Creative Disruption: A Core Systems Strategy Workshop

November 3, 2011
Sheraton Boston, Back Bay Ballrooms C&D
Boston, MA
To register, go to


The constraints imposed by legacy systems are well understood in insurance. But it's time to rethink the landscape. Improving tools and shifting attitudes have opened up a new world of possibility. 

It's easy to understand why many insurers are reluctant to attack their core systems. The modernization struggles of the last decade prove that the risks inherent in core system changes are high. Generating budget, balancing priorities, and fostering the culture change required to make new systems work effectively are all sizable hurdles.

But changing technologies and strategies are giving core systems work new life. Packaged solutions for policy administration, claims, and underwriting are richer in functionality. New development methodologies are emerging. Domain-specific toolsets allow insurers to automate, eliminate or rethink traditional tasks.  Most importantly, there is an evolution in how insurers are thinking about their core systems.  As a result, the competitive bar is rapidly being raised.

Join Celent for this high-energy workshop, designed to help IT and business strategists produce the creative disruption necessary to fundamentally alter how insurance products are developed, implemented, and serviced. Whether you're a carrier—struggling with the complexity of core systems change, or looking to optimize your budget to create competitive advantages—or a vendor with services for this market, this case-study filled day will help you organize and focus your efforts.

For more information, contact or 617.262.3120.



Those involved in the property/casualty, life, and annuity realms. C-level staff, senior IT and business managers in insurance, program managers, consultants.



William J. Ball
Assistant Vice President, Inforce Operations and Financial Control
Operations & Information Technology
John Hancock Life

Ball currently runs Inforce Operations and Financial Control for John Hancock’s Life Insurance Business unit.  He has held a number of operational roles within John Hancock Life beginning in 2007 and held various leadership roles in technology development for Life, Annuity and Long-term Care product lines prior to the Manulife/John Hancock merger.  Ball also worked with John Hancock and numerous other major Life Insurance carriers in IT and Operations strategy/development during his 11 years with Andersen Consulting (Accenture) and spent 3 years as CIO for AVIVA USA.

Russell M. Bostick
Bostick & Associates

Bostick is president of Bostick & Associates, an IT strategy consulting firm with expertise in financial services and insurance. A noted thought leader and technology executive, he is frequently asked to speak and recently delivered the keynote speech at the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals, and the Arizona, Austin, and Wisconsin IT Symposiums.  Bostick has spoken at CSC Financial Services Group Executive Conference, the Insurance and Technology Conference and the Society for Information Management Regional Leaders Forum. Bostick was most recently executive vice president, technology and operations, CNO Financial Group and was responsible for all enterprise technology and operations shared services.

Michael Fitzgerald
Senior Analyst

Fitzgerald is a senior analyst in Celent's insurance practice and is based in the firm's Chicago office. He has specific expertise in property/casualty automation and operations management and insurance product development. His research focuses on billing, business process and operations, and distribution management.  Prior to joining Celent, Fitzgerald 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 regional operations executive role. 

Mike Foerst
Vice President, Information Services/Chief Information Officer
Missouri Employers Mutual

Foerst is Vice President of Information Systems and Chief Information Officer for Missouri Employers Mutual (MEM) Insurance. In his role, Foerst is responsible for all aspects of MEM’s information technology, data and systems. This responsibility includes planning, implementing, deploying and maintaining stable, state-of the-art technologies and systems that enable MEM’s business units to achieve their strategic operational and financial goals. Foerst’s duties also include technology man­agement strategies that address applicable laws and regulations while supporting MEM’s overall business goals.  He has more than 25 years of experience in the insurance information technology field.

Roger Johnson
Vice President of Information Technology
Zenith Agribusiness Solutions

Johnson is the Vice President of Information Technology for Zenith Agribusiness Solutions.  He has over 25 years of technology and property casualty insurance experience, 14 years of which were focused on property and casualty agribusiness in California.  In his current role he is responsible for the technology direction and delivery for the organization; recently leading the procurement and implementation of a complete P&C solution for Commercial and Farm lines of business.  Zenith Agribusiness Solutions successfully installed 3 lines of business (Business Auto, Agriculture Output Program and Commercial General Liability) into production in 3 months.

