Boston, Mass. - Players in the global financial services industry must invest in innovation to drive competitive differentiation both with other financial institutions and adjacent industries - as well as to achieve bottom line results.

This is a common thread running through all four sector-specific track sessions kicking-off the 2006 TowerGroup Financial Services Business & Technology Conference & Exhibition. The Conference, themed "Differentiation - Execution - Results," is being held in Boston through June 2nd with more than 600 financial services industry professionals in attendance.

According to TowerGroup, the financial services industry as a whole risks losing ground to breakthrough innovations from adjacent industries. "For all the gloom that followed the Internet bust, networked technologies and services are being actively implemented in varied and creative ways across numerous industries," said Guillermo Kopp, vice president of the Cross-Industry practice at TowerGroup - a point underscored in his opening session. "We expect to see a renewed thrust in technologies such as broadband mobility, integrated risk management, information security, business process management and service oriented architectures - all as enablers of a strategic transformation of financial services business models."

Deborah Smallwood, managing director of the TowerGroup Insurance practice, explored how the top insurers can invest in true differentiation to achieve market leadership.

"Alongside the traditional business drivers such as profitable growth, optimizing business performance, and meeting regulatory and compliance demands, seizing and sustaining a competitive advantage and gaining true market leadership position are truly top of mind for insurance industry CEOs," said Deborah Smallwood, managing director of the TowerGroup Insurance practice.

"The industry is recognizing that profitable growth is achievable, speed to market is more critical than ever, and reducing complexity in both the business and the IT environment is a must. New business models that support both scope and scale are emerging, with service orientated architecture (SOA) and supporting technologies in place at many carriers."

Smallwood noted that over the next 18 months to three years, TowerGroup expects to see a separation among the leaders and followers - with a select few insurers demonstrating true differentiation and strong market position. "Many of the leaders already have a vision and plan. Now, it is all about flawless execution," she said.


Source: TowerGroup

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