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Top 19 insurance CIOs you should follow (and why)!

Top 19 insurance CIOs you should follow (and why)!
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12 minutes

Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are vital to the success of insurance companies. Although they wear many hats, their primary duties are to oversee the company’s IT management strategy that supports the company’s needs, goals, and customer experience in Insurance. Without further ado, let’s dive into the top 19 CIOs in the insurance industry, their areas of expertise, and why you should be following them!

1. Julia Davis, CIO, Aflac

Follow Julia Davis on LinkedIn by clicking here.

When Julia Davis began her career, she never dreamed that she would one day be the CIO of Aflac. She got her start as a software engineer in the Air Force. Davis then became CIO of two well-known companies, General Electric and American Safety Insurance, before accepting the position of CIO of Aflac. To say that she has been instrumental in changing this billion-dollar supplemental health and life insurance company is an understatement. 

Realizing that Aflac’s headquarters of Columbus, Georgia makes it challenging to hire top candidates, Davis pioneered an intern program in Aflac’s satellite office in Atlanta. The implementation of a collaborative experience has been a game-changer for Aflac. When Davis first arrived at Aflac in 2013, it was taking the IT department an average of 18 months to deliver projects. She knew this time frame was too long to be effective and now has cut the average time from start to finish down to 5 1/2 months

2. Ralf Schneider, CIO, Allianz Group

Follow Ralph Schnieder on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Twitter Handle: @Schnalf

Schnieder joined Allianz in 1995. Schneider focuses on cybersecurity and the vast dangers that global corporations face from cyber threats. He likes to write about IT threats and the digitalization of large companies. Schneider has revolutionized the way cyber threats are prevented, identified, and handled to make Allianz a secure organization to both work at and conduct business with. 

3. Scott Hannagan, CIO, Leavitt Group 

Follow Scott Hannagan on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Twitter Handle: @ScottHannagan

As the CIO of Leavitt Group, Scott is well-versed in areas such as strategic planning and risk management. He most notably writes and focuses on data analysis and big data. He believes that big data is easily accessible and that the secret is finding ways to successfully utilize big data to fit the needs of the company.

4. Jeff Palm, CIO, Allianz Life

Follow Jeff Palm on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Palm served as the managing director at RBC Dain Rauscher. He’s also held senior leadership positions in technology for global corporations such as American Express and Allen & Hamilton. He has brought a wealth of expertise to Allianz that has significantly propelled them forward in the IT world. Areas of expertise include business strategy, technical skills, and management.

5. Alex Popowycs, CIO, Health First

Follow Alex Popowycs on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Alex Popowycs came to Health First with an impressive resume. He headed up several national intelligence and IT initiatives as an officer with the Air Force. His areas of expertise include risk management, security technologies, and leadership.

6. Douglas Duncan, CIO, Columbia Insurance Group

Follow Douglas Duncan on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Douglas has built a career in technology and digital transformation leadership. He strives to foster collaboration between business and IT. His vision for Columbia Insurance Group is to keep the company competitive and at the forefront of an ever-changing technology landscape.

Douglas’s career achievements include building global underwriting workflow and document managers, designing and managing IT service hubs, and developing compliance enforcement software while also leading investigations.  

7. Mary Kotch, CIO, Validus Insurance

Follow Mary Kotch on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Twitter Handle: @mrkotch

Named as one of 2019’s Top 50 Most Powerful U.S. Women in Technology, Kotch embraces the use of blockchain to revolutionize the insurance industry. She believes it can create data efficiency that seemingly didn’t exist before. She is also known for working with colleges to elevate the curriculum for technology students. Some of her most notable achievements include:

8. Brahm Sharma, CIO, AON

Follow Brahm Sharma on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Sharma is the CIO of AON, has quite the resume, having worked for four global Fortune 500 companies, he strives to make sure AON stays competitive by being on the forefront of cutting-edge technology. This is also a topic that he is passionate about writing on. His areas of expertise include technology strategy development, digital transformation, and process automation, just to name a few.

9. Bryan Fowler, CIO, RLI Insurance

Follow Bryan Fowler on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Twitter Handle: @fowlerbt

Fowler is currently the CIO of RLI Insurance. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, including being a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. Fowler frequently speaks at national events and is passionate about information technology solutions in the insurance industry.

10. Donald Light, Director, North America Property Casualty Practice

Follow Donald Light on LinkedIn by clicking here

Twitter Handle: @Donald_Light

Light is recognized as a thought leader in technology issues in the insurance industry. He is frequently quoted in elite publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The Economist. The CBS and NBC evening news broadcasts have also quoted Light. He is a strategic thinker with a vast amount of analytical and consulting expertise.

