ICTC2006 (Part I) Topics and Speakers

2006 Canadian Insurance Technology Forum:
P&C Products, Services and Distribution

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hosted by Insurance-Canada.ca
the premier Internet reference site for insurance in Canada, and
CI – Canadian Insurance Magazine
Canada’s leading Insurance Magazine
Gold Sponsors:



Two of Canada’s leading insurance information sources – Insurance-Canada.ca and CI-Canadian Insurance Magazine – have teamed up to present a focused, one-day conference that will provide a business-oriented view of the best-of-breed technology and processes, to support innovative product, service, and distribution strategies. We have assembled a faculty that includes leading technology suppliers, management consultants, and practitioners who will address the seminar. Here are the topics and speakers for the day’s activities.

Conference Topics

8:00 – 9:00: Registration and Coffee

9:00 Welcome and introduction: Patrick Vice, I/T Manager, Frank Cowan Company Ltd.
“Insurance 2020: The Undiscovered Country”
Jamie Bisker, Global Insurance Industry Leader, Institute for Business Value, IBM.

Insurance 2020 is a global study designed to collect and analyze the state of the insurance industry in 15 years time. Perspectives, opinions and projections were collected via surveys, roundtables, and interviews with insurance executives, line of business leaders, and analysts from around the world.

“Policy Administrations Systems are taking centre stage again!”
Christian Playford, Vice President, Consulting Services, Insurance Business Solutions, CGI

Find out what key questions insurers are asking as they prepare to retool these critical systems to support both business today and in the future…

Coffee break
“New Web Technologies Enabling Enterprise Insurance Applications: A Non-technical View”
Terry Neilson, President & CEO, Insurance Systems Inc.

CSS, XML, AJAX and HTTP – who knows what these really mean…or for that matter, who really cares?

The purpose of this session is to give a broad, non-technical overview of some of the latest web technologies and what impact they will have on the development of enterprise applications for insurance companies.

Traditional enterprise insurance applications, whether ‘green screen’ or the more modern Windows-based systems have, over time, set certain usability standards that most web applications have never been able to live up to. Speed of processing, real-time user feedback and the ability to handle large amounts of data have often been compromised in the interest of using the latest and greatest programming flavour.

Recent technologies such as AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScripting and XML) have made it possible for web applications to perform like traditional enterprise mainframe or client/server applications while allowing companies to reap the benefits of web-based architecture.

Various examples will be used to illustrate how these technologies are changing the face of enterprise web applications and transforming the way modern insurance organizations mange their Information Technology.

“Does Underwriting Matter?”
David A. West, Insurance Industry Marketing Manager, SAS Institute Inc.

The underwriting cycle with its seemingly endless oscillations between hard and soft markets is a fact of life for insurers. When loss results deteriorate, insurers chant the mantra, “it is time to return to sound underwriting practices.” For most companies, “sound underwriting” simply means tightening up. Underwriting guidelines are frequently adjusted based on the performance of an entire book of business – poor results generate tighter rules. Over the past ten to fifteen years, insurers have migrated away from having underwriters review every application in favor of the use of automated systems that apply underwriting rules to all cases in a consistent manner. Yet the rules that underwriters live by and which automated systems apply have rarely if ever been tested to determine if they are having the right impact on loss performance. The most sophisticated and most profitable insurers in Europe and the U.S. have evolved to the point that they employ no underwriters. If such companies can consistently produce profits without underwriters and other companies who use underwriters are still feeling the effects of the underwriting cycle, the question must be asked, Does Underwriting Matter?

This presentation will answer this question and will also show how the use of analytics can increase the competitive advantage that insurers can derive from truly sound underwriting.

“Telus Research and how it can help Insurance Professionals”
– Dale Neilly, Director of Marketing, Financial Services, TELUS
12:00 Noon Lunch
“Extending Managed Workflow from Brokerage to Markets and Beyond”
Doug Johnston, EVP of Interface Services, Applied Systems
Rick Alcock, Divisional CIO, Personal Insurance, Royal and Sun Alliance
Richard Shallhorn, CIO & Privacy Officer, HKMB International Insurance Brokers
Brenda Rose, Vice President, Firstbrook Cassie & Anderson Ltd.

Early implementations of broker automation started to integrate disparate and discrete functions like accounting, customer information and policy details into a single system view. This integration enabled better workflow within the broker office, but also resulted in the more information which helped brokerage management, and in better customer information with those service implications.

Data has been exchanged, some successfully and some not so, between brokerages and companies for many years. Both batch exchanges with inherent time delays, and interactive company access, can and have brought some improvements. However each have disadvantages from a usability and responsiveness, and compliance or E&O, perspectives.

