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St. Paul Taps Dot-Com Vet

To everything there is a season, according to the Bible-perhaps even for confirmed entrepreneurs to enter the corporate world. David Riker, founder of two technology companies (including online insurer eCoverage, which fell victim to a capital shortage in 2001), seems to think so, having joined The St. Paul Companies as chief technology strategist.

But this development is hardly a compromise, given that the St. Paul has taken Riker on board as a visionary with a dual role. "We're the largest writer of technology risk, and my focus is identifying trends affecting technology companies that can be addressed by our products," Riker explains. Also, given his insurance technology background, "obviously I came on board and started to identify opportunities for us to become more efficient in utilizing technology ourselves."

In order to keep his pulse on the emerging technology scene, Riker's principal location will be the San Francisco area. "In the definition of the job, the interest was to have someone outside of the Twin Cities-either in New York, the Bay area, or other tech centers" he says.

Riker says he is managing the adjustment well. "One of the fears of being an entrepreneur and coming into a big organization is that there's an unwillingness to embrace new ideas," he says. "It's just the opposite here.

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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