Celent Roundtable | Optimizing Your Digital Experience (Invitation-only)

New York, New York
Wednesday, May 22, 2019

John Barr
Senior Analyst
  John Barr is a Senior Analyst providing research, advisory and consulting services to carriers, software, and service providers to the life, annuity, and general insurance industries. Prior to joining Celent, John provided strategic information technology and transformation consulting to a number of firms including EquiSoft/UCT, Transamerica, Genpact, and Pacific Life. He also recently served as EXL Services’ Vice President of Insurance Product Management and Operations Consulting. John has 25+ years of experience in management and executive roles with information technology, consulting services, and insurance companies. He has led the development of insurance business advisory and professional services organizations, and directed global insurance vertical product and services organizations. John brings deep domain expertise across the life, annuity, pensions, and P&C insurance spectrum, and has held leadership positions with Wipro, Capgemini, and CSC/Continuum, and served as CIO of Texas Workers Compensation Insurance (now Texas Mutual).

Karlyn Carnahan
Head of the Americas- P/C
  Karlyn Carnahan leads Celent’s Americas Property Casualty practice. She focuses on issues related to digital transformation. Karlyn is the lead analyst for questions related to distribution management, underwriting and claims, core systems, and operational excellence. She is a widely recognized expert on these topics who has written market-leading reports and presented at numerous conferences. Her consulting work for insurance carriers includes more than 40 system selection projects as well as distribution channel analysis, digital strategies, IT assessments, and a wide variety of other strategic projects. She joined Celent with an extensive career in the insurance industry and holds an MBA from Stanford Business School and a Certified Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation. She can be reached directly at kcarnahan@celent.com.


Mike Fitzgerald
Senior Analyst
  Mike brings extensive industry experience to the analyst role. Prior to joining Celent, he was vice president of enterprise underwriting solutions at Zurich North America, where he led the evaluation of technology alternatives to support a new underwriting product development process. He held a number of positions at Royal & Sun Alliance, including a field operations regional executive role. His technology implementation experience includes the installation and maintenance of billing, automobile policy administration, and workers compensation automation. In the 1990s, Mike led an initiative which delivered one of the first global online technical underwriting and claims learning platforms in the industry. Mike's research focuses on innovation, emerging technologies (blockchain, artificial intelligence), billing, business process and operations, social media, and distribution management.

Stephen Irwin
Senior Director
AM Best 

In his current position, Stephen serves as Senior Director, credit rating criteria, research and analytics. His team is responsible for the development, testing and review of A.M. Best’s credit rating methodology and criteria, as well as promoting consistency in the application of criteria within the rating process. In addition to providing internal guidance, he interfaces with external constituents in explaining the key elements of the criteria. Stephen has served in a variety of managerial roles at AM Best since 1994, including most recently as vice president for both the life/annuity and health rating divisions. In these roles, he managed teams that covered U.S. life and health insurers. reinsurers and life/health insurers in Canada and the Caribbean. Prior to joining AM Best, he was Manager, Individual Insurance at Prudential Financial.


Felix Kühlmann
Chief Operations Officer
Head of International Program Platform
US Commercial Insurance
Zurich North America
  Felix Kühlmann is the COO and Head of International programs (IPZ) for Zurich US Commercial Insurance. He is a member of the US Commercial Insurance senior leadership team. In his role, he is responsible for IPZ Servicing, Captives, Customer and Underwriting Insights and Development and Legacy Services. He has been with Zurich since 2010. Previously Felix was a Principal and Recruiting Director at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Berlin. In that role, he was responsible for serving insurance clients in Europe in Distribution, Asset Management and Risk Management, as well as overseeing recruiting at US and European Universities. Prior to BCG, Felix was a European Counsel at Nestlé in Vevey, Switzerland, handling merger filings across the globe and advising clients on antitrust aspects of major commercial agreements.

Donald Light
Research Director
  Donald's coverage areas include: technology and business strategy; transformative technologies such as insurtech, digital, connected cars and homes, the Internet of Things, core systems; and insurance technology M&A due diligence. His recent consulting work includes: developing a strategic IT plan for a specialty insurer, core system vendor selection support; a build vs. buy analysis for core systems; and several due diligence assignments. Light is widely quoted in the press and media, including The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Forbes, NBC and CBS Evening News, CNBC, and National Public Radio (NPR). He is a frequent presenter at industry conferences including those sponsored by ACORD, PCI, and IASA. Prior to joining Celent, Light was an insurance subject matter expert with Sapient and for his own firm Donald Light Consulting, where he advised senior managers at major insurers and other financial institutions. He has also held a senior research position in Allstate’s Research and Planning Center.

