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Policy Administration

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Allianz Life's First CIO Seeks Innovation

Douglas P. Reynolds named Allianz Life's first CIO.

With hopes of growing Allianz Life Insurance Co.'s (Minneapolis) business through experimentation in areas where the carrier is not bound by a need for exacting precision, Douglas P. Reynolds, formerly of Prudential Financial and retailer Best Buy's Shared Services systems organization, has been appointed to the newly created position of CIO.

"Having the CIO role as part of Allianz Life's executive team presents opportunities for IS that did not exist before," says Reynolds. His short-term objective is to bring predictability to technology planning and delivery. "That starts with a solid understanding of where we are today by measuring and baselining our core processes and service-level delivery, and then addressing the areas that are most problematic," he says. "We need to be clear about what our business partners expect from our operational systems, and deliver on promises."

Reynolds hopes to apply lessons learned from his experience at Prudential to his new role at Allianz. Prudential, he contends, understood how to leverage its size to gain advantage from its IT investment, but also became restricted technically by its large, integrated legacy environment. "One of Allianz Life's challenges will be to balance the cost advantages of highly leveraged systems with the flexibility required by our business partners," he says.

Reynolds also hopes to replicate some of the innovative environment at Best Buy. "Obviously, you can't bring a high level of experimentation into areas like policy administration systems. However there are areas where we can support a greater level of iteration and innovation," he says.

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