Episode #1409 Eileen McDonnell: Reimagining Leadership in Financial Services

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Penn Mutual's Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Eileen McDonnell joins Moe Abdou to discuss her approach to leadership, innovation, and to look at the decade ahead in insurance and financial services.  


Eileen McDonnell

Reimagining Leadership in Financial Services View Full Profile

Reimagining Leadership in Financial Services

Having been involved in the insurance and financial services industry for the better part of three decades, I was particularly excited at the opportunity to engage with Penn Mutual’s forward thinking leader, Eileen McDonnell.  

For two years now, I’ve worked closely with Penn’s Pacific Region director, John McLean to explore new ways for his team to add greater value to their roster of elite producers.  While it’s been an exhilarating learning experience for the both of us; it further reinforced my unequivocal belief that today’s agenda - for both advisor and her clients - can never be advanced with yesterday’s thinking.  For far too long now, I’ve heard too many leaders in this industry give lip service to the urgent call for greater creativity & innovation; still few, if any have had the courage to live up to their commitments - except perhaps for one - Eileen McDonnell.     

During our work together, John and I have learned a lot about the challenges facing today’s insurance and financial advisor - From technology and artificial intelligence, to the ever evolving demands of today’s consumer and the changing perception of the industry as a whole.  I have, and will always have immense appreciation for the work that advisors do, still I’m less than optimistic at the manner in which they’re approaching today’s opportunities.  

In this conversation with Eileen, not only will you get a rare glimpse of her thinking process; more importantly, you’ll walk away convinced that Ernst & Young made a wise choice last year in naming her ‘entrepreneur of the year’ in the Philadelphia region in the transformation category.  Here are some of the questions we explore:

  • The mindset & methods that reignited a radical shift within Penn Mutual
  • The role & importance of modern women in leadership positions
  • The essence of shared leadership 
  • What to expect in the next decade - consumers, advisors & carriers 
  • Why & how Penn Mutual’s best positioned to serve the modern advisor 
  • The role of technology in all facets of financial services 
  • The people, ideas and books that magnify her spirit