IIR Five Stars Award Finalists 2018: Mexico

Introducing the executives recognized as finalists for Mexico—one of five Latin American regions recognized by Insurance Innovation Reporter’s Five Star Awards for outstanding achievements using technology in the service of their companies’ business goals.

(Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City. Image credit: Adobe Stock.)

Mexico is one of five regions represented in Insurance Innovation Reporter’s Five Star Awards, recognizing outstanding contributions by executives using technology to advance their companies’ objectives.

Oscar Salgado, CIO, GMX

During the last six years, senior management at GMX—a Mexico City-based carrier specializing in civil liability insurance as well as complementary general insurance lines—identified technology as a critical driver of the company’s continued success as a specialty carrier. The leadership authorized a transformation program aligning technology to the business, driving operational efficiency and growth while maintaining regulatory compliance. To fulfill the program, Oscar Salgado, the company’s CIO, led a series of initiatives, that required overcoming both technical and cultural challenges, starting with a replacement of GMX’s core insurance systems—after unsuccessful attempts in the past. Among the results of the replacement/consolidation effort were the following:

Oscar Salgado, CIO, GMX.

  • The insurer now has a “single source of the truth” for financial and other data.
  • Complex policies, which used to involve IT intervention, are now issued within one or two days—down from nine.
  • Closing accounting reports went from 25 to nine days.
  • Business intelligence information, formerly slow to access, was made directly accessible for policy issue, collection, loss, and in several dimensions: agent, branch, product, client, region, etc.

GMX subsequently rolled out online policy sales capabilities (PVL), now available for 10 products, enabling quote, issue and payment within five minutes. By the end of 2017, the insurer was selling 25 percent of new policies through this channel.

The insurer’s digitized policy issue initiative, ending in 2017, enabled downloading of new policies electronically through the GMX portal, increasing efficiency, saving printing costs, and opening up warehouse space for work stations.

During 2017 Salgado’s organization migrated to the cloud with Office 365, overcoming internal resistance, and delivering new online collaboration tools to the business.

In 2018, the insurer rolled-out online policy renewal.

Through its transformation, GMX has raised its profile as an innovative specialty insurer and has been able to attract younger producers and other professionals. The company has gone from 2012 annual premium of US$177 million and 199 employees, to about US$280 million and 272 employees at the close of 2017.

Jorge Macías, CIO/COO, Insignia Life

Jorge Macias has led the transformation of business, technological and operational processes of Insignia Life (Riodel, Baja California, Mexico), adopting new technologies, methodologies and best practices. The transformation is especially notable for being based on a SaaS model, which most insurers remain reluctant to adopt. The strategy reflects Macías’ vision to be a service provider for the organization, tactically and strategically supporting the business. The overall plan, to be executed over 10 years, will result in all IT assets hosted externally.

Jorge Macías, CIO/COO, Insignia Life.

A completely new vision of management discipline is key to the transformation, including exhaustive review of suppliers, contracts and work teams, quality assurance, change management, and the needs of key users. The transformation process has enabled Insignia Life to raise the level of both organizational and technological maturity, while delivering significant improvements in business efficiency and efficacy.

Insignia Life expects the transformation to result in a sales growth factor of 10x, through the ease of new channels, process efficiency, producer incentives, risk selection and new products. Other benefits include:

  • Improved average time to take a product to the market from nine months to nine weeks.
  • Productivity improvement from 1 to 1.6.
  • Optimization of service levels for business processes in an expected ratio greater than 30 percent.
  • Significantly decreased TCO by changing the strategy on premise to SaaS/Cloud.

Marcelo Ramírez, COO, HDI Seguros

Marcelo Ramírez is responsible for aligning the business strategies of HDI Seguros México (León, Mexico; a subsidiary of Frankfurt based HDI Group marketing auto, home and business insurance) with its processes, operations and IT organization to drive profitable growth.

Marcelo Ramírez, COO, HDI Mexico.

Ramírez has been contributing to an ongoing transformation of the insurer since his tenure as CIO, beginning in 1998. Ramírez renovated what had been a very precarious data center environment, which today maintains the highest international standards and delivers an availability level of 99.95 percent. As head of innovation, Ramírez built a laboratory that has developed new products, new channels and also constructed a platform integrated with the ecosystem of HDI’s distributors and suppliers. As COO, Ramírez has succeeded in implementing a vision of digital transformation of business operations, process by process, for which he continues to direct the IT area to ensure alignment with business needs.

Among his accomplishments are the following:

  • Implemented a digital transformation vision for operations on a process by process basis;
  • Created a digital platform to connect and integrate with the supplier and distribution ecosystem;
  • Enabled the company’s digital business capabilities;
  • Integrated a single unit delivering solutions aligned to the business from the perspective of projects, processes, technology and talent;
  • Established business strategy and ensured that the business model, operational model and projects are aligned to it;
  • Provided the company with an integrated, flexible and scalable technology platform that serves as a key driver of the growth currently being achieved by the company; and
  • Implemented GRC (governance, risk and compliance) based on international frameworks: ITIL , COBIT , ISO 27001 , PCI thereby ensuring 99.95 percent availability in IT services.

Alberto Hidalgo Tirado, Director of Innovation and Growth, GNP

As leader of  Grupo Nacional Provincial’s (GNP, Mexico City) Growth and Innovation teams, Alberto Hidalgo is charged with developing and driving the company’s digital transformation strategy, as well as the redesign of the customer journey to make GNP a cutting-edge institution in terms of customer experience. In this recently created role, Hidalgo is tasked with changing the vision of a 115-year-old company, reflecting the company’s commitment to innovation, both incremental and disruptive.

Alberto Hidalgo Tirado, Director of Innovation and Growth, GNP.

Hidalgo has demonstrated the ability to create high impact teams focused on challenging traditional business paradigms and introducing global trends—such as IoT, Big Data, advanced analytics, cybersecurity and customer experience—to GNP. His teams’ work has driven simplification of processes and a positive impact on business ROI and customer retention. Among major initiatives driven by Hidalgo are the following:

  • Development and implementation of cross-selling models based on analytics that have improved the premium rate paid up to 7.2 percent.
  • Implementation of customer segmentation strategy resulting in an increase intNPS from 56 to 81 percent and renewal rates from 75 to 88 percent.
  • Development of the mobile app for Conect@Móvil clients making GNP a pioneer in features such as the real-time tracking of the car adjuster and a button for claims reporting and assistance services. The new app increased increase of downloads by 60 percent and electronic claims reports by 76 percent.
  • Promotion of improved customer experience through a customer portal for policy management, including payment. More than half of policy transactions (56%) are now made through this channel.
  • Launch of mobile app for GNP’s sales force providing a single tool all the information of their portfolio.
  • Designed a new telematics-based risk control strategy for heavy equipment, achieving a reduction of 60 percent in claims—benefiting both GNP and its clients.

During 2017, Hidalgo has changed focus to integrate the business more deeply into innovation initiatives. As a result of this, Dinamico.GNP.mx launched an innovative proposal for direct digital sales assisted by chatbot and aimed at micro-enterprises (e.g., cyclists) to cover risks that are focused on the development of their activities.

IIR Five Stars Award Finalists 2018: Southern Cone

IIR Five Stars Award Finalists 2018: Central America & Caribbean

IIR Five Star Awards 2018 Finalists: Brazil

IIR Five Stars Award Finalists 2018: Andean Region


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 AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

Leave a Comment