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In 2021, insurer and financial services company Nationwide reported the strongest earnings in the Fortune 100 company’s history—$2.8 billion in operating income with sales of over $50 billion, another record number.

Executive Summary

Mark Berven, the COO of Nationwide P/C, talked to Carrier Management about how major investments in technology and talent, which started being made in the mid-2010s, fueled record volume of $19 billion in 2021 and $1 billion in net operating profit. One key to success—a mutual structure that allowed the company to make decisions to modernize faster than public competitors who struggle to get past the lag between spending hundreds of millions of dollars and the ultimate expense savings to come in the future. Since 2015, Nationwide has taken out over a billion dollars in P/C expenses, with another half billion on deck.

What wasn’t immediately apparent in a late-February media statement announcing those results was the contribution of property/casualty operations to those numbers—roughly $1 billion in profit, $19 billion in P/C premiums and a 5-point improvement in the combined ratio over the prior year.

In mid-April, Mark Berven, the president and chief operating officer of Nationwide Property and Casualty, shared the P/C figures with Carrier Management and described the future-focused transformations of both Nationwide’s personal and commercial lines operations that started seven years ago, propelling the businesses to their new heights in 2021.

“We really began an effort around investing in the future in the mid-2010s. So, 2015, 2016, we started making massive investments for what we thought the future of our businesses would need,” Berven said. “It was really placing bets around modernizing our technology and creating a platform to innovate off of…We also felt as if that would give us a chance to review all of our processes and products, rationalize in order to meet customer needs but figure out a way that we could drive improved efficiency and better customer experience through all parts of the value chain.”

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