David Kerford
President and Chief Executive Officer
AQS Solutions, Inc.

Dave Kerford has been president and Chief Executive Officer of AQS since 2005 and has spent more than 25 years in the insurance industry. His background includes agency and financial planning experience, as well as technical and executive positions with InsureZone, CyberTek, PMSC, IBM, and The Leverage Group.

Nicole Michaels
Ernst & Young LLP

Nicole Michaels is the leader of the Midwest Advisory practice for Insurance, with over 18 years of experience in a variety of design and delivery roles across the insurance value chain. She has a concentration in Property and Casualty and General Insurance claims.  Ms. Michaels has led successful deliveries at both large- and medium-sized carriers, including the delivery of an end-to-end claims solution for 20+ countries in a single installation.  She has also directed business strategy and technology assessments, including target operating model design, roadmap and business case development, at several U.S. and global carriers.

Rafe Offer
Entrepreneur and Marketer

Offer is a classically trained and seasoned marketer with a track record of leading teams to generate profitable new growth for some of the best known brands/companies on the planet including Walt Disney, Coca-Cola and Diageo.  Offer also has extensive experience in defining company visions and building innovative and dynamic company cultures in the financial sector.   Aside from his corporate experience, he invests and is a board member in various start-ups and technology companies, and routinely lectures on innovation, corporate venturing and company culture at the London Business School.


Keith Sievers
Senior Vice President
Kemper Services Group 

Sievers’ career spans 39 years with Kemper.  He has held various roles with a number of Kemper subsidiaries, including Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer and Chief Executive Officer.  He now serves as Senior Vice President of the Kemper Services Group.  His current mission is to identify strategic technology driven initiatives for the organization and incorporate them into ongoing operation plans.

Catherine Stagg-Macey
Senior Vice President

Stagg-Macey is a Senior Vice President in Celent’s insurance practice and is based in the firm’s London office. Her research focuses on IT strategy issues for the UK and European insurance sector. Her recent research work has focused on the core insurance vendor landscape, legacy modernization issues, telematics, and social networking. Stagg-Macey’s consulting experience at Celent includes package evaluation for insurers, due diligence on targets for private equity companies, and product roadmap and marketing reviews for vendors.  Prior to joining Celent, she was a senior consultant at ATOS KPMG Consulting in London and South Africa. In this role, she worked on the development of IT strategy and advised clients on outsourcing, data warehousing, and the selection of software packages.

Erik C. Stockwell
Senior Vice President
MajescoMastek North American Life & Annuity

Erik Stockwell is a proven visionary in the Life & Annuity vertical with a track record of driving business creation and growth as a senior-level executive in top tier insurance carriers and technology solution providers.  Stockwell’s domain expertise comes from over 20 years in the insurance industry developing product management organizations, managing distribution channels and driving financial analysis programs.  He leads MajescoMastek’s North American Life & Annuity Division and is responsible for growth strategies.  Stockwell’s past initiatives have included developing a Product Management department for a life and annuity which increased annual premium growth by over 25%, revitalizing four existing product lines at a national carrier, and turning around a business unit with unprofitable long-term vendor contracts, service delivery complications, and a need for new growth strategies. 

Craig Weber
Senior Vice President

Weber is the Senior Vice President responsible for Celent's global insurance practice. He brings extensive insurance industry experience to his role, having worked for insurance carriers and as a management consultant and analyst for over 22 years.  Weber has advised dozens of carriers and vendors on IT and business strategies. Under his leadership, the Celent insurance practice has grown significantly. He is frequently featured as a speaker at industry events, addressing diverse topics such as core systems modernization, innovation, and creative disruption. He is a passionate advocate for sensibly creating business value through technology.  Weber is based in San Antonio, TX, but makes good use of Celent’s global network of offices.

Peter Zale
Vice President, Business Development

Peter Zale coordinates business development efforts for Vertafore across multiple market segments and business units. Prior to joining Vertafore, he led the underwriting and technology teams at MassWest Insurance Company. At Insurance Company of North America and CIGNA Property and Casualty, Zale held both underwriting and marketing management positions. His background includes more than 30 years of insurance industry experience in a variety of positions and he still maintains a CIC designation (emeritus) and has held both producer and advisor licenses in Massachusetts.

