Zurich Insurance CEOs share Leadership Perspective with Smurfit MBA Students


One of the most relevant and appealing events at Smurfit is the MBA Leadership Talk Series. The MBA candidates have great aspirations to make impact in the business world and The MBA Thought Leadership Club provides excellent environment to supplement just that.

On Friday October 2nd, Mr.Martin Senn, Global CEO and Mr.Patrick Manley, EMEA CEO of Zurich Insurance were the coveted speakers who officially kicked off the first session of the series. Both visited Smurfit to share insights from their personal and professional journeys.

As MBA candidates we found it really insightful to hear their inspiring stories of cultural diversity while working in different continents from Americas to Asia, maintaining a positive attitude in challenging situations both truly manifesting the significance of leadership skills.

Mr.Martin Senn - Global CEO Zurich
Mr.Martin Senn – Global CEO Zurich

Mr.Senn candidly talked about his experience as a soldier for Swiss army and how he learnt to see the silver lining even in the most challenging situations. He called this phenomenon ‘Artist of Life’. He inspired students with thought provoking ‘coin story’ that his mentor told him. The closer we keep the coin to our eye the lesser we see. He advised that leadership is not about chasing money but great good of society and maintaining integrity.

Mr.Manley discussed the key ingredients required to be a great leader. He highlighted that leadership is about credibility. He mentioned a number of things including ‘therapy to let go’…with companies aggressively adding more portfolios, a CEO needs to learn to extract only relevant information from the clutter. Mr.Manley also mentioned that it is the leader’s responsibility to hire people he can trust and not micro manage a team’s every move.

He succinctly gave us MBA candidates a tip that it is imperative to be vigilant followers as we move to the corporate world to take on leadership roles.

I am fortunate to have the opportunity of being in this company. What a great start to the MBA program!

On behalf of the club I would like to thank Mr.Brian Hunt, Head of Regulatory Affairs at Zurich Insurance, who was instrumental in making the event a success and of course the MBA Programme Office that supported us in this endeavor.

Pooja Dey ~ Full Time MBA