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Smallwood Takes CIO Job at ICW Group

After about a decade working as an industry consultant and analyst, Deborah Smallwood has returned to the insurance carrier side. Upon assuming her new role as chief transformation officer at San Diego-based privately held P&C insurer ICW Group (Insurance Company of the West), the former managing director of TowerGroup's insurance research and consulting practice says her nearly 20 years of experience in Liberty Mutual's (Boston) IT organization "all came back."

Part of Smallwood's sense of déjà vu had to do with her reengagement with the perennial questions faced by a senior insurance technology officer. "It's all about risk management and project management," she remarks. But if the questions are the same, recent technology advances offer different answers today, she hastens to add.

In that respect, the job at ICW Group was hard to resist, as the carrier's plans tracked closely with the recommendations TowerGroup had been making for the property/casualty industry, Smallwood notes. "Their strategies were what we had been predicting," she says.

As ICW Group's chief transformation officer, Smallwood says, she will be responsible for day-to-day IT operations and also will spearhead a comprehensive transformation effort at the insurer. "We're launching five strategic initiatives this year: underwriting, predictive analytics, data, claims and enterprise content management," she explains. --A.O.

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