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“I’m proud that Hartford is Insurance Capital of the World,” noted Governor Ned Lamont in his opening comments at the ninth annual Insurance Capital Summit. Hosted by Connecticut Insurance and Financial Services (CT IFS), the much-anticipated event brings together all types of perspectives from those immersed in the insurance and financial services (IFS) industry—and those eager to learn new ways of working and thinking in an ever-evolving landscape.

This year’s theme, Achieving Peak Performance in the Insurance Industry, included informative sessions and panels about innovation and the future of insurance, talent attraction, InsurTech, engaging with Generation Z, and the overall insurance marketplace.

Attendees included leaders, employers, and employees from the insurance, healthcare, ecommerce, and technology industries; future talent from local colleges and universities; plus two UK-based InsurTech companies Martix iQ and Wrisk, which participated in a panel.


Insurance Is Happening In Hartford

Welcoming remarks from CT IFS Vice President and Executive Director Susan Winkler emphasized the fact that Hartford is the place to be for insurance innovation. “It’s happening—it’s happening right now,” she said.

Insurance Commissioner Andrew Mais reiterated those sentiments. “We are a heavyweight. We are The Insurance Capital of the World,” he said in his recorded comments.

Commissioner David Lehman touched on the ways Hartford is ensuring a strong innovation ecosystem with many tech-focused initiatives.

In the Chairman’s remarks, Anne Thibeault, Vice President, Customer Capabilities at Empower and Chairman of the CT IFS Board noted, “We continue to drive talent development in the region.

In his keynote introduction, David Robinson, Executive Vice President & General Counsel at The Hartford talked about the importance of the insurance industry in the broader economy. “The economy doesn’t work without our industry,” he said.

Keynote speaker Ross Bernstein energized the crowd with an engaging talk Playing and Winning in the New Marketplace.

Insurance: What’s Next?

Key takeaways from the day-long event focused on the changing insurance marketplace, embracing innovation, and attracting future talent. Panelists discussed everything from how Hartford maintains its status as the Insurance Capital of the World to meeting customers’ evolving needs to maintaining data and privacy to what makes Hartford a great place for international InsurTech companies to set up shop.

In the Playing and Winning in the New Marketplace panel, moderator Greg Toczydlowski, President Business Insurance for Travelers underscored that taking risks is important in the insurance industry.

But, in terms of optimizing for the seller experience and making a data-rich product, “it’s not just about tech, you need innovation,” noted Anita Sathe, US & Global Bluestream Affinity Leader, Marsh & McLennan Companies.

“It’s about thinking differently…and understanding what you’re trying to solve and what tools to use to solve it,” added Symetra Senior Vice President & Chief of Strategy Mindi Work during the Innovation & Data – Future of Insurance panel.

On the topic of innovation, Governor Lamont noted in his opening remarks, “When you manage for the long term you give your customers the confidence you’re going to be there for the long term. You have to innovate.”

Nassau Financial Group; Re/Imagine Chief Marketing Officer Paul Tyler moderated an interesting panel called Insurtech Capital of the World, focused on international collaboration and startup growth. Asked about why he chose to locate his FinTech company in Connecticut, panelist Niall Barton, Chairman & Founder of London-based Wrisk noted, “We chose Hartford because we needed to be rooted within the bedrock of U.S. insurance scene.”

When discussing the value of the UK-Connecticut InsurTech corridor, Joy Kinnear, Trade & Investment Officer, U.K. Department of International Trade said, “It helps accelerate the connection process and create well-qualified matches.”

Engaging future talent was another key topic, with a devoted panel Shifting Talent Attraction Strategies: What You Need to Know, which focused on how the pandemic has changed the way we work—and fill positions.

“The goal is to help [future talent] grow their roots here,” explained panelist Kim Bishop, Chief Talent Officer at the MetroHartford Alliance + AllHart. “If they’re connected, we can retain them.”

Michelle Deitchman, Head of Property & Casualty HR at The Hartford emphasized the importance of creating “‘sticky moments.’ You can’t fake human connection,” she said. “Culture will make or break your talent acquisition and retention lifecycle.”

In terms of attracting talent, “There’s a great opportunity to learn new things and make an impact,” noted Rohit Puranik, Global Head – Insurance Partnerships, Alliance and M&A at Infosys during the Innovation & Data – Future of Insurance panel.

The Conversation: with the Zillennial Generation discussion took a look at future talent from a different perspective. Moderator Tyler Losure, Communications Consultant at Voya and Chair of HYPE (Hartford Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs) asked the panelists what they looked for when seeking work opportunities. Key on the list: flexibility, authenticity, connection to community, and social responsibility.

The event included Remarks from Paul Veronneau, Partner and Hartford Advisory Leader at PwC about the 2022 Insurance Market Brief, which highlighted industry trends.

In his closing remarks, Mayor Luke Bronin said, “We have in this city and region extraordinary leaders, from consultants to IT—enabling us to punch above our weight and truly claim that we’re the Insurance Capital of the World.” He added, “What you have here is something you can’t find in New York City, Boston, or London—a community united to lift up and make Connecticut a leader.”

Plans are underway for the 2023 Insurance Capital Summit—another not-to-be-missed event.