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SAFECO's Senegor Focuses on Financials

Yom Senegor, former managing partner of Accenture's North American insurance practice, has been appointed chief information officer of Seattle-based SAFECO (more than $30 billion in assets). He is replacing Chuck Stone, and will represent CEO Mike McGavick as leader of the carrier's strategic planning process, according to a company spokesperson.

Senegor has been given a mandate to strengthen the balance sheet, cut expenses, focus on core lines and invest in technology for agents and employees, reflecting "new directions" taken by McGavick, appointed CEO in January.

Senegor was approached by McGavick earlier this year to bring in an Accenture team to do an IT assessment "to figure out what state they SAFECO were in," relates the new CIO. The contacts established through that project helped Senegor to forge relationships with the carrier's management and establish trust, he says. SAFECO chose to bring Senegor aboard, he believes, because of his "having served the industry in providing business solutions, not just technology solutions," he says, adding that "there was a certain amount of chemistry."

Senegor was motivated to accept the position, he says, because of the challenge and opportunity presented by "the current state of SAFECO," as well as "the caliber of the management team."

Senegor's job will begin with continuing "a series of actions that began before I came out here, such as pricing increases and putting in new underwriting capabilities," he says. "Those appear to be the right things to begin SAFECO's journey to greater profitability."

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

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