Over the last few years the development of integration tool kits has enabled the BMS and other computer applications such as comparative rating, premium financing, special lines processing like commercial, to be integrated more tightly with the core functions of the BMS. In a similar way, on-line real-time processing shared between the BMS and company systems has been enabled by services like WARP. These reduce significantly the delay and compliance problems associated with previous approaches.

Greg and his speaking partners will provide a review of past and present trends in this integration space, provide a current status and address future directions and possibilities.

“Measureable Results Through Broker Improvements”
Pat Durepos, President, Keal Technology

Broker automation and Single Entry, Multiple Company Interface (SEMCI) have been mantras for independent companies and brokers for decades, with only spotty success in implementation. Finally there are several solutions available to brokers and it is important to compare the value of these approaches. One major impediment has been the lack of quantifiable results for brokers, insurers, and customers. Keal Technologies will present results of detailed analyses of the measurable results of automation and SEMCI implementation by its customers.

“Beyond Portals: Effective eMarketing for Commercial Lines”
Kevin Campbell, President, Policy Works

In an effort to reduce costs and gain a competitive advantage, insurance companies have been developing web-based quoting solutions for commercial lines. This has resulted in a proliferation of quoting websites creating a situation of multiple entry for brokers.

While advantageous for insurers, what does this mean for brokers? Essentially, brokers are left to absorb the transaction costs associated with quoting on-line. Each time multiple quotes are required, or a policy is re-marketed, brokers must re-key information into different insurer websites. This process is tedious, error-prone and time-consuming, discouraging brokers from quoting with more than one or two insurers. Further, brokers effectively lose ownership of their data once it is entered into any given quoting site; this information must be re-entered into their own systems.

The technology exists to allow for the end-to-end electronic exchange of information between commercial lines brokers and insurers. In his presentation, Kevin Campbell will discuss the state of the art for electronic marketing of commercial lines policies.

Coffee break
“Electronic Content Management: Managing the Mountains of Information”
Daniel Moore, Managing Principal, Business Proccess Services Practice, Xerox Global Services

For decades, insurers and brokers have been forced to live with largely paper-based information and processes that have been inadequate to successfully manage their growing businesses. Early attempts at imaging and document management projects were plagued with technology challenges, cost overruns and low return on investment. More importantly these projects did not relieve the workforce from mundane tasks but forced them to abide by strict rules and processes designed to work with software and hardware that was inflexible and not designed for the insurance business. This session will describe what Electronic Content Management is, how other insurance companies have benefited from its use by ensuring that paper based documents and electronic systems work together seamlessly to accelerate and automate many insurance processes.

“Delivering Integrated P&C Information”
James Barber, Insurance Solutions Manager, Information Builders

Property & Casualty Insurance companies have challenging and unique issues surrounding reporting and information delivery – not only internally, but to the insurance regulatory board, their clients and potential customers. As well their constituents – executives, analysts, operational staff and agents require meaningful information in order to make sound business decisions. This means that companies must not only provide a variety of reports on policy, premium, claims, underwriting, triangulation and KPIs but these reports must be delivered exactly the way their constituents need them.

In his presentation, James will discuss how several Canadian P&C insurance companies addressed their information delivery challenges and in turn have solved business problems while accelerating time to business value, reducing TCO, and minimizing project risk. The audience will walk away with a complete methodology, including implementation options and a roadmap, on how to solve their information delivery solutions.

4:30 Conclusions & Close
Doug Grant, Principal, Insurance-Canada.ca

Conference Silver, Bronze, Lunch and Coffee sponsors:

Webwriter by ISI

Keal Technology

Tritech Policy Management System


Information Builders

Aplied Systems Canada

Microdea Inc.
Lunch: Policy Works
Coffee SunGard

Conference Speakers

Rick Alcock, Divisional CIO, Personal Insurance, Royal and Sun Alliance

Mr. Alcock joined the Information Systems Division of Royal and SunAlliance in March of 2002 as the Director of Strategic Business Solutions. In addition to examining longer term strategic initiatives in the information systems field, Rick has had responsibilities for R&SA’s web properties including the public Internet, employee Intranet and Broker Extranet sites. Mr. Alcock is currently the Divisional CIO Personal Lines responsible for managing the Information Systems portfolio for the Personal Insurance Division of R&SA. Rick has also participated as R&SA’s representative on the CSIO Portal Management Committee since joining the insurance industry.

Mr. Alcock holds an MBA from Queen’s University and resides in Oakville with his wife and 5 year old daughter.

James Barber, Insurance Solutions Manager, Information Builders

James Barber is the Insurance Solutions Manager for Information Builders. In this role, James is responsible exclusively for selling and implementing reporting and data management solutions for the insurance market place in North America.

