Barbara Schönhofer

Barbara Schönhofer is Chief Executive of Schonhofer. She manages board and senior management search assignments.

She has consulted insurance companies internationally in insurance and reinsurance covering the property and casualty, life and non-life, pensions and health, and protection insurance markets. Barbara has successfully partnered with leading industry organisations in the acquisition of business critical senior-level talent including Board Members, CEOs and other C-suite roles for over 20 years.

Barbara brings 40 years of strategic business leadership and top level executive search experience in financial services to our clients. She is an entrepreneur and philanthropist and her interests have led to extensive networks inside and outside financial services into broader industry and the public sector including government, the arts and not for profit organisations. Since embarking on her 21 years in executive search Barbara initially built and lead an international insurance practice over a 7 year period for an executive search firm which had offices in London, New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore. She then became a partner with KFI and for the next 2 years started up its first European based insurance practice before co-founding ejsSearch which grew to be an industry recognised boutique executive search business and precursor to Jacobson and now operating as Schonhofer.

Barbara Schönhofer worked for 18 years in financial services as business leader culminating in being a first mover in the building society sector by setting up and leading a centralised lending platform which still exists today as a large lending business.

Barbara has been highly influential for over a decade in persuading the UK insurance industry to look carefully at inclusion and diversity and was instrumental in founding TWIN (The Women in Insurance Network), ISC (Insurance Supper Club) and iWIN (Independent Women Insurance Network (iWIN) for the WCI (Worshipful Company of Insurers). This work has led to Barbara being awarded the “Woman of Excellence – 2014 Award” by NAFE (The National Association for Female Executives). More recently she has started HTS Stargate to support the faster advancement of aspiring female leaders and is a founder member of IWF (Insuring Women’s Futures) leading Women in Risk recently launched by the CII (Chartered Insurance Institute).

She is a member of the London Insurance Institute and a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Insurers and is a SAFE Ambassador for the Manchester based charity SAFE Ambition.


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