Game changers see opportunities off to the side when everyone else is looking down the same path.

Providing that definition in an article he authored for Carrier Management this year, Doug Libby, CEO of Crum & Forster, identified game changers among the candidates that insurance industry executives look at seriously when they hire new talent.

Hand-down, Libby’s article, Five Key Traits CEOs Look for When Hiring Talent, was the most-read feature article published on Carrier Management this year, where game-changing content about talent management, predictive analytics, and corporate culture all ranked among the top 10 features.

The complete list for Carrier Management’s 2013 top-10 feature articles, along with brief article summaries, is provided below. Rankings are based on article views.

#1—Five Key Traits CEOs Look For When Hiring Talent

Doug Libby

What do CEOs look for when they hire talent? Crum & Forster’s CEO Doug Libby says the answer is game changers. In this article, he spells out the five traits that define his view of game changers.

#2—The Greenberg Interview: Spitzer, AIG, Bailout, Foreign Trade and More

Maurice R. Greenberg
Maurice R. Greenberg

Maurice “Hank” Greenberg helped build AIG into the world’s largest insurer by forging relationships around the globe. He did not, however, have a relationship with the man he says forced him out of AIG—former N.Y. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

#3—How Topgrading Helped One Commercial Insurer Hire Nearly All ‘A’-Level Managers

Hiring Talent, Target Audience, StrategyArgo Group has nearly doubled its hiring of topnotch, “A”-level managers over the past five years, using a hiring protocol known as Topgrading—a rigorous process designed to eliminate much of the mystery involved in screening résumés and vetting candidates’ statements about their strengths and weaknesses. More recently, Aon and some of its insurance clients have started to use Aon Hewitt’s LEADeR program—a Web-based, day-in-the-life simulation—to screen new hires and develop current employees by putting them through challenges and interactions they may face on the job.

(Click the Editor’s Pick Audio icon embedded in the article text for an audio summary of the article)

Peter Eastwood cropped Berkshire_Hathaway_060613_117b
Peter Eastwood

#4—It’s Not About AIG, Says Berkshire’s Peter Eastwood

Peter Eastwood, the president of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance revealed plans for the newest entrant into the U.S E&S market and its progress to date during a recent Carrier Management interview. At the start of week No. 7, the startup already had business on the books and 40 professionals in five offices, he said, framing long-term goals with no mention of any desire to surpass the company he left behind—American International Group.

(Click the Editor’s Pick Audio icon embedded in the article text for an audio summary of the article)

#5—Predictive Analytics: Bringing Price Elasticity Concepts to P/C Insurance

Many industries have harnessed the power of Big Data and predictive analytics to enhance revenues and profits by incorporating consumers’ price elasticity of demand into their price determinations.

See also, related article, No. 7, for Bob Hunter’s opposing view
Like these other industries, insurers need not remain stuck in the cost-plus pricing grind any longer, experts at Fractal Analytics reveal in this article, which describes the obstacles that have been holding insurers back.

#6—Workers Compensation Market: Challenges Remain Despite Recent Improvements

In spite of recent improvements in the workers compensation line, which produced lower levels of underwriting losses in recent years, the potential for enduring industry underwriting gains is unlikely given competitive forces, inherent claims expense and reserving uncertainty, and regulatory and legislative complexity, according to Fitch Ratings’ James Auden.

(Related article, Top 10 Workers Comp Writers Have Varying Results: Fitch, is ranked No. 10)

#7—Price Optimization: A Dangerous Method?

J. Robert Hunter
J. Robert Hunter

Price optimization bases premiums on the maximum amount that a consumer is expected to be willing to pay rather than calculating premiums based on projected costs, such as claims, overhead and profit. Actuary J. Robert Hunter, who is also Director of Insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, says the price optimization technique is actuarially unsound and unfairly discriminatory.

#8—Five Myths About Predictive Analytics You Can’t Afford to Believebigstock-Myth-truth-1199244

Advances in technology, as well as new data sources and implementation capabilities, are changing the game for P/C carriers, but optimal use is difficult for those clinging to five common myths reviewed by the authors from Milliman and EagleEye Analytics.

#9—Seraina Maag: Building a Culture of Collaboration

“Work-Outs” and “Rapid Results Initiatives” are now a natural part of the language of the U.S. insurance professionals working for XL Group, according to Seraina Maag, former CEO of XL’s property/casualty insurance operations in North America, who describes examples of how XL has used the two GE-style methods, along with other steps she took to shake up the culture of what she calls an “underperforming and shrinking business” back in 2010.

(Editor’s Note: Maag spoke to Carrier Management before she left XL to take a position at AIG. Related article: AIG Hires XL Group’s Maag as CEO of Europe, Middle East)

#10—Top 10 Workers Comp Writers Have Varying Results: Fitchinjured worker, workers comp

A review of statutory underwriting results for the top 10 writers of workers compensation at year-end 2012 reveals significant disparities in company underwriting performance.