Blog


Partnering for Data-Driven Financial Planning and Analysis
October 23, 2008 @ 10:11 AM | By Christine Hintze

The CIO needs to understand the finance team's requirements around budgeting, planning, forecasting, scenario planning, measuring KPI's and analytics. The important thing here is determining what's critical for executives and business group leaders to run the business, manage P&L's and cost centers, and make informed decisions.

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What Insurers Can Learn from the Curse of the Bambino
October 21, 2008 @ 10:46 AM | By Nathan Conz

I can't help but think that my colleague Anthony O'Donnell's mention in yesterday's Edit Memo of the Boston Red Sox' loss in game 7 of the ALCS was meant especially for me. Anthony is well aware that I'm a lifelong Sox fan. That said, it didn't bother me too much -- the mention in yesterday's newsletter or the loss itself. Anthony was quite polite about the whole thing and, well, its tough to be upset with a baseball team that has won two World Series since 2004. In fact, the only real issue I had was with yesterday's Edit Memo was a mention of the so-called "Curse of the Bambino."

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On the Accenture/Guidewire Dismissal News
October 21, 2008 @ 10:38 AM | By Anthony O'Donnell

The circumstances of a very large established company suing a smaller, newer vendor has raised the question of whether Accenture is engaging in "software by litigation" and thereby establishing a malign precedent for an industry segment that has remained relatively free of such activity. However, Accenture's size and power ultimately has no bearing on whether its relevant partners genuinely believe their rights have been abused.

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The Cosmic Order Reasserts Itself
October 20, 2008 @ 10:35 AM | By Anthony O'Donnell

Perhaps the surest sign that the cosmic order is reasserting itself is the Boston Red Sox's loss of the American League championship to the Tampa Bay Rays last night. However, the Curse of the Bambino remains broken and the Sox retain their place in the pantheon of recent World Series winners.

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The Elite 8 Pantheon
October 20, 2008 @ 09:08 AM | By Anthony O'Donnell

With our 10th Anniversary Elite 8 November issue, and here on the I&T blog, we present the complete list of Elite 8 honorees, going back to 1999, the year it all started. For a graphically rich version, with additional reporting on some of the past honorees, see the print issue version of the list, "The Elite 8 Hall of Fame."

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Elite 8 Honoree to Attempt Mt. Everest Summit
October 17, 2008 @ 11:14 AM | By Anthony O'Donnell

CNA's John Golden was unable to come to the phone for a couple of weeks. His excuse topped any I've heard during my years of persistently knocking on CIO doors to secure interviews: he was climbing a mountain in the Himalayas. Giving new meaning to the term "Executive Summit," Golden is currently training for an attempt to reach the top of Mt. Everest next year both as a personal goal and to benefit wounded veterans.

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Steve Wiggins Promotes Business-driven, Forward-thinking Tech Strategy at BCBS of South Carolina
October 14, 2008 @ 10:27 AM | By Nathan Conz

Stephen K. Wiggins, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina Stephen K. Wiggins, EVP and CIO at Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, has capitalized on past technology investments, such as those in parallel processing and code generation, to develop an IT operation with repeatable processes and extraordinary capacity.

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Linda Squires Balances Technology and Operational Roles at N.C. Farm Bureau Mutual
October 14, 2008 @ 10:27 AM | By Nathan Conz

Linda Squires, North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. Linda Squires, senior executive, operations and information systems at North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance, has turned the carrier's IT unit into a business-driven technology shop that has made big strides towards modernizing it systems.

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Chuck Cornelio Oversees IT Evolution at Lincoln Financial
October 14, 2008 @ 10:26 AM | By Nathan Conz

Charles Cornelio, Lincoln Financial Group Charles Cornelio, CIO and SVP of shared services at Lincoln Financial Group, has led the carrier's IT team as it adopts a more centralized organizational model, consolidates it legacy platforms and looks for new IT talent.

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Raymond Voelker, CIO, Progressive
October 14, 2008 @ 10:23 AM | By Nathan Conz

Raymond Voelker, Progressive Insurance Ray Voelker Works to Keep Progressive Ahead of the Curve description/deck: Raymond Voelker, CIO of Progressive Insurance, discusses the new IT projects and strategies behind the carrier's efforts to handle growth and remain on the cutting edge.

