Lucy Morrison loves the rooftop garden at ArgoGlobal’s London office building.
She considers regular doses of nature to be an antidote to the routines of the working life, including an hour-long train commute and eight hours behind a desk in her role as head of finance operations.
“It’s magic, growing something from a seed,” says Morrison, who revels in moments spent both actively working with or relaxing near plants.
She has long been interested in the wonders of life, having studied biology at university. When it came time to choose a career, she gravitated toward accounting.
“I studied what I enjoyed and what I was good at, but I knew I didn’t want to be a scientist,” she says.
On her first day of training with an audit firm, Morrison was sent to visit a client who was a Lloyd’s of London managing agency.
“And that was it,” she recalls. “The rest of my career has been in the Lloyd’s market, working in all areas, including with brokers and Lloyd’s itself.”
That experience includes helping to establish syndicates and a managing agent, plus successfully closing a run-off syndicate.
Learning about all aspects of insurance
Morrison discovered she enjoyed the specialization of finance in the insurance industry.
“I love the fact that, working as an accountant in the insurance industry, you generally gain a greater depth of understanding of the nature of the business as opposed to some other industries.”
She joined ArgoGlobal in 2012 and served most recently as financial controller before moving to her current role in 2018. Morrison is tasked with providing financial oversight and revision for end-to-end processes in the company.
“This means I get a huge amount of variety with my job as I work with every department, which allows me a holistic view of the business,” she says of the role that was created specifically for her.
But Morrison values more than the numbers. She makes it a point to serve as a mentor, finds genuine teamwork rewarding and is inspired by colleagues who can be counted on to help out no matter what.
Sound advice: Always listen
Morrison has taken to heart the advice shared by her first boss: Listen and learn.
“Listen to what’s happening around you because you can learn a lot,” she says. “You imbibe information, even if it is not directly related to you.”
With a culture steeped in electronic connections, listening often takes a backseat.
“Sometimes it’s too easy to plug in and tune out,” she says.
If someone were to ask Morrison for a surprising fact about her life, she might share this: Growing up in Colchester, England, she attended school with a classmate who would one day be famous.
“When I was at school, I used to play the violin in a local orchestra, sitting next to Damon Albarn, lead singer of Blur,” she says. “It’s pretty funny.”
Morrison still plays violin from time to time, but her weekends are most often dedicated to puttering around her vegetables and flowers.
“One of my favorite days of the year is my annual pilgrimage with a couple of friends to the Chelsea Flower Show,” she says. “I could spend my whole life outside, working in the garden.”
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