The evolution of distribution
Exploring the next frontier of insurance distribution - from direct models and empowering agents, to changing customer behaviours and new digital offerings
2020 has seen a significant shift in consumer behaviour and buying habits, and many insurers are now re-evaluating their distribution strategies.
Join our panel of insurance distribution experts in January for an in-depth discussion as they explore the impact of recent digital acceleration and how some carriers are looking towards the opportunities in D2C models. We'll delve into the how the role of agents is evolving and try to the answer the question ‘is this the end of the traditional carrier-agent relationship?’
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Matthew R. Kirk is the Chief Sales & Distribution Officer for Small Commercial. He leads the small commercial sales and distribution organization and is responsible for its sales performance and distribution strategy. He was appointed to this role in 2015.
Kirk joined The Hartford in 2006, serving as the senior vice president and director of Government Affairs and leading the company’s engagement with federal and state regulators. In 2012, he became senior vice president of Sales and Distribution for Commercial Markets. His teams were responsible for managing national partnerships and VIP agent/broker relationships as well as sales support functions and the sales center.
Prior to joining The Hartford, Kirk was the deputy assistant to President George W. Bush in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs from 2004-2005. In that capacity he was the chief liaison for the president between the White House and the United States Senate, handling issues ranging from confirmation of presidential nominations to managing the president’s legislative program in the Senate. Kirk served in the White House from 2001-2005. From 1995-2001, Kirk worked in the United States Senate Leadership for Senator Don Nickles (R, OK).
Kirk is a board member of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation and a past board member of the Connecticut Insurance and Financial Services Cluster and the Metro Hartford Alliance, the region’s chamber of commerce. He is a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and graduated from Michigan State University.
Marcus Oberholzer is the interim General Manager and Head of Strategic Growth and Finance for Spire insurance, an award winning direct to consumer insurance carrier, wholly owned by Nationwide Insurance. In this role, he’s responsible for holistic success of Spire, leading a talented team, owning the P&L, and building a growth plan and long-term strategy.
Prior to joining Nationwide, he worked in Strategy and Corporate Development at Battelle Memorial Institute, a leading scientific research and development firm in Columbus, OH. There, he led the commercialization process of promising technologies, led due diligence teams to assess acquisition targets, and other strategy corporate development opportunities.
Prior to Battelle, Marcus worked as a management consultant at Herren Associates, a boutique management consulting firm in Washington DC, working with clients across the federal government and White House policy councils on strategic planning and policy execution challenges.
Marcus earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering as well as an MBA. He lives in Bexley, Ohio with his wife, Julie, and three kids, and loves hiking and camping in the great outdoors.
Graham Haigh is the VP, Broker Distribution for Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company - one of the largest P&C insurers in Canada. He has dedicated his 25-year career to broker/agent service. Most recently, he was a leader in the company’s transition from direct to intermediated distribution in the province of Quebec.
Graham accepted the role of Vice President, Broker Distribution with Wawanesa in 2019, a position in which his passion for leadership and business strategy drive his goal toward achieving a world-class sales culture.
As Guidewire's Vice President of Strategy, Neil Betteridge is responsible for shaping Guidewire’s strategic direction. His areas of focus include corporate development and building the ecosystem of solution partners connecting complementary software, technology and data with Guidewire InsurancePlatform Neil has over 30 years of professional experience with more than two decades focused on development, implementation, marketing and management of insurance technology.
Lindley Gooden is a journalist and filmmaker who has worked at the very top levels of British broadcasting and news since the early 1990s.
He has worked in national radio and television as:
- A Senior BBC Journalist
- A presenter on channels as diverse as BBC One, Radio 1, BBC Three and Five and a range of other national and regional radio stations.
- The Consumer Affairs Correspondent on Sky News and Five
Prior to his years in the national media, he was known as the most successful Head of News in local commercial radio – launching new services and dramatically raising audience share and reach, using tools that have since been adopted by radio groups across the UK.
Lindley now works with companies, charities, government and other organisations creating and delivering their own media needs.