Holly Morris has joined Thrivent Financial for Lutherans ($67.5 billion in assets under management) as CIO at a time when the Minneapolis-based financial services company and fraternal benefit society is looking to substantially increase the number of its clients engaged in terms of both product ownership and participation in charitable programs.
"All the initiatives related that will fuel that growth include a technology component," Morris says. "Challenges will include increasing our capacity to deal with larger investments in IT and being able to respond quickly and effectively to all those initiatives while creating a more seamless experience and easier way to deal with us. Of course we're also creating more innovative products and services, and technology is always part of that."
Most recently senior vice president of global financial services at American Express (Minneapolis), Morris hearkens back to that experience, along with the knowledge she gained as CIO of Reliastar and subsequently ING (Atlanta) CTO for North and South America (after ING acquired Reliastar), as the foundation of what she brings to Thrivent. "We were already into the shift of insurance companies toward full financial service needs," she says. "That model requires a firm to have a 360-degree view of each client and to provide a holistic snapshot of their financial health."
Morris also brings experience in managing multiple, complex policy administration systemsan especially helpful skill in managing the ongoing legacy challenges resulting from the 2001 merger of Aid Association for Lutherans (Appleton, Wis.) and Lutheran Brotherhood (Minneapolis), which created the company. "We will have a selective approach for retiring some systems and, in other cases, surrounding them with middleware," Morris says.
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