This is a partial list of speakers. Please continue to check back for an updated list. 



6:55 a.m.
Registration & Breakfast
Sponsored by ISCS

7:59 a.m.

Craig Weber, Senior Vice President, Celent

Business imperatives, market trends, and technology shifts all point toward disruptive core systems approaches. Drawing on Celent's research and experience, we will present a framework for setting core systems strategies and laying the groundwork for effective implementation.

8:27 a.m.

Russ Bostick, Principal, Bostick & Associates

The business case for core systems change has lots of moving parts. This session will provide perspectives on the most realistic ways to evaluate hard-dollar and soft-dollar benefits, and how to recognize the timing and sourcing issues that can transform a losing case into a winner (or vice versa).

9:22 a.m. 

Roger Johnson, Vice President, The Zenith

Traditional thinking on policy admin system development says it will take 12 to 18 months to go from concept to implementation. What happens if the business need is to have a completely new system ready in 12 to 18 weeks? This session will explore a real-world example where full functionality (PAS, claims, billing) was achieved for two lines of business in an incredibly short timeframe. The learnings regarding project strategy, decision making, sourcing, and vendor selection are insightful for project teams of all types.

10:11 a.m.
Sponsored by Pitney Bowes Business Insight

10:51 a.m.

Mike Foerst, CIO, Missouri Employers Mutual

The waterfall methodology has carried many a core system project successfully. But agile methods and tools are helping some carriers challenge the status quo. This session will explore the game-changing benefits and nerve-wracking risks of agile and determine if your organization is ready to try something new.

11:58 a.m.
Sponsored by AQS, Inc.

1:17 p.m.

William J. Ball, Assistant Vice President, Inforce Operations and Financial Control
Operations & Information Technology, John Hancock

Keith Sievers, Senior Vice President, Kemper Services Group

Catherine Stagg-Macey, Senior Vice President, Celent

Our panel of insurer experts will open themselves up for an inquisition in this no-question-too-tough-forum.

2:26 p.m.
Sponsored by E&Y LLP

3:06 p.m.

Mike Fitzgerald, Senior Analyst, Celent,  Moderator

Dave Kerford, President & CEO, AQS Solutions, Inc.

Nicole Michaels, Principal, Ernst & Young LLP

Erik C. Stockwell, Senior Vice President, MajescoMastek North American Life & Annuity

Peter Zale, Vice President, Business Development, Vertafore

Have you ever wanted to set your vendor straight on their role as business partner? Here's your chance. This free-ranging discussion will help you to identify your biggest vendor pain points while a trio of experienced vendors will be on hand to weigh in and provide counterpoint.

4:13 p.m.

4:37 p.m.
Sponsored by Tata Consultancy Services

6:37 p.m.



Celent would like to thank the following companies for their support of this conference: 

VIP Luncheon Sponsor

Breakfast Sponsor



Morning Break Sponsor


Afternoon Break Sponsor


Cocktail Reception Sponsor



DST Systems, Inc.


Guidewire Software 

Insurance Service Office (ISO)



Media Partner

For information regarding sponsorship opportunities, please contact



Sheraton Boston Hotel, 39 Dalton Street, Back Bay Ballrooms  C&D, Boston, MA (617) 236-2000

Register by Friday, September 9th to take advantage of early bird registration fees.  Pre-registration by Thursday, October 27th is required. To register, go to  

All reservations are final.  Registrations may be transferred to another individual within your organization.  

Business casual dress. Temperatures in Boston in November range from high 30's to low 50's.  

From the Airport
Taxi cab fares from Logan International Airport to downtown are approximately $30 one-way.   

(Reservation Required)
$17 one way. To reserve your spot, call (888) 437-4379 or go to  

Taxi cab fares from South Station are approximately $8 one way.  Fares from Back Bay Station are approximately $3 one way.


Registration Fees
Celent Clients                FREE
General Public               $695
Pre-registration by Thursday, October 27 is required.
To register, go to
Firms are limited to four attendees.

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