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2018 Financial Inforum

The New Imperative of Transformation

May 21, 2018 – May 23, 2018
The New Orleans Marriott; New Orleans, LA

MONDAY, MAY 21, 2018

1:00 pm - 5:30 pm


3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

General Session

Market Signals: What Are the Financial Markets Telling Us Now??

  • Peter Ricchiuti

    Director of Research for Burkenroad Reports A.B. Freeman School of Business, Tulane University
The economy is inherently cyclical. While these cycles don’t necessarily repeat themselves, they usually rhyme. Understanding the forecasting ability of stock, bond and energy markets can both illuminate opportunities and serve as valuable storm warnings for business leaders. A lot of this runs counter to what people are commonly hearing in the media. In this lively and entertaining session, Peter Ricchiuti explains how to interpret the market signals.

4:00 pm - 4:15 pm

Networking Refreshment Break - Sponsored by State Street

4:15 pm - 5:15 pm

General Session

Technology & Innovation: Opportunities for Our Industry

MOIZ KOHARI, Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Architect, State Street

PAUL FAHEY, Head of Insurance Solutions, Northern Trust

A variety of technologies – cognitive computing, blockchain and the move to digitization -- are fundamentally transforming the financial services industry and providing new ways to engage with customers, develop products, reduce cost and improve efficiency. This interactive discussion will focus on how technology is reshaping the industry and creating both opportunities and challenges as companies focus on innovation to modernize and reinvent themselves to better serve their customers and stay ahead of disruption.

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Opening Reception - Sponsored by Citi

This event is open to all registered conference attendees and registered conference guests at no additional cost.
TUESDAY, MAY 22, 2018

7:00 am - 8:00 am

Continental Breakfast

8:00 am - 9:45 am

Welcome and Keynote

When UBERIZATION Collides With Your Industry

  • Tom Morrison

    Author, Speaker, Association CEO, Life Coach
In a recent study by IBM, senior executives of thousands of companies stated that their #1 fear of the future is the "Uberization" of their industry or marketplace. Industry will see more change between now and 2020 than in the previous decade. Is your company ready for it? In this keynote, Tom Morrison, will share visuals every executive should be looking at with future business planning in mind, the elements causing disruption, the reasons why disruption is happening, the places it occurs, and how to lead Uberization to your benefit. Tom Morrison is a life coach and award-winning Association Executive who lives and breathes marketplace disruption and personal development.

9:45 am - 10:00 am

Networking Refreshment Break - Sponsored by Castle Peak Associates

10:00 am - 11:00 am

General Session

State of the Industry: Executive/CFO Perspective

JEFFREY L. HASTY, FLMI, ACS, Senior Vice President, LOMA (Moderator)

MARGARET MEISTER, President and CEO, Symetra

MARK KAYE, Chief Financial Officer, MassMutual US

MICHAEL SPARROW, Vice President and CFO, Individual Annuity Products & Services, Nationwide Insurance

This panel of industry executives will discuss their views on the current state of the life insurance industry and the opportunities and challenges presented by the rapid changes we continue to see in our industry.

11:00 am - 11:15 am

Networking Refreshment Break - Sponsored by Castle Peak Associates

11:15 am - 12:15 pm

General Session

Robotics Process Automation-Today and Tomorrow!

SARAH SCHAUS, Assistant Treasurer and AVP, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America;

GORAN MICANOVIC, Investments and Financial Management Technology Director, Northwestern Mutual

Robotics is all the buzz. Hear how Allianz has implemented robots in their Finance team; a real life implementation use case that covers why they chose to implement robotics, what functions were focused on, how they created governance, RACI, intake forms, piloting and change management! In addition, we will hear a technology perspective from an engineering leader at Northwestern Mutual on various aspects of ongoing maintenance of RPA solutions and the future potential of RPA as it matures along the cognitive capabilities continuum.

