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CEOs to Watch: Thomas J. Wilson, Allstate

Allstate CEO Thomas J. Wilson seeks to reinforce differentiation through improved service to distributors and novel product and service offerings to consumers.

Thomas J. Wilson, AllstateAllstate recorded its second-highest profits ever in 2007, but the Northbrook, Ill.-based multiline provider of personal lines P&C, life and banking products still failed to meet its growth goals. In a letter to investors, CEO Thomas J. Wilson described the competitive market conditions over the past year as "the toughest I have seen." As a result, Allstate ($36.8 billion in 2007 revenue) will need to leverage agent- and customer-facing technologies to achieve differentiation in the intensely competitive market.

But the competitive environment was only one reason "we did not do as well with agency owners, where satisfaction was down," according to Wilson. "We need to do a better job of exceeding our customers' expectations," he added.

Wilson's plan to exceed those expectations and carve out a greater market share for Allstate is to "reinvent protection and retirement for the consumer." According to the CEO, that involves not only an improvement in service but greater imagination and agility in bringing new product offerings to consumers. Achieving that goal "will require us to operate outside of normal conventions by focusing more intently on the consumer," he said.

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Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio

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