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Bill Jenkins Combines Experience and an Innovative Spirit
October 13, 2008 @ 23:08 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

Bill Jenkins, Penn National Insurance Rejecting the false dichotomy of buy-versus-build, Bill Jenkins has leveraged the best of both in Penn National's systems transformation.

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Akhil Tripathi Drives Superior Ease of Doing Business at Harleysville
October 13, 2008 @ 23:07 PM | By Anthony O'Donnell

Akhil Tripathi, Harleysville Insurance Since 2005, Akhil Tripathi has delivered a state-of-the-art portal, two new policy administration platforms and innovative underwriting capabilities.

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Jeff Carlson Strives to Make Innovation a Core Competency at AIG American General
October 13, 2008 @ 22:58 PM | By Kathy Burger

Jeff Carlson, AIG American General Jeff Carlson, EVP and CIO of AIG American General, balances support of the life and annuity carrier's core legacy applications with the need to foster innovation that can improve product development processes and enhance a multichannel distribution model.

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Daily Observations: Oct. 13, 2008
October 13, 2008 @ 11:01 AM | By Anthony O'Donnell

While far from insignificant, the bad debt associated with subprime mortgages merely exposed widespread vulnerability owing to the thin capitalization associated with high leverage ratios. The delusion that high debt-to-capital ratios were viable rested, Samuelson writes, on "the presumption...that the MBA types had learned how to 'manage risk.'"

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How Misuse of Risk Modeling Contributed to the Financial Crisis
October 13, 2008 @ 09:42 AM | By Christine Hintze

It is time that all institutions redefine the way risk is managed to not only ensure that the root causes are truly mitigated, but also that the environment is monitored to understand when changes occur that may alter the way a risk is managed.

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Austerity Looms for Insurance Industry
October 10, 2008 @ 09:06 AM | By Anthony O'Donnell

As every day brings new financial calamities and the essential contingency of our prosperity is exposed, austerity may be the best we can hope for.

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Will Insurers Spend More or Less in 2009?
October 09, 2008 @ 09:33 AM | By Christine Hintze

Given withering investment income, insurers may tighten their underwriting discipline and begin to raise rates. Such a strategy could reverse the current soft market plaguing the non-life market in general and commercial lines in particular and usher in a period of greater underwriting profitability.

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Health Insurers Reaching Customers with e-Learning
October 09, 2008 @ 08:54 AM | By Nathan Conz

Health insurers don't need to look any further than the industry of their healthcare provider colleagues to see that consumers are increasingly turning to search engines and the web for healthcare information.

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Are Insurers Going Green or Just Greenwashing?
October 03, 2008 @ 09:38 AM | By Nathan Conz

Every company, it seems these days, claims to be a green company, but I've often wondered how true many of those claims really are. For instance, paperless billing and e-payments are sometimes promoted as green initiatives, but can companies with such initiatives really call themselves green when they still conduct large-scale direct mail marketing campaigns?

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Insurers Begin to Show Effects of Financial Crisis
October 03, 2008 @ 08:51 AM | By Anthony O'Donnell

As the crisis evolves, the fate of variable annuities programs ought to be of interest because it may deliver some important lessons about the uses and limitations of risk modeling. It may be that these instruments will work over the long haul, but it also appears that they could be more risky than anticipated.

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Thoughts on CSC's New Social Network
October 01, 2008 @ 14:56 PM | By Nathan Conz

CSC has introduced WikonnecT, a CSC-hosted social network for its customer community.

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Drivers Fear Big Brother
October 01, 2008 @ 07:38 AM | By Anthony O'Donnell

A blogger named Edgeling details his misgivings about telematics in an amusing essay. The author describes the decision of a consumer named Scott Weires to forego buying a coveted Nissan GT-R. The car is everything he had hoped for, but he backs out of a deal when he discovers that it comes with a "black box" electronic data recorder that transmits telemetry allowing others to monitor his driving.

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