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Innovators Award Goes to Aon

Virtual risk manager builds market share in high-tech sector.

The first Insurance Innovators Award, created by InSystems, META Group and Insurance & Technology to recognize outstanding use of Internet technologies to improve business relationships, went to Chicago-based Aon and its Wired for Growth(tm) program. The Wired for Growth team received the award at the IASA show last month.

Aon's Wired for Growth (San Jose, is the first Web-enabled virtual risk manager. It provides growth-cycle-specific insurance products and services. The site targets pre-IPO, venture-backed and emerging technology-related entities, and enables navigation by specific business, finance and audit events. Aon has produced more than 425 new accounts through its Wired for Growth initiative since its launch in the July of 2001.

The initiative was led by Julie K. Davis, director of Wired for Growth, along with product development efforts from the Aon technology team of Steve Keogh and Patrick Donnelly, and support from Aon's Stephanie Greenberg, Chris Cieloha, Gabriela Cruz and James Maddox.

"There was a space in the marketplace that was underserved," says Davis, explaining what inspired the creation of Wired for Growth. "Emerging growth companies need to act like public companies before they go public, including the area of risk management," according to Davis.

The judging panel recognized two other Insurance Innovators Award entries for honorable mention. Safety Insurance's (Boston) Agents Virtual Community (AVC) at has empowered independent agents and built strategic partnerships by providing an insurance information gateway to the Net. JPF NET, an extranet initiative for Jefferson Pilot Financial (Greensboro, NC) field partners, has resulted in significant efficiency gains and marketplace differentiation.

To apply for the 2003 Insurance Innovators Award, visit the InSystems site,

Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991. In addition to ... View Full Bio

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