YouTube videos featuring insurance company chief executives can be revealing. Take the comments of Allianz CEO Oliver Bäte on his recent listening tour published to the group’s YouTube channel Nov. 2, 2017. In this video, Bäte shares his opinions on digitalization, corporate responsibility and perhaps most pertinently, why German insurer Allianz considers itself a technology company:

Executive Summary

Creative restlessness, entrepreneurial mindsets and emotional intelligence are among the characteristics experts say are needed to lead technology companies that sell insurance and risk services. But are P/C carriers really becoming technology companies? Veteran insurance journalist and consultant Claire Wilkinson gathers some executive viewpoints on that question and on what it takes to build a tech company if you're not a techie.

“We are actually a technology company because we process the data of our customers….We invest based on information gathered, which means our core business is data processing. The technological revolution that is currently happening will have an enormous impact on our entire business model.”

Amid an accelerating pace of digital change and disruption, other established company CEOs have expressed similar opinions. For example, Mark Wilson, CEO of British insurer Aviva Plc—the self-proclaimed “320-year-old disrupter”—declared at a May 2017 press conference his intention to turn Aviva into a financial technology (FinTech) company. Aviva opened a digital hub in London’s Hoxton area two years ago and another hub in Singapore one year earlier focused on innovation and development, all part of its long-term effort to become a “digital first” organization.

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