Patricia Irigei

I joined American International Group (AIG) and the Trade Finance team as Associate in May 2018.

In this position, I lead on various global projects to build organisational alignment and morale across 40 staff worldwide and support senior management in all Trade Finance related matters. I coordinate the team in London in a Chief of Staff type position and help with team collaboration, collegiality and efficiency of the team.

Before joining AIG, I was Chief of Staff to Nicholas Cheffings in his capacity as Global Chair of international law firm Hogan Lovells. In that position I was responsible for managing the office of the Global Chair, I liaised with over 50 international offices and was generally the focal point for senior management. One of my previous positions at Hogan Lovells also included Executive Assistant to the Head of Trade Finance and Managing Partner of the UK. Before my move to London, I worked for the Head of Litigation at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Vienna.

Diversity & Inclusion and Social Mobility are important areas where I have been active and I am currently a member of Gender Equality Matters, the AIG Women & Allies Employee Resource Group as well as the SHINE Multicultural Network.

Additionally, I am the Pro Bono Manager for African Prisons Project, a charity organization working in Africa with the goal of bringing dignity and hope to prison inmates by improving access to education, healthcare, justice and reintegration into the community. It was founded in 2004 by the British activist Alexander McLean. Since I started to coordinate AIG’s mentors and APP’s mentees, we have successfully helped numerous students to graduate and also to overturn their verdicts and continue life outside prison as valuable members of their respective society.

In my previous position at Hogan Lovells, I was also able to contribute to the Social Mobility agenda by acting as the Secretariat of PRIME, an alliance of law firms across the UK, committed to improving access to the legal profession through work experience.

During my time at Hogan Lovells, I was lucky enough to be seconded to the British Paralympic Association during the Paralympics in Rio in 2016. This was a very valuable and humbling experience for me to be able to support the BPA and at the same time learn a lot in terms of diversity & inclusion in the UK.

In all my roles, I have always taken on a role of mentor to others. I feel that it is important on both parts to learn and to pass on knowledge. I was mentor to numerous young professionals as well as work experience students. I feel it necessary to ensure that young people have role models they can learn from and aspire to follow. Especially in terms of gender agenda, it is necessary that young professional girls/women see that they have options no matter if they come from an underprivileged background or not.

I myself come from a single mother household who was told back in rural Austria that I should rather leave school at 14 and work at a factory to support my mother. Very to the contrary, I finished school and was the first in my family to graduate from university and now hold a Master’s Degree in Communication and Media and work in the City of London at one of the world’s biggest insurance companies. If I can inspire others to never stop dreaming, to work hard and to achieve their full potential, that would be my greatest achievement.