12:15 pm - 1:00 pm

Lunch Buffet - Sponsored by KeyBanc Capital Markets

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Concurrent Sessions (Pick one)

1.1 Hot Topics in Treasury

KATHY HOFFMAN, Vice President & Assistant Treasurer, Prudential Financial

KAREN MOLLOY,  Vice President & Treasurer, Northwestern Mutual

This interactive session will offer a peer-to-peer open discussion forum enabling participants to freely discuss issues at the top of their agendas. The discussion will cover challenges and solutions with Treasury professionals from the industry.

1.2 ETFs as Tools for Your Portfolio Strategy

ERIC W. SOLFISBURG, CFA, Insurance ETF Specialist, State Street Global Advisors SPDR

JOEL LEPARD, Head of Global Portfolio Strategy, Liberty Mutual Investments

Insurers of all sizes are increasingly utilizing ETFs as tools to complement their general account portfolio management process. This panel will discuss the key market drivers behind this use, including recent accounting changes. Additionally, the panel will outline the various strategic and tactical uses of ETFs within insurance company portfolios. 

1.3 Applying Digital/Intelligent Innovation: With A Focus On Impact!

DON MCNEES, Partner, Head of Life, Annuity, Health and Retirement Benchmarking & Advisory, Aon Ward Group

TIM ARTHUR, AVP, Digital Finance, Lincoln Financial Group

You’ll be surprised by where companies are channeling their investment and making it count. Hear the choices made among Digital, Advanced Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation and Natural Language Processing by your peers. What’s having an impact today? What are insurers betting on in the next 1 – 3 years? Invest in Underwriting, New Business, Customer Service, Finance, Actuarial, Compliance? Come hear the practical side of making the future pay off. See results from Aon/Ward Group’s 2018 Applying Digital/Intelligent Innovation Survey. Hear personal experience and observations for the front lines of one company's execution experience.  Struggling with practical actions in the face of margin compression? Don’t miss this important perspective on priority investments and how to make yours count.


2:00 pm - 2:15 pm

Networking Refreshment Break - Sponsored by MUFG

2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions (Pick one)

2.1 Payments Modernization: Enhancing the Client Experience

CARL SLABICKI, CTP, AAP, Director, Product Management- Immediate Payments, BNY Mellon Treasury Services

TERESA CORDES, CPA, Senior Treasury Consultant, Treasury Services, Lincoln Financial Group

Today’s financial institutions face unprecedented pressure to improve the payments experience delivered to their clients. With changing demographics and client expectations, the need for enhancements is apparent both in the U.S. domestic payments arena (where the last significant improvement was the introduction of ACH in the 1970s) and in the cross-border payments ecosystem where financial institutions conduct transactions on behalf of other banks that lack a local presence. Banks have worked together to come up with some innovative solutions to help both consumers and institutions. With the development of Real-Time payments, transactions can be executed instantaneously 24/7/365 to pay claims and annuities, issue refunds/rebates and disburse retained asset and investment distributions, etc. The development of the Zelle network has drastically improved the safe keeping of critical banking information while enhancing the end user experience. SWIFT gpi is helping clients track and expedite cross-border disbursements while providing greater transparency into fees charged. Attend this session to understand how these new technologies will ultimately provide an enhanced client experience, with increased speed, transparency, ease of use, safety, reliability and ultimately a lower cost for both the consumer and institution.

2.2 Hot Topics in Investments

TIMOTHY L. CARLSON, Controller, Midland National® Life Insurance Company

CHRIS SPURRELL, Principal, Castle Peak Associates

This interactive session will offer a peer-to-peer open discussion forum enabling participants to freely discuss issues at the top of their agendas.  The discussion will cover challenges and solutions with Investment professionals from the industry.

2.3 Data: Building the Foundation for Success

PATRICK J. SMYTH, Managing Director - FS Finance Transformation, PwC (Moderator)

BRAD HUNKLER, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Western & Southern Financial Group

BRAD HOUSOUR, Director - FS Finance Technology and Operations, PwC

As business and regulatory disruption in the front office continues to lead to an expanding set of data, insurers are looking for ways to better harness data to define and execute their business strategies. Starting with a strong foundation where the Finance and Enterprise Data Strategies and Governance processes are aligned reduces data redundancies and establishes a path forward. Data convergence is no small task but the end result leads to greater efficiencies within Finance and positions Finance to be a more effective business partner. Attend this session to understand how a strong data foundation allows Finance to provide more forward-looking insights and maximize decision-making capabilities.


