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Elite 8 2010 Honorees: Where Are They Now?

Insurance & Technology caught up with many of the 2010 Elite 8 honorees to see how current challenges have reshaped their focus and responsibilities in the year since their recognition.
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A Global Vision

Since securing Insurance & Technology's Elite 8 honor a year ago, says Kathy Owen, SVP and CIO of Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Unum, the global responsibilities of her role have greatly intensified, as her department has taken steps to further align and leverage its technology investments to better enable key business objectives around growth, efficiency and innovation. "This has meant deepening relationships with a broad spectrum of business leaders, evolving our governance model and gaining a heightened awareness of marketplace trends," Owen says.

In the coming year, Owen reports, she will focus on three top priorities. First, she will invest in driving growth, improving both speed and cost to market. Second, Owen will work to strengthen Unum's underlying infrastructure.

"As we look to the future, we continue to make targeted investments that will help reduce complexity in our environment and enable agility and efficiency in our business," Owen explains. "This includes modernization of key legacy assets, investments in our data center and infrastructure, and a continued focus on talent management." And finally, Owen adds, she will lead her division's efforts toward the establishment of shared services, a key component of Unum's globalization strategy.

But while Unum will continue to invest in key technologies and capabilities that allow the firm to better serve its customers, the insurer also will keep an eye toward containing costs in the coming year, according to Owen. "In this very pressured economic environment," she notes, "we are managing expenses closely and taking advantage of opportunities to reduce costs in lower-value areas to offset those investments."

Peggy Bresnick Kendler has been a writer for 30 years. She has worked as an editor, publicist and school district technology coordinator. During the past decade, Bresnick Kendler has worked for UBM TechWeb on special financialservices technology-centered ... View Full Bio

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