Patrick G. Ryan

  • Chairman and CEO, Ryan Specialty Group

Patrick G. Ryan sold enough personalized college scrapbooks “dorm to dorm” during his undergraduate years at Northwestern University to earn payment for his four year education.

“Starting that business and making it succeed was the spark that kindled my entrepreneurial spirit and gave me conviction I had the ability to start a new business. I wanted to be an entrepreneur.”

Pat graduated with a degree in finance and literature. Intrigued by a Wall Street Journal article about two successful insurance executives, Pat pursued the insurance field.

Today, a widely respected global insurance leader, Pat formed Ryan Specialty Group, LLC (RSG) in 2010. RSG is an international holding company specializing in wholesale brokerage, insurance underwriting managers and other specialty services to agents, brokers, and insurers whose specialty products include alternative energy, data security, media liability, professional liability, oil and gas exploration, public entities, pharmaceuticals and nutritionals, and wind and earthquake. The company has a number of offices in the United States and offices in both London and Amsterdam.

Prior to launching RSG, Pat founded Aon Corporation where he was Chairman and CEO for 44 years. At Pat’s retirement, Aon had more than 500 offices in 120 countries, generating revenues then in excess of $7 billion.

Pat has received a number of accolades throughout his career. In 2008, Pat was inducted in to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and independent research centers, founded in 1780. He was elected to the International Insurance Society Hall of Fame and received the esteemed Horatio Alger Award for Distinguished Americans. He was named by Brigham Young University International Executive of the Year for Corporate Integrity.

Pat has been a member of the Northwestern University’s Board of Trustees for 37 years, 14 years of which he served as Chairman. In 2009, Northwestern awarded Pat a Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Pat received the Northwestern Alumni Association Medal of Honor and he also was inducted that year into the Northwestern Athletic Hall of Fame.

Pat is recognized as a civic leader for his commitment to the city of Chicago and Illinois and the nation and has received multiple awards.