Insurance Thought Leadership



Our ‘FD&H’ Curse: Fat, Dumb and Happy

The industry has a leadership problem: The world is boarding maglev trains, while many insurance executives are still looking for the horse and buggy.

Insurance Product Development (Excerpt, Part 2)

Why innovation requires a centralized department -- and how to build one. 

To Merge or Not to Merge? That Is the Question

Many mergers fail, but a structured and focused management approach can build a thriving new entity

Insurance Product Development (Excerpt, Part 1)

Innovate now: Desperation may be the mother of invention -- but is rarely a good mother.

How to Be Visionary on Mental Health

People experiencing challenges crave role models who have walked the walk of despair and are now thriving.

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Thought Leaders

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Dave Walker

The Hon. David M. Walker is a former comptroller general of the U.S. and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). He is the honorary chairman of and senior adviser to, Inc. Dave has more than 40 years of experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. He has led organizations in all three sectors of the economy and has a proven track record of achieving positive transformational change. + SEE ALL - articles by this author ...

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David Wagner

David Wagner serves as a senior manager at Wipfli. With more than 30 years of experience in the Property & Casualty insurance business, he helps insurance company clients develop their visions into strategy and their strategy into action. David has worked for insurance companies in their IT groups, as a software vendor, and as a consultant, giving him a unique perspective when helping clients use technology to improve their businesses. David says, "I’m pleased to be an Insurance Thought Leadership contributor on technology topics. I want to provide value, be relevant, and have a little fun in the process." + SEE ALL - articles by this author ...

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Fay Feeney

Fay Feeney is a trusted adviser to corporate boards, directors and executives on emerging business trends that optimize strategy. She provides strategic insights on how to connect to real time information whether found on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube or Google. Fay brings her extensive SH&E, risk management and human resource expertise to this exciting and important area for business. + SEE ALL - articles by this author ...

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David Axene

David Axene started Axene Health Partners in 2003 after a successful career at Ernst & Young and Milliman & Robertson. He is an internationally recognized health consultant and is recognized as a strategist and thought leader in the insurance industry. He earned an MS Degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Washington and a BS degree in Physics and Engineering from Seattle Pacific University. + SEE ALL - articles by this author ...

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Hugh Carter Donahue

Hugh Carter Donahue is expert in market administration, communications and energy applications and policies, editorial advocacy and public policy and opinion. Donahue consults with regional, national and international firms. He earned a Ph.D. in communications and policy analysis at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  + SEE ALL - articles by this author ...

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In the War on Talent, Use ‘Stay Interviews’ to Retain Great Employees

In the past several years it was much more difficult for job candidates to land interviews. But today, especially for those who are considered “top talent,” it’s not unusual for a candidate to be inundated with multiple offers at once. As a result, job seekers can afford to be more selective and are becoming more comfortable waiting for an offer that meets their specific criteria, or will job hop more readily when another offer comes in.

The shift from employer-driven market to a candidate-driven market has created a war on talent that requires employers to compete more heavily for good candidates than ever before. They also need to be more alert to signs of dissatisfaction or restlessness on the job.

Record-Breaking Ice; Is Flooding Next?

February storms resulted in payouts of more than $1 billion in insured losses globally, according to Aon Benfield’s February 2014 Global Catastrophe Recap Report. The United States wasn’t the only country caught frozen. Japan was the country struck hardest with record snowfall resulting in 37 deaths and 2,750 injuries.

Here at home, three winter storms were responsible for 35 deaths, more than 100,000 structural claims and economic losses in excess of $1 billion in February, according to Aon Benfield’s report.

What I Learned Negotiating With Steve Jobs

Shortly into my pitch, Steve took the contract from me and scanned down to the key term, the royalty rate. I had pitched 15%, our standard. Steve pointed at it and said,

“15%? That is ridiculous. I want 50%.”

I was stunned. There was no way I could run my business giving him 50% of my product revenues. I started to defend myself, stammering about the economics of my side of the business. He tore up the contract and handed me the pieces. “Come back at 50%, or don’t come back,” he said.

Another Glitch: Newly discovered error giving bad info on premium aid

Because of the glitch, some people may be initially told they qualify for subsidies when they don't. Others may be told they don't qualify when they do.

It's unclear how many people have been affected, but the mistake raises the possibility that thousands are giving up the hunt for insurance after being told, inaccurately, that they don't qualify for government aid.

CVS Sued Over Controversial Wellness Program

CVS' so-called "wellness review," first reported last year, is a fairly extreme example of a trend of companies looking to cut health-care costs by pushing employees into wellness programs.

Critics claim such programs let employers meddle in workers' lives, unfairly penalize those who have difficulty meeting certain health targets and may put employee privacy at risk.

Though CVS' program is technically voluntary, workers who want to use the company health-care plan pay $600 more in health care costs each year they don't submit to the screening.

“I think what irked people with the CVS program was the slightly coercive nature,” said Soeren Mattke, a senior scientist at the RAND Corporation. “It’s more common to offer smaller rewards, it’s less common to say you have to pay $500 bucks if you don’t participate.”

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