3:15 pm - 3:30 pm

Networking Refreshment Break -Sponsored by MUFG

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

General Session

Finance Transformation: MassMutual's Journey

MARK KAYE, Chief Financial Officer, MassMutual US

TODD PICKEN, Treasurer, MassMutual

Finance transformation is a multi-year journey that seeks to enable the finance department to improve their position as a trusted partner in making recommendations and applying insightful data analyses to solve critical organizational issues. This session focuses on MassMutual’s Finance Transformation journey as their team worked to enable the organization to more effectively compete in an ever changing environment with broader competition, advanced technologies, amplified customer expectations and increased focus on unit costs. The discussion will also include an outline of culture as a driving force in transforming the organization.

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Conference Dinner - Sponsored by BNY Mellon and Northern Trust

This event is open to all registered conference attendees and registered conference guests at no additional cost.

7:00 am - 8:00 am

Continental Breakfast

8:00 am - 9:00 am

General Session

Fraud: Increasing Threats to Your Company and Policyholders

JIM FOX, Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo

ANN KIRST, Assistant Director, Treasury Operations, Northwestern Mutual

In 2016, 74% of all businesses experienced payments fraud — more than any other year on record. And fraud continues to appear in new and more virulent forms. Across the insurance space we have seen fraudsters find ways to affect you, your policyholders and claimants outside of just payment. It's critical for insurance companies to stay up-to-date about fraud threats and take action to protect your corporate assets. Join this focused discussion on the threats the insurance industry is experiencing and ways to protect your company.


9:00 am - 9:15 am

Networking Refreshment Break

9:15 am - 10:15 am

Concurrent Sessions (Pick one)

3.1 Collateral Management: The Evolution from Operations to Front Office

MICHAEL O'LOUGHLIN, Managing Director, BNYMellon Markets

ROHIT AGARWAL, Principal Market Specialist, Calypso Technology

Regulation, increased capital costs and changing market conditions have moved collateral into the forefront of today’s financial markets, creating new challenges for participants’ liquidity, trading and investment strategies. The importance of collateral in these key business functions has propelled collateral management from a back office processing function to a comprehensive back-middle-front office process. Specifically, these challenges have forced institutional investors (e.g., pensions, insurance companies, investment managers and corporations) to be more selective in how they use their capital as collateral and to transform their whole approach to how they manage collateral, particularly as regulatory change continues to require collateralization across an increasing list of transaction types. This session will discuss how these institutional investors are considering collateral utilization across all disciplines from funding to margin management, its impact to portfolio management and the new tools and resources being created to aggregate and optimize what some refer to as a new asset class.

3.2 Insurance Accounting Update

ROBERT JOHNSON, Partner, Financial Services Office, Ernst & Young LLP

Hear an update on current accounting topics for the insurance industry and understand potential implications for your company.


10:15 am - 10:30 am

Networking Refreshment Break

10:30 am - 11:30 am

General Session

Navigating Today's Evolving Workplace: Engaging the Human Element

KYLEE LACSON, MBA, FLMI, ASRI, ACS, Assistant Vice President and Practice Lead - Life, The Jacobson Group
The rise of automation in accounting systems. The introduction of new standards and regulations. The push for mobile practices and cloud computing. The emergence of optical character recognition (OCR). These hot button issues are poised to drastically change the finance and accounting arena. Insurance organizations are now faced with navigating a multitude of developing trends and many are challenged with the human element of their evolving business plans and strategic initiatives.

Human capital is the most critical component of any organization—and must not be overlooked in today’s rapidly evolving workplace. This session will focus on strategies and best practices that insurers must develop for engaging their employees while navigating a changing reality, and how they can best prepare their employees for this newly emerging future of work.

11:30 am