Aon - John Harney - Associate Partner

11th August 2023

John Harney

Company: Aon
Job Title: Associate Partner
Job Location: London
University: Dublin City University
University Course: BSc in Financial & Actuarial Mathematics

What attracted you to your role?
Culture and opportunities attracted me to my current role.

Aon is a business that values difference, flexibility, and collaboration. There is a real culture of working together to get the best outcomes and leveraging the collective strength of the team. If you are working on a new project, more often than not, someone else has successfully done something similar and they are always helpful to offer advice and support.

The scale of Aon as a business also attracted me to join the team. We cover such a breadth of services for our clients - commercial risk, human capital, risk capital, insurance broking and investments, as well as pensions. We deliver this internationally, so this means that I can bring all of this collective experience and expertise to my clients and present opportunities to help our clients on a wide range of strategies and also opportunities for me to learn from and work with many people across the business.

When you take this culture and these opportunities, and put them together, you have a winning combination!

What was the application process like?
After submitting my CV, I took part in two interviews, as well as other more informal discussions after that.

Right from the start, it was clear that this would truly be a two-way discussion. While Aon was determining if I would work as part of the team, everyone involved in the process wanted to tell me about Aon, the work and the team. It was focussed on me as the applicant and everyone I interacted with could not have been friendlier or kinder.

What I really liked was that it was not about “fit”, it was about what I stood for, what my strengths were and how this could bolster, support and amplify the team’s success.

Informal conversations, like virtual catch ups and coffees, continued after the formal interviews and up to the point I started working at Aon. This really helped with preparing for my new role and becoming part of my new team.

What skills are useful in this profession?
Pensions is a “people” industry. Yes, we work with models, statistics and maths. However, communicating ideas and implementing them is done as a real team effort to benefit huge groups of people in their retirement.

Being from Ireland, I often think of the proverb “Ní neart go cur le chéile” which loosely translates to “There is nothing as strong as coming together” or “There’s no strength without unity”. I truly believe that knowing people, connecting with people and knowing what people stand for is a cornerstone of success in the pensions world.

So, communication and collaboration are fundamental to the pensions sector.

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to enter the profession? 
Bring all your passions, talents and strengths into your career in pensions.

If you love technical details and are good at ironing out the intricacies of an issue, use that.

If you are someone who thrives speaking with people, create opportunities to do that.

If you love innovation and new ideas, gather other pensions people together and brainstorm ideas.

If you are someone who thrives on creating processes and governance, bring that passion to pensions and it will be rewarded.

I have only seen my individual passions, talents and strengths appreciated and rewarded in the pensions industry and hope to see a new wave of talented people join us.

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