The August 20 spin-off of Travelers Property Casualty Corp. (Hartford, $57.8 billion in assets) from Citigroup (New York, $14.3 billion net income, 2001) invited speculation about its meaning to the convergence trend. But from the perspective of the insurer's IT organization, the split has little effect on business-as-usual.
The failure of Citigroup to achieve the cross-selling opportunity with Travelers P&C was an important factor in systems independence. Sales of personal lines insurance through Citibank's credit card business was attempted, but the program was discontinued because the acquisition costs of the business were higher than anticipated, says Kristin Mammen, a spokesperson for Travelers P&C.
More significant was the carrier's distribution model. "From a business standpoint there was almost no involvement of Citigroup and their systems or their automation in our operations, because we sell through independent agents," says David Findley, senior vice president of commercial and personal insurance operations, Travelers. "The nature of the technical applications in our industry was unique to us as a subsidiary of Citigroup."
Travelers P&C has spent the last three to four years replacing its legacy environment with an Internet browser-based environment. "As a result we are now beginning to build on the infrastructure that we've invested greatly in, since the platform is there and the investment now facilitates us bringing more functionality more rapidly to the marketplace," explains Findley. "We focused on building out component architecture and we've been able to bring policy quoting, rating and issuance to the marketplace," he adds.
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