Background

The Beginning

In 2003 operating as ejsSearch, a talent consulting firm offering Executive Search to clients in insurance, we had 60 women on our database. At the time, although representative of the Industry, this was not right. We felt compelled to find career women in the sector and hear their stories.

To do this we organised a number of evening events to attract women. Today, as Schonhofer, we can boast circa 5000 women on our insurance industry database, for Europe alone.

Barbara Schönhofer founded The Women’s Insurance Network in the UK. The framework was established and TWIN was born gaining financial support and commitment from a broad range of industry company sponsors, organising events with well renowned industry speakers.

TWIN remains a strong networking group in the industry, although no longer connected to us.

Establishment of TWIN (The Women’s Insurance Network)

The Insurance Supper Club

Following the success of TWIN, we felt there was more to be done. TWIN had attracted high quality speakers but the out of town nature of the events restricted the more senior women from attending given their diary pressures.

We were keen to engage the interest of those women who had made it in their careers and were already operating at Board and Senior Management level so we launched Supper Club at the beginning of 2008.

We contacted the senior women known to us in the market and invited them to round table Suppers initially self funded, held once a quarter in London. In the second year we asked members if they would host the Supper Club events in their corporate facilities and received an overwhelming positive response. This has been hugely successful and dinners have been hosted by ACE, Aspen, Catlin, Clifford Chance, Phoenix Group, QBE, Hardy Underwriting Group, OIM Underwriting, Marsh UK and Willis UK.

In December 2011, we held our first Supper Club event in New York, sponsored by The Jacobson Group. Since then, events in the US have been sponsored by Metlife and Munich Re.

In 2013 Supper Club was re-branded to Insurance Supper Club, ISC.

The quarterly Insurance Supper Club dinners are held as round-table events, sometimes with a speaker, encouraging business debates and industry networking. Today ISC is supported by a central core of senior women with increasing interest and membership around the globe. We plan to continue holding events in Europe and America, extending to the growing economy of China in October 2014.