Born to Lead

Ninth Annual Corporate Asian Women's Leadership Forum

September 12, 2013        


SVP & Chief Underwriting Officer, AIG

Ranjini Pillay is Senior Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer – P&C, for Risk Finance at American International Group (AIG).  AIG is a world leader in property-casualty and general insurance organization with over 90 years of underwriting experience, serving more than 45 million clients in over 160 countries and jurisdictions.

Ranjini joined the company in 1986 and worked in a variety of positions for the Global Trade Credit & Political Risk division in the US and in the UK. In 1996, she went to Paris, France as Regional Manager for Specialty Lines, managing Trade Credit, Political Risk and Crisis Management for Continental Europe. She returned to New York in May 1998 as Vice President - Product Development and managed the development and launch of the division’s online presence.

In December 2004, Ranjini joined the Risk Finance division specializing in complex or unusual risks that require non-traditional risk management solutions. Risk Finance helps clients mitigate these challenging exposures by providing highly-customized, innovative programs that apply insurance and capital market strategies.

Prior to joining AIG, Ranjini worked at CIGNA as a Trade Credit Underwriter. She received a Masters of International Affairs (M.I.A.) in international banking and finance from Columbia University, New York and a Bachelors of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree in accounting from John Cabot International College in Rome, Italy.

Ranjini also serves on the board of Asian Women In Business.



Executive Vice President & Chief Innovation Officer, Meredith 360°

Jeannine Shao Collins is EVP, Chief Innovation Officer, Meredith 360°, a unit of Meredith Corporation.  In this position, which she has held since September 2010, Jeannine leads a robust team that leverages Meredith’s vast portfolio of assets – including digital, mobile, print, research and broadcast – to create cross platform opportunities for clients across Meredith’s magazine brands including Better Homes and Gardens, Fitness and Parents. She joined Meredith 360° in 2008 as Senior Vice President, Client Solutions.

Prior to this, Jeannine was Senior Vice President and Publishing Director for Meredith magazines Ladies’ Home Journal, More and Fitness, a position she assumed in 2004. She had served as Vice President and Group Publisher for Ladies’ Home Journal and More since 2002 and added Fitness to her responsibilities after Meredith acquired the title in 2004. Jeannine was a driving force behind the growth of More. During her tenure, the magazine received numerous awards including Advertising Age Magazine of the Year in 2006 and multiple placements on the AdweekMedia’s prestigious magazine “Hot List.” She also oversaw the 2003 re-launch of Ladies’ Home Journal, which resulted in a 24% increase in ad pages to a record 1,511 pages.
Previously, she was Vice President and Publisher of Better Homes and Gardens, also a Meredith title. Under her leadership, Better Homes and Gardens made AdweekMedia’s “Hot List” in 1995 and 1996. Jeannine joined Meredith in 1993 as New York Advertising Manager for Ladies’ Home Journal magazine. 
In 2010 Jeannine was named “Publishing Executive of the Year” by AdweekMedia. In 2007, MIN recognized Jeannine’s successful career as a sales executive by adding her to the MIN Hall of Fame. Jeannine was inducted into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Achievement in 2002 and named a “Woman to Watch” by Advertising Age in 2000.
Jeannine holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Rochester. She resides in New York with her husband and three children.

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Managing Director, Investment Banking Division, Credit Suisse

Grace Koo is a Managing Director of Credit Suisse in the Investment Banking division, based in New York. She is Head of the Equity Derivatives Structuring & Strategy teams, which are responsible for creating equity derivative products, trade ideas, and risk management solutions for investors.  Prior to her current role, Ms. Koo ran various derivatives desks for Credit Suisse, including heading Equity Derivatives Sales for Institutional Investors in the Americas. She was also based in London for five years before re-patriating in 2001, where she ran both the Global Foreign Exchange Structuring team as well as the Global Equity Derivatives Structuring team.

Ms. Koo began her career at Bankers Trust, structuring and trading fixed income derivatives for corporate clients, before she joined Credit Suisse Financial Products in 1995.

She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Credit Suisse Americas Foundation. Additionally, she serves on the Board of Directors of City Harvest, a non-profit organization.

Ms. Koo received her B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992, and is a member of the MIT Corporation’s Visiting Committee. 

Executive Vice President, Global Planning Director, BBDO New York

Archana Kumar is an Executive-level global brand and creative strategist with a stellar track record of winning new business and growing brands at the world’s leading advertising agencies: BBDO, Ogilvy, Lowe and Bates across Asia, North America, Middle-East. 

As Global Planning Director at BBDO Worldwide, Archana leads the thinking on a new innovation platform at PepsiCo Snacks and provides strategic leadership on key new business pitches in the US, and in parts of Europe.  Archana has been responsible for crafting brand ideas and creative strategies on iconic brands such as GE, Johnson & Johnson, Lay’s, FedEx, Motorola, Jeep, Unilever, Campbell’s Soup, Splenda, Mountain Dew.

Archana is on BBDO New York’s Board of Directors. She’s engaged with a few philanthropic initiatives: she’s on the board of a global not for profit organization- World of Children Award, and helps Plan International on their ‘Because I am a girl’ effort.

Archana was awarded the ‘Advertising Working Mother of the year’ for 2008 by AWNY and the Working Mother magazine. She’s a senior and active member of the highly visible and effective Diversity Council in BBDO New York. Archana teaches at the Miami Ad School Boot Camp in New York, Miami and San Francisco.

In her spare time, Archana indulges in her passion for photography by participating in and organizing photography workshops in India and other places. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two gorgeous cats Mint and Jelly.  

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs

Susan is the regional head of Securities Operations in the Americas and global head of Position Management in Securities Operations. She serves as coadvisor of the Operations Women's Network and was appointed to the Multicultural Women’s Alliance, a senior-level advisory board for the firm's Multicultural Women's Initiative. Susan is also a member of the Operations Financial Reform Committee and the Cross Operations Technology Strategy Committee.

She joined Goldman Sachs in 2000 and was named managing director in 2008. Prior to joining the firm, Susan worked for seven years at JPMorgan Chase in their Private Bank. She spent over four years in Singapore in Sales and Operations, one year in London, and one year in New York in Operations.Susan is on the Capital Markets Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). She serves on the board of the YWCA and on the Corporate Leadership Advisory Board for Asian Women in Business (AWIB). Susan earned a BA in Psychology from Cornell University. She and her husband, Raj,  have two children and live in New York City.



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