Dame Helena Morrissey
Legal & General (UK)
Known mostly for combining big City roles with motherhood (of nine!), Dame Helena started her career in New York as a fixed-income fund manager. She became CEO of fund management firm Newton at the age of 35, and grew the firm’s assets under management from £20bn to over £50bn. During her tenure, Newton sponsored the Oxford and Cambridge Women’s Boat Race and took that race to full equality with the men’s (a mere 186 years after the first Boat Race!), with the same funding, and held over the same course on the same day and watched live on BBC.
She recently joined the UK's largest fund manager, Legal and General (almost £1trn AUM), to lead a new drive to engage the British nation to invest more.
In 2010, Dame Helena founded the 30% Club, a business-led campaign to improve gender balance in the boardroom. The proportion of female directors on FTSE-100 boards has since more than doubled and there are now ten 30% Clubs throughout the world. She also chairs Business in the Community’s Gender Equality campaign (part of the Prince of Wales’ charity) where she has spearheaded research on the challenges facing mid-career women (Project 28-40), intersectionality (Same but Different), and the latest is on the male perspective (Equal Lives). She established the Diversity Project in 2016, aimed at improving diversity across all dimensions within the investment and savings profession.
Dame Helena regularly comments in the media on a wide range of issues. She guest-edited Radio 4’s Today programme in December 2016, focusing her programme on ‘Power to the People’ – guests included author Michael Lewis and cabinet minister Michael Gove.
In 2016, Dame Helena was named one of Fortune magazine’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders, the Financial Times’ 2017 Person of the Year and was appointed a Dame in the Queen’s 2017 Birthday Honours list. She was awarded an honorary Doctorate by Cambridge in 2016 and a Fellowship from London Business School in 2015. She is also a Philosophy graduate (Cambridge University) and educated at state schools. She holds a diploma in piano playing and her eldest daughter Flo is a singer/songwriter.
Dame Helena's first book A Good Time to be a Girl – don’t lean in, change the system will be published in February 2018.