‘Clarity from Complexity – It’s what makes Aspen special.’
Our series of conversations with leading Aspen people begins with our Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer Mark Cloutier.
Tell us a little about you and your role.
I have been the Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer of Aspen since February 2019. I’ve held a number of senior roles across the sector over my career but I am very proud to be leading Aspen at this exciting time. Aspen is a great business and we are doing some really great things.
How would you sum up what sets Aspen apart?
Quite simply, Aspen is more than the sum of its parts. We have insurance, reinsurance and capital markets capabilities – and when needed we are able to bring these together to find solutions to complicated challenges.
Aspen people are all experts, from underwriting to operations, actuarial to claims, and everyone plays their part. We are a collaborative business and that makes for a very powerful mix.
We operate in multiple geographies across the world but we speak and think as one team. That’s not to say we don’t challenge and question ourselves, and each other, but we are all focused on one goal which is serving our customers as best as we can.
What are you most excited about for Aspen over the next 12 months?
Aspen is on a journey of transformation and I am really excited for this year and beyond as we continue to evolve. In transforming a business you need to focus on your strengths and always keep your clients front of mind. Making things as simple as possible, so people understand what you do, how you do it and what makes you different is very important.
While there is more to do, we were really pleased with our underlying performance in 2020. Not only have we made great progress as a business, we have also continued to maintain and nurture the strong relationships we have in the market. This gives us great encouragement around the direction in which we are headed.
As I said, people are the key to Aspen’s success and I am really pleased that we’ve made a number of senior appointments in the last year, not just to the leadership team but also in areas where we want to expand, and it’s fantastic that good people want to join us on our journey.
For a business to succeed you also need to make sure you are doing the right things and treating everyone with respect and integrity. At Aspen we are focused on implementing a comprehensive ESG strategy and building a genuinely diverse, inclusive, and empowered culture. We want to be a company that people want to join, are proud to work for, and one that is respected in the market for the right reasons.
For those who know the business less well, how would you sum up the culture at Aspen?
We want the right environment to work in and so culture is a real focus for us. It is a critical pillar of our strategy and one that we spend a lot of time talking about with our people. We are building a truly inclusive business that encourages and empowers our colleagues. Alongside this, we are also taking steps to consider how we can best manage our impact on the environment and positively affect the communities we serve.
It’s a long journey but we are getting there. We’ve already taken a number of important steps, such as the establishment of our D&I Aspen Cultural Transformation group and our recently announced partnerships with the Insurance Cultural Awareness Network (“iCAN”); the LGBT Insurance Network (“Link”); and the Gender Inclusion Network (“GIN”).
What part of being CEO at Aspen do you enjoy the most?
I am just very lucky to be working with such a great team who are all focused on making Aspen successful so we can be the best partner possible to our clients.
Being the CEO means being an ambassador for the business and we are a strong player in the market. I am always proud when I get feedback about how we have made something complicated much clearer and found a solution to a problem.
Building a strong business in a competitive sector is hard but with the team we have, and journey we are on, it is very rewarding. We face new challenges everyday but we are bringing clarity from complexity in an ever more uncertain world and that’s a great place to be.