Simsbury, Conn. - The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, Conn., appointed Brian O’Connell, a 25-year industry veteran, to vice president and chief information officer (CIO) for its expanding Hartford Life operations. O’Connell replaces Terry Walker, who has moved into the role of chief administrative officer for Hartford Life Japan.

In his new role, O’Connell will lead technology advancements spanning the firm’s U.S. Wealth Management, International Wealth Management and Group Benefits businesses. O’Connell will share technologies broadly across the organization, and position the organization’s technology to effectively expand alongside the business’ expansion, thereby reducing costs and driving efficiency. In addition, O’Connell will collaborate closely with finance, business resiliency and shared services departments to build a strong technology network. O’Connell will report to Sharon Ritchey, senior vice president and chief operations officer of Hartford Life’s U.S. Wealth Management division.

Building a highly integrated IT platform is critical to support Hartford Life’s growing domestic and international businesses. In addition to building more economies of scale and sharing best practices across the Life businesses, further IT integration supports The Hartford’s newly launched cross-sell initiative. Cross-sell taps the property/casualty insurance distribution channel for sales of pension products, group benefits and individual life insurance to business owners.

“Brian brings extensive industry experience and a customer focus to The Hartford,” says Ritchey. “Technology is the backbone of a seamless customer experience. With Brian’s many years as a consultant taking him across the globe, his demonstrated ability to build integrated global IT platforms and his breadth of experience across all the products Hartford Life offers, we are thrilled that he is joining our team.”

Before joining The Hartford, O’Connell was at Bermuda-based Accenture for 25 years. O’Connell most recently served as the managing director of the life insurance industry for North America and Asia, and the managing director of the technology workgroup for the United States. O’Connell has primarily consulted for financial services firms, driving in-depth analysis and change to processes and systems. During his time at Accenture, he was the lead partner for The Hartford’s multi-dimensional project to transform its annuity customer service operation. This project significantly improved Hartford annuity customers’ service experience, setting the stage for The Hartford to win the DALBAR award for service, which recognizes service leadership and a customer-focused business strategy. The Hartford has won this award the past 11 years in a row.

Source: The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.

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