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The Five Stars Award is a distinction accorded by Insurance Innovation Reporter (IIR) in partnership with Celent. The Award, now in its 5th edition, aims to recognize the most innovative insurance executives using technology in support of their companies’ business goals in each of five regions of Latin America: Mexico, Central America and Caribbean, the Andean countries, the Southern Cone, and Brazil. Today we present the finalists for 2023. The winners will be announced next Monday at InsurTech Connect LATAM in Miami on Monday, April 24. (Para leer el artículo en español, haga clic aquí.)
Nomination for the Five Star Awards is open, anonymous, and at no cost. An expert panel of Celent analysts determines the finalists for each region and a judging panel formed by Hilario Itriago (President at Boxx Insurance USA / Chairman of The Latam Insurtech Accelerator / Co-founder and VP of the Miami Insurtech Advocates Hub), Gabriela Rozier (Founder of Evenet / Manager and Secretary Officer of the Miami Insurtech Advocates Hub), Fabio Sarrico (Analyst at Celent), and Juan Mazzini (Director, Insurance Practice. APAC, EMEA, and LATAM at Celent/Co-founder and President of the Miami Insurtech Advocates Hub) decide on the winners.
Judging criteria include the following:
- How the nominee has contributed to the innovative use of technology in the insurance industry
- Leadership qualities and achievements that distinguish the nominee
- The business benefits of nominee’s initiatives
- The nominee’s technology achievements
- The nominee’s career path
Latin America has already seen its first InsurTech unicorn with Betterfly (Santiago); the largest neo-bank, measured by the number of clients and market capitalization, Nubank (Sao Paolo), has successfully entered into the life insurance business; a delivery app as Rappi (Bogotá), on the path to becoming a super app, is now offering insurance; and Mercado Libre (Montevideo), the e-commerce giant of the region, has entered into the insurance business after successfully getting into the fintech space.
“This is an InsurTech revolution and the insurance companies are part of these moves,” comments Celent’s Mazzini. “It’s the power of the ecosystem, a collaborative model between insurers and startups.”
That ecosystem is facing pressures today, with the collapse of SVB and its effects on available capitals, increasingly stringent valuations and growth predictions in decline. InsurTechs have had to revisited growth plans and organization structure, and the need to focus on profitability.
Insurance companies, as participants in this InsurTech ecosystem, face their own challenges. An accelerated digital agenda and cyber threats are top priorities for insurers in Latin America, but at the same time many C-levels indicate that they expect their IT budgets to increase much less than expected, some even expect them to remain flat or decrease, according to Mazzini.
“In this environment, executives need to be creative, and to paraphrase the philosopher Plato— necessity is the mother of innovation,” Mazzini remarks. “No surprise then to see that reflected the innovative use of technology in these Five Stars Awards finalists.”
The finalists, Five Stars Awards 2023:
- Salvador Gerardo Alonso y Caloca – CEO, Seguros Banorte
- Manuel Santiago Escobedo Conover – CEO, Grupo Peña Verde
- Emilio Vera Yañez – COO, Assurant
Central America, including Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.
- Darwin Leonel Aquino Farfan – Innovation Head, Seguros El Roble (Guatemala)
- Pablo Castillo – IT & Processes VP, ASSA Compania de Seguros (HQd in Panama)
- Daniel Hidalgo – CIO, Seguros Fedecrédito (El Salvador)
Andes (Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru)
- Alexandre Abascal Ferro – Director of Innovation and Digital Transformation, Aseguradora del Sur (Ecuador)
- Ivan Argudo – CIO, Seguros Equinoccial (Ecuador)
- Luis Ramos Espinoza – IT Corporate VP, Sura (HQd in Colombia)
- Cibele Cardin – CIO, Care Plus, a Bupa Company
- Adilson Lavrador – Director of Operations, IT and Claims, Tokio Marine Seguradora
- Rogerio Pereira – VP IT International, Assurant
Southern Cone including Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile and Bolivia,
- Ricardo Bueno – CEO & Co-Founder, MeCubro (Argentina)
- Alejandra Marinaro – Head of Innovation and New Technologies, La Perseverancia Seguros (Argentina)
- Maria Eugenia Norambuena – CEO Principal Vida Chile and COO Principal Chile
- Ignacio Trujillo Silva – CIO & CFO, FID Seguros (Chile)
Estrellas de la innovación en seguros: Finalistas de los Five Stars Awards 2023