Head of School John C. Warren '74 has announced that SM alumna Alexis Scott Faber '95 will be the keynote speaker at St. Mark's 153rd Prize Day on June 9, 2018.
Ms. Faber, currently a member of the St. Mark's Board of Trustees, is the Global Head of Financial Lines for Willis Towers Watson, a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company. Financial Lines is comprised of Financial and Executive Lines, Financial Solutions and other financial products and is part of the company's Corporate Risk & Broking segment. Willis Towers Watson has 40,000 employees serving more than 140 countries.
At St. Mark's, Alexis Scott was a Monitor, served on the Student Congress, was an Admission Prefect and a Fire Captain. She was co-captain of varsity field hockey and played both girls' varsity ice hockey and girls' varsity lacrosse. She also volunteered as counselor at Brantwood Camp. Alexis has fond memories of St. Mark's and the impact it had on her life. She feels particularly indebted to the late DeeDee Anderson, her math teacher and coach for both field hockey and lacrosse. "I had a deep relationship with her," she recently recalled. "What solidified our bond was her investment in me as a student and a person and her ability to understand what motivated me and how I learned as a student. She challenged me, motivated me, and taught me not just in the classroom but also valuable life lessons through sports."
After graduating from St. Mark's, Alexis earned her BA in Economics from Williams College, where she was a three-sport athlete as well, continuing her successes in field hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse. Alexis would go on to receive her MBA from Columbia University.
Entering the field of investment banking, she worked at Citigroup with a focus on the financial services Industry. Faber joined Willis Towers Watson in 2003. Faber was recognized by Business Insurance as a "Woman to Watch" in 2010. More recently, she was highlighted as one of sixteen "Women in Insurance" leaders by Reactions magazine ("Business intelligence for the global market").
Today, as Global Head of Financial Lines, Alexis Scott Faber is responsible for the strategic direction of the Financial Lines business, leading a team of more than 800 professionals around the world. In addition, Ms. Faber continues to be responsible for the strategic direction of Willis Towers Watson's global Cyber business. In her current role, she is involved with inclusion and diversity programs as a senior female leader in the industry. She also steers the Executive Committee that oversees Willis Towers Watson's graduate development program, as she is passionate about developing and mentoring young talent.
"Efforts to increase diversity and inclusion programs are critical," she told Reactions, "especially in the insurance industry, where women and minorities are underrepresented in the senior ranks. However, as aspiring leaders we should view these programs as a framework for advancement, not the end-game. While our employers are empowering us, we also need to invest in ourselves. We can't rely on programs to further our career – we need to own it! We need to put ourselves in the driver's seat by building our own networks, seeking stretch opportunities and finding mentors to connect with . . . Yet we must pursue the agenda for the right reasons. The industry should promote women for their accomplishments — any other approach will undermine the overall mission. That's why developing and cultivating talent is critical if we are to further propel our industry into the future."
All this reflects Ms. Faber's interest in and commitment to education and mentoring. As a St. Mark's trustee, Ms. Faber is active in a number of important areas, including leading the Board's Risk & Audit Committee. She is also a member of the Board of the Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust (MOST), which offers scholarship grants to qualified local families who wish to send their children to private schools. In the current academic year, some 500 students have received more than $1 million in scholarship aid through MOST. "My husband and I are big believers in education and are incredibly grateful for the educational opportunities our parents afforded us," she declares. While continuing to support institutions that she attended, St. Mark's in particular, with MOST she sees "an opportunity to have an active role in helping extend the private school opportunities that we had to a broader group of people. We love the mission of MOST and are honored to help further its mission by helping more families benefit from the opportunities to send their children to the schools of their choice."
She currently lives in Memphis, TN, with her husband, Michael, who runs a family-owned retail furniture business. They have two boys, Jack (7) and Charlie (5), who love all things sports.
"I am thrilled that Alexis Faber has agreed to be the 2018 Prize Day Speaker," commented Mr. Warren. "Ms. Faber is living out Age Quod Agis in such an impressive way, and she has a story that I know will inspire our students, especially our VI Formers as they imagine the next steps in their lives."