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ERC To Combine Units

Strategic move merges two commercial insurance subsidiaries.

In order to provide more insurance capacity and to better provide information to its brokers, GE Commercial Insurance, an operating subsidiary of GE Employers Reinsurance Corp. (Overland Park, KS), has combined two of its business units.

Industrial Risk Insurers (IRI, Hartford), a provider of primary loss limit and global loss prevention products, and Global Asset Protection Services (GE GAP, Chicago), a loss prevention, asset management and business continuity product provider, will be combined into one company. According to a GE ERC spokesperson, the move was not motivated by GE's previously announced plan to sell the ERC unit. The impetus was to provide better service to customers and partners.

For IT, there will be many advantages, according to the company's CIO, Kevin Wilkins, IRI. Wilkins, previously CIO for IRI, will now oversee GE GAP as well. "The main thing is that our customer have requirements for information and all of our systems have to respond accordingly," Wilkins says. "Our mobile force of risk professionals sit down with customers to do loss prevention engineering. They have the technology with them to do the analysis on the spot." One of the most popular tools available to customers and producers is the patent-pending MyAnalysis application, an offering that allows customers to see all of the risk information online.

Wilkins also says some systems may combined to produce savings. "We will eliminate redundancies" in financial systems and internal support, he says. "But since we have based our enterprise systems on Java-based Web services, we can easily share information back and forth between systems."

Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio

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