James joined Information Builders in 1999 as an Insurance Account Executive, leading research into insurance information delivery and management best practices. During this time James has helped insurers grow their business and has worked on many projects including projects to integrate customer information spanning 11 policy systems, streamline broker and supplier relationships and accelerate new policy system reporting and integration, to name a few.

Prior to Information Builders, James worked for IBM Canada for nine years where he was responsible for large account sales.

James holds an Engineering degree from the University of Waterloo and an MBA form Wilfrid Laurier University.

Jamie Bisker, Global Insurance Industry Leader, Institute for Business Value, IBM.

Jamie joined BCS Institute for Business Value in October of 2004 where he focusses on creating thought leadership for the global insurance industry. Specifically, Jamie spends his efforts on researching and describing the future state of the business climate for insurance and how carriers around the world can adapt to technological innovation that can significantly improve their performance.

Prior to joining IBM, Jamie worked for 5 years at TowerGroup in the Insurance Practice where he was most recently Director of Research for that area. He has over 27 years of experience in information systems with 20 years in the insurance industry. In that time, Jamie was responsible for technology implementations, strategic planning, and technology architectures for life insurance as well as property and casualty (P&C) insurance. His areas of specialization include intelligent systems, geographic information systems, data warehousing, and business intelligence. As a research director and analyst, it was his role to understand the business models that drive the insurance industry and recognize how and when information technology can provide a competitive advantage in today’s marketplace.

Prior to joining TowerGroup, Jamie held technology positions at Nationwide Insurance Enterprise for over 14 years including Technology Architect with the GatesMcDonald subsidiary, Technology Research Analyst for Intelligent Systems with the property and casualty company, and he was a Distributed Data Processing Consultant for Sterling Software (Informatics division). He has written several corporate technology strategies on high performance computing, geographic information systems, and artificial intelligence.

Kevin Campbell, President, Policy Works

When Kevin Campbell co-founded Policy Works® Inc. with his father in 1991, the two had a mission to link brokers and insurers electronically and a vision to provide brokers with a single tool to manage all of their commercial lines business. As President, Kevin provides leadership to his exceptional team to help make this vision a reality through Policy Works, Canada’s premier Commercial Management System (CMS). A long-time vocal supporter of commercial lines standards, Kevin actively promotes the adoption of industry-wide standards in Canada.

Policy Works Inc., a pioneer and leader in developing Commercial Management Systems, builds solutions to meet the needs of commercial brokers and underwriters alike. Policy Works technology streamlines the commercial lines process to allow for the efficient and effective management of the entire policy lifecycle. Policy Works is fast becoming the industry standard for commercial lines management and is integrated with Broker Management Systems (BMS’s) throughout Canada.

Patrick Durepos, President, Keal Technology

Pat is a broker by profession. He started Alliance Assurance Inc in 1973 with $136,000 of premium volume. Today Alliance has 10 offices throughout New Brunswick writing over $35,000,000. in premium volume. Alliance is ISO certified using technology as one of its four pillars to drive this growth from Grand Falls NB, a town of 5,200 population.

As President of Keal Technology, Pat strives to develop functionalities that improve efficiencies and reduce costs. He states, “A dollar reduced on the expense side is the equivalent to the margin as a dollar of additional revenue”. In his presentation he will demo how existing tools can achieve this today.

Doug Johnston, EVP of Interface Services, Applied Systems

An insurance industry veteran, Doug spearheaded the movement in 1999 to embrace using Web services to manage data exchange for real-time transactions. He continues to be a leading and ardent promoter of the benefits and value of ACORD XML and Web services.

Doug joined Applied Systems in 1985. His significant roles in product design and development of agency management systems, comparative rating software, insurance company systems, and agency/company interface have contributed to Applied Systems’ acknowledged leadership position in insurance technology and interface innovation to advance agency/company communication.

Daniel Moore, Managing Principal Consultant, Business Process Services Practice, Xerox Global Services.

Daniel has over 15 years experience in business process improvement and document management planning, design and implementation, as well as several years of IT consulting experience. He has experience in a number of industries including the Government, Utility, Financial Services, Distribution, Technology and Insurance sectors. Daniel is a managing principal consultant and practice leader with Xerox Global Services (XGS) in Canada. In this role, Daniel is responsible for business development activities, methodology leadership, practice management, and working directly with clients.

Daniel’s areas of specialization include business process re-engineering (BPR), business solution design, records management assessments, document management assessments, strategy and visioning exercises, development and design, process improvement opportunity assessments, change management and project management of document centric system integration projects involving enabling technologies. Daniel has led numerous cross functional and global process re-engineering studies, including projects based on “Six Sigma” change concepts applied to business process improvement.

