(Ferry boat in downtown Chicago, home of CNA. Photo credit: John Picken.)
As the pace of technology-driven innovation accelerates, operations and technology are becoming more closely intertwined, and insurance carriers’ leadership structures are beginning to reflect that. The trend is demonstrated by CNA’s (Chicago) announcement today that Joseph “J.” Merten has been appointed to the newly created role of Executive VP, Technology and Operations. The insurer characterizes the new position as a significant demonstration of its commitment to elevate and integrate technology into all aspects of its business operations.
Ray Oral, SVP and CIO, CNA, and Jeff Brown, SVP of worldwide operations, will report to Merten. Merten will report directly to Dino E. Robusto, chairman and CEO, CNA.
“The impact of the cloud, big data, the Internet of Things, distributed ledger technology, social and mobile channels are just some of the pieces of a technological evolution that is rapidly advancing all society,” comments Robusto. “Integrating new technologies and a user-friendly digital experience into our operations is a critical strategic action designed to move CNA much closer to the most effective business model for the future.”
“An imperative of bringing together Technology and Operations under J.’s leadership is to ultimately increase the value that agents, brokers and customers receive for their insurance dollar,” Robusto adds.
Transformation Leader at AXIS Capital
Merten brings more than 30 years of experience to the new role at CNA. He most recently, served as SVP at AXIS Capital, where he was responsible for leading transformation programs that included implementing new organizational models, processes and technology infrastructure to increase operational performance. Prior to his role at AXIS, Merten held leadership roles at Grant Thorton and LECG, where he led the Operations and Consulting Practices within LECG’s Insurance Industry vertical.