Lizabeth Zlatkus will soon be retiring from The Hartford, after a 28-year career that brought her to the upper echelon of the financial services firm.
But she’s not about to stop working.
Zlatkus, the company’s executive vice president and chief risk officer, said she plans to take some time off after she retires during the fourth quarter of this year. But after a brief respite, she will begin considering career options.
“I definitely want to pursue other opportunities,” she said.
She is interested in serving on corporate boards of directors. Other possibilities include working with nonprofits or in academia.
Zlatkus has been on the move professionally since she graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1981.
In 1983, she started at The Hartford in corporate finance and moved into other financial and operational roles. She has held many senior leadership positions, including president of international wealth management and group benefits; co-chief operating officer of life operations; and chief financial officer. In March 2010, she was named executive vice president and chief risk officer. In her current role, she oversees the company’s risk management processes and functions.
When she started out, she said, “I was in the financial area, but I was more interested in the overall business. I would latch myself onto a project and take it farther, and learn things that were broader than just finance. I was really interested in all aspects of how insurance was transacted.
Zlatkus, who expresses continued interest in women’s issues, said she strongly supports corporate diversity efforts.
“I’m a big supporter of more women moving up into the higher echelons,” she said, “because that diversity of thought brings a better balance to the company.”
Zlatkus, who grew up in a Pittsburgh family of five girls, never considered her gender an obstacle.
“I think I’m very driven, and have a lot of passion to do well and make a difference. That was my upbringing,” she said. “I never really thought of what I couldn’t do; I always thought of the next thing I could do. I am blessed with a wonderful family.”