With titles like global chief information officer, chief data officer and chief platform operations officer marking an accomplished career in financial services, Ursuline Foley is well-positioned to peer into the P/C insurance industry’s future with AI.

Executive Summary

Tech professionals who will make the biggest boardroom contributions will be those who pursue risk management designations, according to Ursuline Foley, a technologist turned independent board director for financial services companies.

Foley, who led tech transformations for XL Group during a 35-plus-year career, sees the potential for AI to impact insurers beyond tasks such as data ingestion and customer support.

Michael (Fitz) Fitzgerald, Insurance Industry Advisor for SAS Institute Inc., served as guest editor for this article and others featured in CM's Q1-2024 magazine, "Leading the AI-Powered Insurer."

But when CM Guest Editor Michael (Fitz) Fitzgerald selected Foley to interview as part of a series of articles about leadership tips for AI-powered insurers recently, it wasn’t just her experience in leading multiple global business transformations for XL Group (and later AXA XL) that pointed him in her direction.

Fitzgerald was also interested in her view from the vantage point of a member of boards of directors of multiple companies in and outside the insurance industry. In particular, Fitzgerald wondered about the composition of boards. Do they have enough technologists like Foley? In what ways do the skill sets of directors need to be broadened as the opportunities and challenges of AI rise to the boardroom agenda?

Foley purposefully left her last executive role in the insurance industry to focus her full attention to serving on various boards of directors. Having served on the boards of not-for-profits like the Society for Information Management, Pace University and the National Association of Corporate Directors, and in advisory board member roles for private equity firm Blumberg Capital LLC and Accenture’s Insurance Innovation Executive Board, Foley landed her first public board role in 2019 with Provident Financial Services, where she serves on the Risk and Technology committees. Then about three years ago, she was appointed to the board of Greenlight Capital Reinsurance, serving as chair of the compensation committee and a member of the audit committee.

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