Samantha McConnell

Samantha was recently awarded the Graduate of Merit Award – Executive Director, at the IoD Chartered Director Programme Awards 2015. Samantha completed the Chartered Director Programme in 2014 receiving the highest mark in the diploma in company direction examination.

Tell us about your current role and responsibilities

I am Chief Investment & Operations Officer for Willis Human Capital & Benefits Ireland. Willis is one of the largest providers of services to corporate and individual pension schemes in the country. My role is to ensure that all our administration offerings run as effectively as possible and to oversee the wide array of projects we undertake in order to drive through efficiency. In addition, my team also creates the investment offerings that we provide to our client base as well as providing investment advice to a wide variety of institutional clients.

Describe your leadership style

I am direct, challenging and supportive. 

The team working with me have a very clear sense of what we need to achieve and what their objectives are over the next year. My role is to provide the individuals on my team with support and assistance to meet their objectives. I tend to be very direct and people know exactly where they stand at any point in time and I would be known to have very high standards.   

What were your motivations for undertaking the IoD’s Chartered Director Programme?

I was sitting on a number of boards in both an executive and non-executive capacity. Given the increase in regulation in our business, I felt the need to have more formal training around the individual and collective responsibilities of directors. However, what I wasn’t expecting from the Programme were the lessons learnt from other members of my Cohort which were equally valuable.

What impact has formal director training had on your effectiveness in the boardroom?  

It has provided me with the framework within which to assess my responsibilities and has definitely led me to have more confidence in my role as a director and to assist me in asking more meaningful questions in my role as a non-executive director.