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Marquette University Alumni Association

College of Business Administration Award Recipients

Professional Achievement Award

Christopher SwiftCHRISTOPHER J. SWIFT, BUS AD '83

New Canaan, Conn.

Chris Swift went from auditor to CFO. So what’s the secret to his business success? Good old-fashioned hard work and perseverance.

It all comes down to “managing relationships, being truthful and knowing your subject matter thoroughly,” he says.

Chris began his career focused on financial services at KPMG’s Chicago office and rose through the ranks until achieving partner status by age 32. It wasn’t long before he became executive vice president of Conning Asset Management, a subsidiary of General American. He returned to KPMG when Conning was sold and was appointed head of the Global Insurance Industry Practice.

Chris’ hard work continued to pay dividends in 2003, when he became CFO and head of annuity operations for Houston-based American General Life Cos., a subsidiary of AIG. Two years later, he was appointed CFO of AIG’s Global Life Insurance and Retirement Services, based in New York. In that role, he was responsible for all financial aspects of the $60 billion revenue operation that has locations in 90 countries.

But Chris wasn’t done yet. On March 1, 2010, he joined the Hartford Financial Services Group as executive vice president and CFO.

At Hartford Financial, he oversees everything from finance, treasury and capital to accounting and investor relations. Additionally, Chris is a member of the executive leadership team and leads the newly formed Strategic Initiatives Office, charged with aligning and integrating the company's strategy, capital investment, financial investment and operating plans across the enterprise.

Lesser men employ strategy to win at chess. Chris employs strategy as a career tool. And for at least the past decade, it seems that every move Chris makes ends with him saying, “checkmate.”

Fun fact: When it comes to influences, Chris was fortunate enough to have not just one, but two fathers — in a way — because his good friend’s father became a second dad to him. “Both demonstrated family commitment and hard work, built long-lasting relationships, enjoyed the outdoors, and were faithful Christians until their deaths,” he says. “I miss them both tremendously.”