ACORD Appoints Two Distinguished Industry Leaders to Board

With Chris Smith, EVP and head of Global Operations at MetLife, and Mark Knipfer, Chief Operations Officer of Zurich North America, ACORD brings its total number of board members to 26.

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ACORD (Pearl River), the global insurance industry’s data standards and technology organization, strengthened its executive leadership with the election of two new board members. The organization reports that insurance industry leaders Christopher B. Smith and Mark Knipfer have joined the ACORD Board of Directors, effective immediately. Sal Branca, Senior VP, AIG, will continue his role as Board Chair.

Mark Knipfer, Chief Operations Officer, Zurich North America

“ACORD is pleased to welcome these two new members to our Board,” comments Bill Pieroni, President and CEO, ACORD. “The addition of these industry leaders to our Board helps ensure that ACORD continues to meet the evolving needs of the insurance industry and proactively address our members’ needs.”

With the new appointments, ACORD stressed its commitment to bring together a diverse mix of industry stakeholders, with the goal of driving innovation while facilitating effectiveness and efficiency. The organization now has 26 board members.

Christopher B. Smith is Executive VP and Head of Global Operations at MetLife. Smith has more than 25 years of industry expertise, and currently oversees MetLife’s core insurance operations including underwriting, policy administration and claims. Before being selected to lead the Global Operations group, Smith served as chief of staff to Steven A. Kandarian, MetLife chairman, president and CEO, while simultaneously serving as chairman of the board of the MetLife Foundation. Smith began his career at MetLife in 1992 and has held various senior roles in Group Insurance and Investments and served as chief enterprise strategy officer.

Mark Knipfer is the Chief Operations Officer for Zurich North America and is a leading force in driving business results for Zurich’s strategic and operational transformation initiatives, according to an ACORD statement. Knipfer joined Zurich in 2007 and has served in various senior roles within the organization. Previously, he was an associate principal at McKinsey & Company and an associate at Salomon Brothers, Inc.

Breaking Down Barriers: EVP Chris Smith on MetLife’s Global Operational Transformation

Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at or (503) 936-2803.

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