Moving 1,000 to the Same Systems

Aon Global Controller Laurel Meissner creates a global focus by integrating finance teams from about 400 acquisitions.

It seems surprising that Laurel Meissner, global controller and senior vice president at Aon Corp., likes to travel in her free time, given that she has spent the last two years jetting among many of the 130 countries in which Aon has a presence. But then, Meissner’s a people person.

She would have to be, given that her primary responsibility is to get Aon’s 1,000 finance department employees to work on the same systems and use the same processes. The insurance brokerage, which had $8.5 billion in 2010 revenue, is seeking to control costs and streamline finance processes by integrating about 400 acquisitions that it’s made over time, including its two most recent and among the largest, the purchases of Hewitt Associates in 2010 and Benfield Group in 2008.

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