Insuranceciooutlook

Impact of Automation in Financial Industry

Insurance CIO Outlook

Claudia Cordioli joined Swiss Re in 2003. She has served in senior finance roles, including Head of Swiss Re Group External reporting and CFO Reinsurance EMEA. In 2016 she assumed the role of Head of Italy, Iberia & Mediterranean, and was appointed Head of Western and Southern Europe in 2018. Before joining Swiss Re, Claudia Cordioli held finance and consulting roles in institutions including KPMG in Zurich, CSC Ploenszke in Munich, DePfa Bank in Wiesbaden and Italtel/Siemens in Milano.

Claudia Cordioli, an Italian citizen, holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Verona, Italy, and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) by the New Hampshire Board of Accountancy

What are the biggest roadblocks to digital transformation for organizations in the financial services sector?

Reinsurance aids insurance companies when they face huge losses and they require a firm to help them in terms of capital protection, knowledge modeling, and underwriting support. It is a highly tailored business where we have a very small number of clients, and we do transactions that are typically very large in size, and they also tend to be very specific to their counterparts. Moreover, there's a very high degree of sophistication when it comes to the models that we run. So, in order to run the model effectively, we have highly skilled people who do all of this modeling in systems for our clients. 

So, when it comes to digitization, the biggest challenge is creating a standard reporting system and automating the process. There is no way to deny that cost is the biggest roadblock to this. 

"We are using technology that is helping us to draw different data from different domains, helping models stay connected to the reporting tool"

What kind of technology is used for modeling and pricing in the insurance industry?

Swiss Re is one of the largest reinsurers in the world and takes pride in having its own models for the most dangerous and big risks that we price and cover. Swiss Re believes in developing its own model and pricing the business based on this. Furthermore, they are moving to FBS next year and will be using SAP sub-ledger technology to cover financial reporting from the ground up. 

Could you elaborate on some interesting and impactful projects or initiatives that you're currently overseeing?

There are two projects which we are recently working on. First is that we are making a large shift from our "own development" when it comes to financial reporting into SAP. We are basically trying to have an environment where we collect the cash flows related to all the policies which will rise, and then we discount them differently depending on which reporting format we are covering. 

The second is related to the vision of having finance go beyond reporting and the number-crunching philosophy that we had previously followed. So I constantly advise my team that the vision for future finance should be a valueadded activity to the business. And to do so, we are using technology that is helping us to draw different data from different domains, helping models stay connected to the reporting tool. 

What would be your piece of advice for the budding entrepreneur in this field?  

Today, we are witnessing significant technological advancement in the industry. So, when it comes to overcoming the challenges we face, technology has been extremely beneficial. It is critical that we focus on automating and standardizing the process in order to move forward successfully in the future. Furthermore, in order to remain relevant in the industry, we must attract talent with diverse expertise and technological knowledge. This will aid in the better creation of insight from data available in the industry, which is also critical for any business. 

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