Jennifer Openshaw
Girls with Impact 
  Jennifer Openshaw is the CEO of Girls With Impact, the nation’s only entrepreneurship and leadership academy for GenZ women and a nationally known author, commentator and financial innovator. Jennifer served as CEO & Founder of Women’s Financial Network, the first online financial company for women, for which she was named among the Internet’s Top 25 Rising Stars by Internet World magazine. The company was acquired by Wall Street legend Muriel Siebert (NYSE:SIEB). Jennifer has held top positions in media, government and the financial industry, including head of the Financial Women’s Association and, most recently, Partner & Chief Marketing Officer for Mercer’s When Women Thrive research platform. She started her career as press secretary to California State Treasurer Kathleen Brown and has advised Fortune 500 organizations including Microsoft and EY’s People Advisory Service. Jen has served as a longtime columnist for Dow Jones’ MarketWatch and has appeared on multiple shows, including Oprah, CNN, and Public Television, where she hosted her own show.


Tom Scales
Head of the Americas-
Life, Annuity & Health


Tom Scales leads Celent’s Americas Life and Health Insurance practice. His research and consulting focuses on industry innovation, operational best practices, and vendor technology. His particular passion is on how to best leverage technology to ensure the best customer and agent experience. He also leads a broad range of consulting projects, such as Deep Dive strategies for both insurers and vendors, and a variety of system selection projects. Tom led the operations and technology organizations for Transamerica, for their US Life insurance companies, including both agent and worksite sales. Tom is a regular presenter at industry conferences, such as LOMA’s Customer Service and LTC/DI conferences.

John Bresney
SVP, Enterprise
Application Delivery
Selective Insurance

John Bresney is Senior Vice President, Enterprise Application Delivery at Selective Insurance Company of America, with responsibility for custom and package application development in support of Commercial Lines, Personal Lines, Claims and Corporate System platforms. He also has responsibility for Quality Assurance and Application Architecture.  John has more than 25 years of experience in the IT industry with leadership responsibilities in support of Application Development, Application Architecture, Business Architecture, I&O, and overall IT strategy development.  Since joining Selective in 1994, he has served in a variety of technology and leadership roles including Assistant Vice President of Enterprise Development Services, Vice President of Infrastructure and Operations, and Vice President of Personal Lines Business Development and Architecture.  John earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Bloomsburg University and also holds a Master’s Certificate in in Project Management from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Stig F. Haagensen
VP - Digital Innovation & Accelerators
Northwestern Mutual
  Stig F. Haagensen (pronounced Stee Hoensen) currently serves as Vice President - Digital Innovation & Accelerators. He is accountable for Northwestern Mutual’s Corporate Innovation Program and is a member of Cream City Venture Capital (NM VC fund). He is also responsible for IT Asset Portfolio Management and is chief of staff for the Digital Workplace & Corporate Solutions department. Haagensen joined Northwestern Mutual in 1992 and has held a variety of positions in including IT engineering, architecture, data & analytics, corporate portfolio management, financial advisor experience and innovation.


Rahim Rajpar
Head of Marketing & Direct to Consumer Business
John Hancock Insurance

  Rahim Rajpar is a customer-centric, collaborative leader with a passion for building businesses from the ground up that meet the changing needs of the customer. He brings this expertise to John Hancock Insurance where he has accountability for two businesses: Insurance Marketing & Direct to Consumer. As Head of Insurance Marketing, Rahim leads a data-driven team that uses customer research & insights to deliver omnichannel, digital marketing solutions and online customer experience.  His emphasis on digital transformation extends to his Direct to the Consumer team, where he has spent the past three years building & scaling this new business. Rahim’s keen understanding of the end-to-end customer journey, direct marketing expertise, and commitment to rethink, and redesign, the life insurance purchasing experience have translated into rapid growth via a digital ecosystem comprised of a cross-function internal team and external partners

John Kelsh

Direction, Claims Strategy and Innovation

John Kelsh leads up strategy, design and delivery of digital product and business transformation for Allstate Claims. During John’s established career with Allstate, he has held leadership roles supporting auto, casualty and property claims both in field and head office operations including business process design and delivery of major technology projects, program management and strategy development. John is a co-author of the Allstate Claims Integrated Digital Enterprise strategy and currently leading the digital transformation initiative for Allstate claims. His team in partnership with technology and data science is responsible for digital strategy and business capability development enabling fundamental business model innovations for the 16,000 - employee claim organization.


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