269: Overcoming Adversity and Ascending to Leadership as a Woman: Francesca Luthi, EVP & CAO at Assurant

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Francesca Luthi is the Executive Vice President & Chief Administrative Officer at Assurant – a leading global business services company. In this episode, she shares some of her early career struggles as a woman and how she managed to navigate being promoted to a role where some didn’t think she belonged. Her leadership lessons are many. Take a listen.

More about Francesca Luthi

Francesca Luthi is executive vice president, chief administrative officer of Assurant and a member of the company’s Management Committee. In this role, she oversees several critical business functions that enable the execution of the company’s overall strategy, including global human resources, real estate, brand and marketing, communications, corporate social responsibility, investor relations and global sourcing. Since assuming this expanded role in July 2020, she has focused on enhancing the company’s global brand and reputation among customers, employees and shareholders by building strategic capabilities to attract and engage the best talent, foster a more diverse and inclusive culture and drive long‐term profitable growth.

Luthi led an extensive redesign of Assurant’s human resources function to drive business outcomes and empower the company’s 13,000+ employees worldwide to achieve the company’s purpose. As part of this transformation effort, she led a multi‐disciplinary team to define and embed the key tenets of Assurant’s culture to support the company’s strategy under President and CEO Keith Demmings, and design and execute Assurant’s Future of Work transition plans, including a shift to flexible work and significant restructuring of the company’s global real estate portfolio and workplace experience.

Previously, as Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Ms. Luthi successfully drove the repositioning of Assurant as a leader in the connected lifestyle market as part of the company’s multi‐year transformation. Under her leadership, Assurant also deepened its focus around the customer experience by creating a dedicated center of excellence aimed at further embedding customer focus as a cultural imperative and accelerating the deployment of emerging technology, such as artificial intelligence, to deliver seamless, omni‐channel experiences. During her tenure with the company, Ms. Luthi has strategically advised on mergers and acquisitions, as well as several divestitures, ensuring a seamless integration and shareholder value creation. As Assurant transformed its business, Ms. Luthi worked to further strengthen the company’s commitment to key environmental, social and governance matters impacting its business and key stakeholders, garnering multiple accolades.

Prior to joining Assurant in 2012, Ms. Luthi was senior vice president of corporate communication and investor relations at Accretive Health. Previously, she held senior‐level investor relations and communication roles at BearingPoint and Accenture, where she was recognized for enhancing brand awareness, expanding the global shareholder base and overseeing the repositioning of those businesses. Earlier in her career, Ms. Luthi helped establish the investor relations department at Omnicom Group after serving as a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley.

An advocate for children with special needs, Ms. Luthi sits on the Board of Directors of the National Ability Center, empowering individuals of all abilities to build self‐esteem and lifetime skills through sport, recreation and educational programs. She also is on the board and chairs the Audit Committee of dMY Technology Group, Inc., a special purpose acquisition company focused on the mobile app ecosystem.

Ms. Luthi earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

The Listening Guide

Create a listening culture that elevates the employee experience with The Listening Guide.

Through this guide, Heather uncovers how you can ensure those you lead feel heard by taking 3 approaches to listening inside an organization.

  • Understand why listening is the key to employee engagement
  • Learn how the Cycle of Listening contributes to strong workplace relationships
  • Get a practical framework for creating a listening culture that is bidirectional, responsive, and supportive

Download it here.


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The Cycle of Active Listening

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  • Understand why listening is the key to improved engagement
  • Learn how the Cycle of Active Listening contributes to strong workplace relationships
  • Get a practical framework for creating a listening culture that is bidirectional, responsive, and supportive

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