11. Kristin Kirkconnell, CIO, American Family Mutual Insurance

Follow Kristin Kirkconnell on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Twitter Handle: @kkirkconnell

After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree from George Mason University, Kristin started out as a consultant for various companies for eight years. She then went on to become VP of Technology Services with NASD. Kirkconnell first became the CIO of Bellsouth and AGL Resources before she joined the American Family Mutual Insurance Group and has been there for the past 11 years!

12. Kevin Mazur, CIO, Title Sync Technology

Follow Kevin Mazur on LinkedIn by clicking here

Twitter Handle: @kevin_m

Mazur specializes in using the latest technology to accomplish company goals. He has over ten years of experience holding CIO positions for prominent names such as National Title Network. Mazur is currently the CIO of Title Sync Technology and has been for the past five years. He is not only responsible for all of the technologies that the company uses but has a hand in business management and marketing strategies.

13. Stephen O’Donnell, CIO, Coventry Building Society

Follow Stephen O’Donnell on LinkedIn by clicking here

Twitter Handle: @stephenodonnell

O’Donnell is among the elite of the elite when it comes to expertise and talent. He is known on a global scale for his business acuity in the banking, insurance, and telecommunications industries, just to name a few. He is a board-level business transformation executive who has also written a well-received book titled “What Every CIO Wants,” which gives readers insight into how senior IT managers think. 

14. Erik Leander, CIO, Cunningham Group

Follow Erik Leander on LinkedIn by clicking here

Twitter Handle: @erikleander

Leander is the CIO of the largest independent insurance broker in the nation and brings with him an endless amount of expertise. He prides himself on being a diverse digital marketing strategist. Leander is well-known for his superb digital marketing skills, including digital, content, and social. He specializes in the design, delivery, SEO, SEM, rebranding, and much more! 

15. Paul Peeples, CIO, Florida Association of Insurance Agents

Follow Paul Peeples on LinkedIn by clicking here.

Twitter Handle: @tassmannn

Peeples brings over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry to the table. He has a strong background as a systems analyst and in software development. Peeples is also an avid writer and creates pieces centered around technology topics for various industry publications. He has also been asked to speak at prestigious industry functions. 

16. Jacob Abboud, CIO, Allianz Insurance

Follow Jacob Abboud on LinkedIn by clicking here

Twitter Handle: @jacob_abboud

Abboud has a great deal of experience running and transforming large IT organizations that are operating and board level. He is an effective leader that is an expert and digital and data transformation. 

17. Hanna Hiidenpalo, CIO, Elo Mutal Pension Insurance Company

Twitter Handle: @Hhiidenpalo

Hiidenpalo has been the CIO for Elo Mutual Pension Insurance company since 2014. She received a Master’s Degree in economics and plays a large part in investment operations. She is on the board of Finsif and is the Vice Chairman of the Board at the Finnish Cultural Foundation.

18. Ryan Durrell, CIO, Axxima

Follow Ryan Durrell on LinkedIn by clicking here

Twitter Handle: @Squrrell

Durrell specializes in interactive financial forecasting, actuarial analysis, insurance placement, claims management, and underwriting. He is also an experienced web designer.

19. Krishna Banda, CIO, Insurance Organizations

Follow Krishna Banda on LinkedIn by clicking here

Twitter Handle: @KrishnaBanda

Banda provides strategic analysis services to prominent insurance companies such as AIG, MunicRe, Prudential, and Blue Cross, just to name a few. With over 20 years in the insurance industry, he specializes in IT strategy development, business transformation, IT process development, IT organization design, cost reduction, and much more! It is no wonder he lands on the list of top CIOs. 

Staying on the Cutting Edge of Technology

These 19 CIOs are at the top of their game and have made great strides for the insurance industry. As a whole, the insurance industry strives to provide second-to-none customer service, leading to challenges facing CIOs, especially in 2021. EasySend’s software bridges the gap between the use of cutting-edge technology and an elevated customer experience. 

EasySend software bridges the gap between the use of cutting-edge digital transformation solutions and an elevated customer experience. Request a demo today!

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About EasySend

Transform the entire policy lifecycle, from quote to renewal, with EasySend. Trusted by Fortune 500 insurance companies, our no-code platform revolutionizes data collection processes. Effortlessly capture customer information, generate quotes, facilitate policy applications, streamline claims management, and simplify policy renewals to deliver a seamless, user-friendly experience.

Vera Smirnoff
Vera Smirnoff

Vera Smirnoff is the demand generation manager at EasySend. She covers digital transformation in insurance and banking and the latest trends in InsurTech and digital customer experience.