Automation, Digitization and Data: Deb Waters, CTO, Aegon

Aegon CTO Deb Waters talks about digital transformation at the enterprise level, but also as a matter of ‘building back’ Transamerica’s prominence in the U.S. Market.

In this episode of Life Accelerated, our guest is Deb Waters, Chief Technology Officer of Aegon. The Netherlands-based company is one of the world’s largest financial services companies, significant not only for its established operations in Europe—as well as its emerging businesses in Brazil and China—but also for its major expansion of its U.S. business resulting from Aegon’s 1999 acquisition of Transamerica. Waters talks about digital transformation at the enterprise level, but also as a matter of “building back” Transamerica’s prominence in the U.S. Market.

Waters is a career technologist who started her career in aerospace and then rose in the ranks during a long tenure at Citi. As a classic CTO, Waters thinks of digital transformation as an end-to-end process beginning with infrastructure and resulting in first-class customer and distributor experience. She talks about simplification of core systems and of the customer experience, powered by emerging data sources and capabilities. She also emphasizes Aegon’s work on its retirement business, and its focus on providing a digital experience for its advisors.

One of the things I most enjoyed about talking with Deb Waters was her point of view as a life-long technologist, from her student days to her current role as a senior executive at a prominent global insurer. I found her enthusiasm infectious, not only in her passion for simplifying Aegon’s technology environment and delivering a first-class experience for customers and advisors, but on other topics as well. For example, on how to make working-in-insurance appealing to young talent, and Waters’ very positive take on the potential of generative AI. That positivity was appropriately balanced by her CTO’s very serious focus on security and privacy in our discussion on industry challenges.

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