Math has been the one constant in Henna Karna’s life.

Executive Summary

The road to the C-suite of a global insurer has been a challenging one for Henna Karna, XL Catlin's chief data officer. While a love of mathematics was an expected force that moved her career forward, insurance journalist Russ Banham reports on the poverty and prejudice she experienced along the way, barriers she would ultimately overcome with confidence in her ability and pride in her heritage.

The chief data officer of XL Catlin today heads up the data and digital transformation team at the global property/casualty insurer and reinsurer. She is widely considered to be one of the foremost data scientists in the insurance industry, beginning her career initially as an actuary and then becoming a predictive modeler and cryptographer for several government agencies.

Karna subsequently worked in both the business and technology sides of high technology and financial services companies, and spent a brief period in academia. She returned to the public sector to lead disruptive digital innovations at Verisk Analytics and AIG, serving the latter as global head of data and technology for the actuarial organization. She’s taking her work to the next level at XL Catlin, which has embarked on a robust initiative to make data a competitive differentiator and the nucleus of all business decisions.

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