It seems surprising that Laurel Meissner, globalcontroller and senior vice president at Aon Corp., likes to travelin her free time, given that she has spent the last two yearsjetting among many of the 130 countries in which Aon has apresence. But then, Meissner's a people person.

She would have to be, given that her primary responsibility isto get Aon's 1,000 finance department employees to work on the samesystems and use the same processes. The insurance brokerage, whichhad $8.5 billion in 2010 revenue, is seeking to control costs andstreamline finance processes by integrating about 400 acquisitionsthat it's made over time, including its two most recent and amongthe largest, the purchases of Hewitt Associates in 2010 andBenfield Group in 2008.

“That's what my objective was when I came in,” Meissner says.“How do I take a 1,000-person finance organization and create aworldwide focus? It's part of the reason I came here. It was a ripeopportunity for us, and where we were in our history. I found thatvery exciting.”

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