The announcement that Dr. Henna Karna, formerly global chief data officer at insurer AXA XL, had been retained by Google to lead a new insurance initiative was greeted by the insurance and InsurTech industries with a mixture of awe and alarm.

Executive Summary

In an interview with Journalist Russ Banham, Dr. Henna Karna, the leader of Google's Global Insurance & Risk Management Industry Solutions initiative, describes aspirations to convert insurance carriers into analytical powerhouses. Karna, well-known for work in leading digital transformations and data initiatives over the course of a 25-year career in insurance, brings experience along with a vision to partner with the insurance industry—rather than disrupt it—to her new role. A cloud-based SaaS data and analytics platform for insurers and reinsurers is central to that mission—a platform that some suggest could be disruptive to InsurTech firms. Learn more about Karna in Banham's 2018 profile,"Prejudice and Pride on the Road to the C-Suite: The Story of XL Catlin's CDO."

For the past three decades, Karna has been a leading voice in reinventing insurance through technology to become more customer centered. This objective guided her leadership of AXA XL’s digital transformation and her work previously at data analytics firm Verisk and in AIG’s actuarial organization, where she served as global head of data and technology for personal and commercial insurance.

Karna’s roots are in analytical modeling, artificial intelligence (AI), and behavioral and advanced analytics. At AXA XL, she designed and implemented an award-winning data and technology ecosystem, called DEEP (Data Ecosystem & Engagement Platform), that delivered analytics capabilities at scale across the enterprise. Her insurance expertise and visionary approach to making data the center of everything an insurance company is and does explains why Google reached out to her.

Google’s newest insurance initiative, a cloud-based SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) data and analytics platform for insurers and reinsurers, is revolutionary in its broad enterprise scope, several industry participants and observers maintained, making the offering highly disruptive for InsurTech firms that provide single-point technology solutions.

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