Diversity is the best insurance policy to survive to the natural selection process in a world of relentless disruption and change.
Mr Donadini, currently AIG’s Chief Investment Officer for APAC, EMEA & LATAM, is an insurance investment veteran with nearly 30 years of experience. He previously served in several investments senior leadership roles in AIG’s international operations in Latin America and Europe and in leadership roles for ING Bank and MetLife. Mr Donadini is an Executive Co-Sponsor for AIG UK “Gender Equality Matters” ERG since 2016, receiving the “2016 Outstanding Allies Award” and the “2017 Outstanding ERG Executive Sponsor Award”. Mr Donadini has been actively mentoring women at AIG and participates in Mission Include. In 2018 he was a finalist for “Banking and Insurance Advocate of the Year” from Women in Finance Awards.
Why have you committed to being an everywomanAdvocate?
We need to raise awareness among businesses of the importance of generating organizational changes to capture all views in order to improve the effectiveness of decision-making processes.
one or two things that people might be surprised to find out about you.
I worked in politics, was a university professor, wrote computer code and was a salesman and a clothes delivery man.
If you were writing your bio what would you cite as the three most pivotal things in your career?
Predicting the 2001 Argentinean financial crisis.
Accepting AIG’s challenge to come to London as CIO for Europe just before the 2008 financial crisis.
Mentoring high potential women.
If there was one thing you could have changed about your career, what would it have been?
I would have worked on mindfulness development during university.
What’s the one piece of career advice that has really stuck in your mind?
My first boss said “Guillermo, if you don’t execute it, even the best idea becomes worthless”, when he was trying to convince me to run investment portfolios rather than writing investment research. I repeat the same sentence to my team all the time.
What do you wish you knew in your early career?
Success is about building the right team, it is about people, as you cannot do everything yourself.
What three pieces of advice would you give to someone whose ambitions are to be on an executive board?
Learn to listen carefully even if you disagree. Learn to wonder if you might be wrong. Learn to challenge ideas as if they were yours.
Name three characteristics you look for when recruiting someone onto your executive team.
Intellectual curiosity. Great interpersonal skills. Willingness to change. Different from other team members. Ego-free.
What are the three most challenging things in your role?
Low-interest rate and risk-premium, which cannot compensate for higher inflation expectations.
Increasing regulatory demands.
Brexit-driven operational challenges.
What’s the next big thing in your sector and what challenges and opportunities does it pose?
Inflation risk is perhaps both a great challenge and an opportunity if properly addressed through innovation and thinking outside the box.
What’s the most memorable thing someone has ever said to you?
“Make sure you can forgive yourself of your mistakes and failures”, as you have to take risks for growth, and have the courage to move on under adversity and failure, without persisting on what didn’t work.
What makes a powerful communicator?
Integrity. Humility. Commitment. Passion. Like Gandhi.
How do you get people to listen to you?
I ask the audience questions.
Are you involved in programmes or initiatives that support gender balance?
I am an Executive Co-Sponsor of AIG Europe’s “Gender Equality Matters” ERG, a mentor in Mission Include and have mentored women in AIG for the last two years.
What is the biggest and most pressing issue for women in business today?
To change men’s perception that gender diversity is not about Women against Men, but rather synergizing Women and Men together, through an honest, candid and open dialogue at every level of the organization.
What value do you believe gender diversity brings to the workplace?
What steps can organisations take to close the gender pay gap?
Understand what is blocking women to grow in the organization. Invest in changing those working, cultural or organizational toxic factors creating the right environment for women and men to blossom together on a common goal.