Colonial Surety Names Jay Lee CTO to Support Tech-Driven Growth Strategy

Lee will focus on development of Colonial’s AI-based direct sales platform, which is key to the company’s technology-based growth strategy.

(Image source: Colonial Surety.) 

Colonial Surety, a Woodcliff Lake, N.J.-based provider of bonds and insurance products, has hired Jay Lee as Chief Technology Officer. Lee brings extensive transformation experience at major retail brands, which Colonial seeks to inform its direct, digital insurance proposition.

Lee, whose appointment is effective immediately, will serve as Colonial Surety’s head of IT and will lead the development of the carrier’s artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. Lee will focus on developing Colonial’s direct, digital insurance platform, according to a statement from the insurer. Using data science, and machine learning, he will design innovative technology, making the entire Colonial Surety product suite instantly available online. As the company’s top technology officer, he will also be responsible for building out and leading Colonial’s in-house technology team.

Lee joins Colonial Surety with extensive technology and business transformation experiece, having worked with major retail brands, including CHANELMarc JacobsKeurig, and PepsiCo, as well as technology companies, including Google and Samsung. Colonial’s statement on his appointment describes him as he is an expert at identifying, building and implementing AI strategies and technologies that improve customer experience (CX), bolster profitability and drive tangible business growth.

“Technology is revolutionizing the insurance industry, driving both efficiency and innovation,” comments Wayne Nunziata, President, Colonial Surety. “At Colonial Surety, we’re proud to be a part of that change. Which is why we’re excited to announce Lee’s appointment as Chief Technology Officer.”

Colonial Surety launched its digital platform in June, but the company seeks to continue to expand its capabilities in order to meet industry demand through the introduction of new products and solutions that can be purchased online, according to Nunziata. Most recently the company launched its Fiduciary-and-Cyber Liability Package in response to a pressing need for this type of coverage for businesses that are plan sponsors, in recognition that 43 percent of cyberattacks are targeted at small businesses.

Evolving Digital Platform

“Our platform will continue to evolve in 2022 with not only new products, all of which will have embedded cyber protection, but with improvements to the technology itself, such as using the power of machine learning to enhance AI capabilities,” Nunziata says. “That will not only ensure and industry leading product but also continues our mission of creating a seamless experience for insurance and bond needs.”

Lee’s appointment falls within an ongoing technology transformation of which the digital platform is a major objective, Nunziata affirms. “Technology is a key driver of our growth, and therefore a core pillar of our business strategy, revolving round our direct platform. Lee’s extensive experience and leadership in technological innovations will be vital to the continued success of our direct online insurance platform. We look forward to the advancements he has in mind for our organization with respect to machine learning and AI that will make it easier and more efficient than ever for our customers to find, purchase and manage their insurance products.”

Jay Lee, Chief Technology Officer, Colonial Surety.

Among major technology investment areas Colonial has planned for the following year, are the beefing up of the insurer’s internal technology team, for which Lee will make 10 to 15 strategic hires, including data engineers and developers, according to Nunziata. Lee will also supervise the creation of a systematic data pipeline for Colonial, which Nunziata says will empower the carrier to deliver a more seamless customer experience and stronger personalization through the use of AI and machine learning.

Making Insurance Simpler and More Accessible

“I’m proud to join the Colonial Surety team and further support its efforts to build a data-driven platform that provides a simple and efficient way to identify, buy and oversee the insurance and bond products needed for companies to build strong, stable and safeguarded businesses,” comment Lee. “Colonial Surety is setting incredible, industry-leading standards in the insurance category, and I’m excited to join and share in its mission. By using innovative technology, Colonial is making insurance more simple and accessible than ever for the businesses who need it.”

Q&A: Jay Lee on His Appointment as CTO of Colonial Surety

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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