Mary O'Connor
Job Title
Chief Executive Officer
Speaker Bio
Mary is a proven CEO and C-suite executive, with 30 years of experience in leading and advising financial services companies. She has held senior roles in law, government, public corporations and a Big 4 accounting firm. Mary’s expertise uniquely leverages excellence in risk management to grow companies in a sustainable and profitable way. Mary believes that the best companies do well by doing good, and that a strong, open and dynamic culture – supported by robust governance and controls – creates the formula for success.

Mary was most recently the acting Chief Executive Officer for KPMG in the UK. She also served on the KPMG Board and the Executive Leadership Team. Previously, Mary was the Head of Clients & Markets (effectively, CEO with responsibility for the consulting, tax and deals businesses) and KPMG’s inaugural Chief Risk Officer, with responsibility for transforming culture and for developing and delivering improved risk frameworks. As a core part of her role, Mary advised C-suite financial services clients in relation to key issues – including business strategy, cultural change, operational- model stress, digital transformation and optimising risk management to deliver growth.

Prior to KPMG, Mary held a number of executive and Board roles at Willis Towers Watson (now, WTW), where she was widely recognised as one of the most influential leaders in the industry. She was the Head of Client, Industry and Business Development, with responsibility for delivering revenue and good client outcomes across US$1billion in products and services. She headed Global Financial Lines (a US $300 million P&L) and founded WTW’s Financial Institutions Industry. Mary began her WTW career as the Global Head of Risk and Compliance. She served on the Boards of Willis and Towers Watson Limited.

Earlier roles include Head of Approved Persons for The Financial Services Authority, and a manager in the Enforcement Team. She was previously a law partner at Kilpatrick Stockton and Senior Attorney/Counsel at Clifford Chance in London. In the United States, Mary served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Washington, DC, where she tried more than 100 criminal cases.
She is a former co-Chair of Women Corporate Directors, a member of the C200 (global invitation-only membership organisation of leading women corporate executives and entrepreneurs), active in ISC (the leading organisation promoting the advancement of women in insurance) and a former Director of the Charity Bank.