Business Leaders Forum


2021 BUSINESS LEADERS FORUM: A Discussion with Chris Swift, Chairman & CEO of The Hartford

Friday, October 8th, 2021, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Monaghan Ballroom, Alumni Memorial Union

The College of Business Administration at Marquette University invites you to join us for the 2021 Business Leaders Forum. For this year's event, Interim Keyes Dean Tim Hanley, Bus Ad '78, will sit down with Chris Swift, Bus Ad '83, chairman and CEO of The Hartford and current Marquette University Board of Trustees member, to discuss enduring lessons in leadership.


Registration Information

Registration for Alumni and Friends of Marquette University

Registration For Marquette University Students, Faculty, and Staff


About Chris Swift

headshotChristopher J. Swift is chairman and chief executive officer of The Hartford, a national leader in property & casualty insurance (P&C), group benefits and mutual funds, founded in 1810. He is responsible for the company’s strategy and growth, capital allocation, performance, culture and leadership. Swift leads the company at a time of unprecedented technological innovation and continues to sharpen The Hartford’s competitive advantages through the use of data, analytics and digital technology to meet the needs of consumers today and in the future.

 As CEO, Swift has focused on expanding the company’s capabilities and geographic reach through organic growth and strategic investments, including the purchase of Aetna’s U.S. group life and disability business in 2017 and The Navigators Group, Inc., a specialty lines property and casualty business, in 2019.  He also completed the company’s exit from the run-off life and annuity business, providing greater financial flexibility, and improving The Hartford’s ROE and earnings growth profile.

As a long-time supporter of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), he was an early signatory to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge and serves on the Governing Committee for its Racial Equity Fellowship initiative. He is a Catalyst CEO Champion for Change and is partnering with the Connecticut Treasurer’s Corporate Call to Action, which is committed to advancing racial and economic opportunity within companies and throughout communities.

In addition, Swift has been on the forefront of CEOs discussing the need for public-private partnership to address the opioid crisis – advocating for public policy reforms and encouraging business leaders to help dispel the addiction stigma that is fueling the crisis.


He serves on the board of directors for Citizens Financial Group, Inc. He is also on the executive committee and the board of directors of the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA). He is also a member of The Business Council, Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP), Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and The Geneva Association.

Swift joined The Hartford in March 2010 as executive vice president and chief financial officer. In that position, he played a central role in the company’s strategic transformation to focus on the P&C, group benefits and mutual funds businesses, as well as strengthening the balance sheet through the sale of its individual life and retirement plans businesses, reducing debt and creating greater balance-sheet strength.

Previously, Swift held senior leadership and finance roles at American International Group (AIG). He began his career as a certified public accountant at KPMG LLP focused on financial services and was eventually appointed head of the Global Insurance Industry Practice.

He earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from Marquette University, where he is also a trustee.

The Hartford is a national leader in workers' compensation and disability insurance and was founded in 1810. Mr. Swift leads the company at a time of unprecedented technological innovation and continues to sharpen The Hartford’s competitive advantages through the use of data, analytics, and digital technology.


About the Business Leaders Forum

Established in 1999, the Business Leaders Forum is a speaker series sponsored by Marquette University’s College of Business Administration. The forum provides a setting for nationally recognized business leaders to engage in discussions and interact with students, faculty and local business leaders. The program enables Marquette to build practical knowledge into its rigorous business curriculum, exploring current trends, issues and practices in business.

Marquette University has attracted leaders at the top of their respective professions to speak at the Business Leaders Forum, including Herbert V. Kohler, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Kohler Co.; Richard M. Schulze, founder and chairman of Best Buy; and James J. Mulva, chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips.

The Kathleen and Frank Thometz Foundation has made the Business Leaders Forum speaker series possible through a special endowment.

Previous Speakers

  • David Kohler, President & CEO, Kohler Co., "Journey to the C-Suite and Kohler's Evolution: A Leadership Perspective" 2019 (video
  • Steve Cannon, Chief Executive Officer, AMB Group, LLC, "Leading with Vision, Kindness and Optimism" 2018 (video)
  • Daniel S. Jaffee, President and Chief Executive Officer, Oil-Dri Corporation of America, “The Power of Culture and Ethics” 2017 (video)
  • Dr. Charles L. Evans, President & CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, "A Perspective on Monetary Policy" 2015 (video)
  • Thomas J. Falk, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Kimberly-Clark, "The Sustainable Enterprise," 2014 (video) 
  • Thomas C. Werner, Chairman, Boston Red Sox, and Chairman, Liverpool Football Club, 2013 (video)
  •  John Schlifske, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Northwestern Mutual, 2012 (video)
  • Jeff Joerres, chairman and chief executive officer, ManpowerGroup, 2011 (video)
  • Angela F. Braly, President and CEO, WellPoint, Inc., 2009 (video)
  • James J. Mulva, Chair and CEO, ConocoPhillips, 2008
  • Richard M. Schulze, Founder and Chair, Best Buy, 2007

  • Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., Chair, CEO and President, Kohler, Co., 2006

  • Alexander M. (Sandy) Cutler, Chair and CEO, Eaton Corp., 2005

  • Kathy Hudson, Chair, CNH Global NV, 2005

  • Jeff Immelt, CEO, General Electric, 2004

  • John Morgridge, Chair, Cisco Systems, 2003

  • Don H. Davis, Jr., CEO, Rockwell Automation, 2002

  • Dick Burke, Chair, Trek Bicycle Corp., 2001

  • Wayne Sanders, CEO, Kimberly-Clark Corp., 2000