Terry Neilson, President and CEO, Insurance Systems Inc.

After having reached the pinnacle of world-class competitive sailing, competing on the Canadian Olympic team and bringing home a Bronze medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Terry applied his leadership skills to the business world managing an insurance brokerage in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. After beginning his insurance career in sales, Terry moved through the ranks to General Manager and finally bought the brokerage in 1993. Through a combination of acquisitions and organic growth, Terry was able to grow the sales of the firm from $4 million in 1993 to $14 million in 1997 when he sold the firm to a public Corporation.

Terry then leveraged his entrepreneurial talent, knowledge of the insurance industry and understanding of IT by founding Insurance Systems Inc (ISI) immediately after leaving the brokerage. ISI was established to develop and implement web enabled solutions for the insurance industry. Since inception, ISI has quickly become one of Canada’s technology success stories and was recently ranked 17th amongst Profit Magazine’s list of the country’s fastest-growing companies.

Christian Playford, Vice President, Consulting Services, Insurance Business Solutions, CGI

Christian Playford is Vice President of Consulting Services for CGI Insurance Business Services (IBS) in Canada.

With 25,000 professionals serving clients around the globe, CGI delivers end-to-end IT and business process services and provides cost effective and flexible delivery capabilities to help clients win and grow.

Brenda Rose, Vice President, Firstbrook Cassie & Anderson Ltd.

Brenda Rose joined the insurance industry as a broker in 1984, after graduating from the University of Toronto. Since 1985 she has been with Firstbrook Cassie & Anderson Limited, in a number of roles, ranging from personal and commercial lines service and sales, to management, operational and HR responsibilities. FC&A is a full-service brokerage, focussing on commercial business, and serving clients across Canada through three branches.

Currently, in addition to her executive role at Firstbrook Cassie & Anderson, Brenda is Vice-President of the Toronto Insurance Conference and chair of the TIC Technology Committee. She strongly advocates the development of technology solutions designed to benefit all industry stakeholders – clients, brokers and Insurers.

Richard Shallhorn, CIO & Privacy Officer, HKMB International Insurance Brokers

Richard joined HKMB in January 2002. After managing a large Personal Lines Group Program and then integrating the Group and Personal Lines Departments, he accepted the twin challenges of managing HKMB’s Information Systems team and ensuring compliance with Canada’s privacy legislation.

Richard Shallhorn has over 20 years of insurance industry experience. Prior to joining HKMB, he was the Operations Manager for two large insurance brokerages where his operational knowledge, business skills and technological expertise were employed to significantly increase the effectiveness of both enterprises. Richard then joined ebix.com (formerly Delphi Information Systems), a broker management system and e-commerce vendor, as their General Manager for Canada. In 2000, he established his own consulting practice to help brokers, industry organizations, companies and vendors address their unique requirements to stay in the forefront of this increasingly competitive industry.

Richard resides with his wife in Toronto’s Danforth neighbourhood.

David A. West, Insurance Industry Marketing Manager, SAS Institute Inc.

David West is the global insurance marketing manager at SAS, the world’s largest privately-held software company. West is responsible for the development of strategies, product management and product marketing for the insurance industry. He works closely with the research and development teams, customers and global analysts to identify specific business pains felt by insurance industry executives and provides counsel on how business intelligence from SAS can help. Industry needs range from combating fraud and predicting claims to managing enterprise risk and improving marketing efforts.

West joined SAS in 1997 after spending 13 years in the insurance industry. During ten years with Prudential Property & Casualty, he held a variety of positions which touched all aspects of P&C operations. Following his P&C career, he joined the IT department at Prudential HealthCare where he led a team of programmers and analysts in their support of PruCare’s SAS data warehouse.

West holds a bachelors degree in psychology from Davidson College and is an instrument-rated private pilot.

Hosts and Moderators

Patrick Vice, I/T Manager, Frank Cowan Company Ltd.

Patrick has over 20 years experience enabling technology and electronic commerce in the risk management and insurance communities.

Doug Grant MBA CIP, Consultant, Insurance-Canada.ca

As a keen analyst of computer and networking evolution for more than thirty years, and the opportunity and impact on the insurance industry, frequent industry speaker, columnist, and consultant. Doug is cognizant of the changes that are occurring in the Internet insurance world. As a principal in the Insurance-Canada.ca Web site, he brings a unique perspective to the session.

Patrick and Doug will be hosts of the seminar and will welcome and set the stage, build the links between topics, and then provide conclusions and points to ponder at the end of the session.


See a list of our Previous Seminars.