the Charity Bank, and a member of the world Economic Forum Project in Accelerating Capital markets development, and C5’s European Anti-Corruption Board.

Mary has held senior positions in government in the UK and the US. She joined Willis from the UK Financial Services Authority where she was Group Head of Risk and Compliance.  She also served as Head of Approved Persons there, with responsibility for overseeing regulation of executives and client-facing staff working in financial services in the UK. Mary was also a manager in the Enforcement and Financial Crime Division, where she successfully led high-profile investigations into LIBOR-rigging and obtained record-breaking fines against firms and individuals.

Prior to her time at the FSA, Mary was a partner at a major US law firm in London, and an Assistant US Attorney in Washington, DC, where she reported to the current Attorney General, Eric Holder. As a securities litigator she prosecuted numerous market abuse and insider trading cases.

Mary is a dual-qualified U.S. and U.K. Lawyer.  She speaks regularly on diversity issues and is active in the International Women’s Federation, Senior Women in Insurance and the Association of Professional Working Parents.