The Future of Insurance Podcast – Ngozi Nnaji
Managing Partner, AKO Insurance Consulting
Season 3, Episode 23, November 8, 2022
Ngozi Nnaji, founder and managing partner of AKO Insurance Consulting LLC, is the winner of the 2022 Alonzo Herndon Award.
Ms. Nnaji formed Hartford, Connecticut-based AKO Brokerage LLC in 2017 after a 20-year career in insurance, including at CNA Financial Corp., where she was Northeast health care zone leader, and Willis Towers Watson PLC, where she led placement services for its Hartford-based health care practice.
Later, she formed AKO Insurance Consulting to help employers in the insurance sector diversify their workforces through the recruitment and retention of minority employees.
In addition, she serves on the national board of the National African-American Insurance Association and co-founded HBCU IMPACT, an insurance education and engagement program focused on historically black colleges and universities.
Among other achievements and activities, she is an adjunct professor at Goodwin College in East Hartford.
Highlights from the Show
- Ngozi is a first-generation American, one of three daughters of Nigerian immigrants
- Her father picked a career for Ngozi, knowing her strength in math and where there would be stability, growth and advancement, leading her into Actuarial Science
- This was also the first example of male allyship Ngozi experienced, and helped relate the importance of it to her
- Ngozi has worked in most functional areas of insurance, including spending time in Underwriting and as a broker
- She started her own agency, AKO Brokerage Services, focused on supporting minority owned businesses
- Black females are the number one demographic that started small businesses in the pandemic, and need support to protect what they’re building
- She also started AKO Insurance Consulting to help the industry engage differently in DE&I
- She helps with talent acquisition and development to find and grow more diverse talent than the industry has historically had
- Today, it’s even more focused on supporting and developing a more inclusive industry
- Ngozi especially focuses on the independent agent population because of the importance of agents in their local community, so developing and supporting diverse talent in distribution can have an even great impact on the community at large
- Ngozi started Black Friday, an event where Black agents can come together to share experiences, support and help them to grow and engage with the community
- It’s about Equity – giving someone what they need, when they need it, not equality, which isn’t the answer as people all need different things, so giving them the same thing isn’t necessarily helping their situation
- Black Friday is spreading to different cities because the issues vary by geography, including Houston in November and LA in February
- The LA event is in partnership with the Asian American Insurance Network
- There’s an opportunity to empower people to look at insurance differently within various subgroups – Black people, Latinx, Asian, etc – but also across groups as we come together
- It’s early in the journey, but there’s also no end point
- Be confident and purposeful about what you’re doing today, and there will be impact
- You can follow Ngozi on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/ngozi-nnaji/), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/akobrokerage/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ngozionnaji), and visit akoinsuranceconsulting.com to link to their events and engagement
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This episode is brought to you by The Future of Insurance thought leadership series (future-of-insurance.com) from Bryan Falchuk.