When the chief executive officer of Zurich North America Commercial (NAC) first came to work at the company in 2006, he had a decade of experience at McKinsey under his belt and a BlackBerry in his hand.

Executive Summary

Nine-box matrices for analyzing performance are among the tools that Zurich Commercial NAC CEO Mike Foley and his management team used to turn the profit picture from red (underperforming the industry) to green. Now, Zurich is looking to beat top competitors with investments in data and analytics that are transforming commercial underwriting and pricing processes.

What does one have to do with the other?

The password that CEO Mike Foley chose to put into that BlackBerry—”redtogreen”—relates to a McKinsey analysis and a goal he set for Zurich NAC to turn around its profit picture as he moved from one job to the next.

At McKinsey, “one of the things we did was a study called ‘The Journey,’ which looked at the profitability of various companies. It labeled companies ‘red’ if they were significantly underperforming their industry and ‘green’ if they were outperforming.

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