ACORD’s Top Ten InsurTech Leaders of 2018

Individuals recognized for both a record and potential for driving change in the global insurance industry, with an emphasis on tangible industry outcomes.

(Snejina Zacharia Founder & CEO, Insurify, one of ACORD Top Ten InsurTech Leaders of 2018. Here pictured receiving the 2016 ACORD Startup Disruptor Award. Source: ACORD.)

This week ACORD (Pearl River, N.Y.), the global standards-setting body for the insurance industry, announced its second annual Top Ten InsurTech Leaders list. The list honors individuals with the greatest current and potential ability to change the industry through InsurTech. See the following link for ACORD’s 2017 Top Ten InsurTech Leaders.

Bill Pieroni, CEO, ACORD.

“Many lists tend to take a high level approach, while ACORD worked to base ours on tangible industry outcomes,” said ACORD President and CEO Bill Pieroni. “We evaluated vision,  execution, and impact in order to identify  leaders shaping the future of our industry through InsurTech. These are people truly driving meaningful, global change.”

Presented in alphabetical order, ACORD’s 2018 Top Ten InsurTech Leaders are as follows, with further detail provided by ACORD below.

  • Tim Batten and Sourav Shah, CIO and Senior Digital Product Manager, respectively, MetLife Australia.
  • Shaun Crawford, Global Vice Chair, EY.
  • Sastry Durvasula, Chief Digital Officer and Chief Data & Analytics Officer, Marsh.
  • Michael Jackowski, CEO & Director, Duck Creek Technologies.
  • Beth Maerz, VP Customer Experience & Innovation, Travelers .
  • Paul Meeusen, CEO, B3i.
  • John Taylor, Account General Manager for London Market, DXC Technology.
  • Jeff To, Global Head of Insurance, Salesforce.
  • Sabine VanderLinden, CEO InsurTech Business, Startupbootcamp.
  • Snejina Zacharia, Founder & CEO, Insurify.

The following is ACORD’s commentary on of each of the Top Ten InsurTech Leaders.

Tim Batten, CIO, MetLife Australia.

Tim Batten and Sourav Shah
CIO and Senior Digital Product Manager, MetLife Australia (Sydney)

True innovation requires teamwork between business and IT, so we’re kicking off this year’s list by naming joint InsurTech leaders from MetLife. Batten is an experienced leader with a financial services, retailing, IT strategy, and telco background, while Shah has extensive experience in designing solutions and formulating product and content strategy. At MetLife, they have proven adept at utilizing new technologies to fulfill customer needs, including groundbreaking work on API plugins for the Australian market.

Shaun Crawford

Global Vice Chair, EY (London) 

Shaun Crawford
Global Vice Chair, EY.

As leader of EY’s global insurance practice, Crawford has been responsible for servicing a significant portion of the global insurance industry. His record of designing and delivering major transformation and start-up initiatives on behalf of top European insurers, as well as cutting-edge InsurTech thought leadership, earned him a spot on last year’s Top Ten InsurTech Leaders list. His ongoing accomplishments—such as his key role in launching Insurwave, the world’s first blockchain marine insurance platform—made him a leader in 2018.

Sastry Durvasula

Chief Digital Officer and Chief Data & Analytics Officer, Marsh (New York)

Sastry Durvasula
Chief Digital Officer and Chief Data & Analytics Officer, Marsh.

Durvasula, already widely recognized in the financial services industry for his innovative transformation of AmEx’s data and digital capabilities, recently brought that expertise to Marsh as their inaugural Chief Digital and Data & Analytics Officer. In 2018, his first full year on the job, Marsh won three Business Insurance Innovation Awards, leveraging blockchain and other cutting-edge technology to tackle problems as diverse as proof of insurance, pandemic risk, and social engineering fraud. Durvasula also holds several patents.

Michael Jackowski

CEO & Director,  Duck Creek Technologies (Boston)

Mike Jackowski, CEO, Duck Creek Technologies.

Having held leadership positions at Accenture, Allstate, and now Duck Creek, industry veteran Jackowski brings decades of experience in technology, operations, and insurance to his role as CEO of one of the leading providers of innovative industry solutions. He continues to lead and manage multiple innovative technology efforts simultaneously across the globe. The insurance industry is fortunate to have his leadership and expertise.

Beth Maerz

VP Customer Experience & Innovation, Travelers (Hartford)

Beth Maerz, VP Customer Experience & Innovation, Travelers.

Maerz is highly respected at Travelers and throughout the industry for continuously enabling transformative change within the business. She has a true commitment to driving growth through innovation at Travelers, by clearly formulating and articulating an innovation strategy and its impact on the business. She sets a path to success by streamlining redundant and irrelevant approaches, inviting the right partners to the table, and altering traditional processes to ease and speed the enterprise’s ability to engage with new entrants.

Paul Meeusen

CEO, B3i (Zurich)

Paul Meeusen
CEO, B3i.

As former Head of Distributed Ledger Technology at Swiss Re and CEO of B3i, the Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative, Meeusen is changing the way insurance companies exchange data and trade risks. He has over 25 years of experience in advising, building, and operating teams in the international risk and finance arena. His leadership at B3i has been critical to supporting blockchain’s transformation potential across the entire insurance value chain.

John Taylor

Account General Manager for London Market, DXC Technology (Tysons Corner, Va.)

John Taylor, Account General Manager for London Market, DXC Technology.

Taylor is an experienced change and technology leader with over 20 years of industry knowledge. In 2016 he co-founded Digital Minds—a program initiated by end-to-end IT services and solutions company DXC Technology—which is now leading the way in creating new digital solutions in the London insurance market. Taylor and Digital Minds feel strongly that this market is integral to the U.K. economy, but requires sweeping change to remain efficient, and they are dedicated to enabling this digital transformation.

Jeff To

Global Head of Insurance, Salesforce (San Francisco)

Jeff To, Global Head of Insurance, Salesforce.

To was at the forefront of InsurTech in 2017, and remains on our list this year. He is a true leader and visionary whose efforts as head of Salesforce’s insurance practice have enabled digitization of the customer experience, and made a positive impact throughout the insurance value chain worldwide. Because Salesforce’s automation is leveraged by virtually every high-performing insurer, To has truly enormous potential to effect even more significant change in the industry.

Sabine VanderLinden

CEO, InsurTech Business, Startupbootcamp (London)

Sabine VanderLinden, CEO, InsurTech, Startupbootcamp.

Another veteran of our 2017 list, VanderLinden has maintained her status as a leading figure in InsurTech through her work at global accelerator Startupbootcamp. As head of their InsurTech area, she leads their programs in both London and Hartford, mentoring startups and guiding their development through every stage. More than 70 percent of their startups since 2010 are still active—including 30 percent female-led companies—employing a total of nearly 3,000 people. VanderLinden and her team have demonstrated a keen ability to pick winners and enable their success.

Snejina Zacharia

Founder & CEO, Insurify (Cambridge, Mass.)

Snejina Zacharia
Founder & CEO, Insurify.

Insurify won the Startup Disruptor category of the 2016 ACORD InsurTech Innovation Challenge for its mobile-first platform designed to optimize the online car insurance shopping experience. Using AI, advanced analytics, and natural language processing, it builds models to match users’ profiles and provide personalized recommendations to select the best coverage. A leader and entrepreneur with an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School, Insurify’s founder Zacharia has over 16 years of experience developing and growing businesses worldwide, from startups to Fortune 500 companies.

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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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