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Chubb's bet on innovation hubs and the cloud

Bnamericas Published: Saturday, July 02, 2022

Insurer Chubb seeks to become a technology leader in Latin America with its new technology center in Monterrey.

Inaugurated in May, Chubb Business Services Monterrey (CBSM) is about to start operations, while further expansions in Mexico and the region are also being mulled. 

"For this year we plan to hire 150 [professionals] at CBSM, but we have no doubt that in the next two or three years that number will double or triple," Alberto Murakami, Chubb's information technology director for Latin America, told BNamericas.

The Monterrey hub is the first in Latin America and will join the centers of excellence and innovation in the US, India and the UK, among others. These centers provide digital and technological capabilities to insurance operations.

Chubb did not report investment amounts for the new hub, but Murakami said "it will have the highest global standards of what an individual and collaborative workspace should be like."

Expansions to Argentina, Brazil and Colombia are also possible, since the company employs a solid base of local technology talent in these markets, Murakami said.

"We do software development for Mexico and for the region and we intend to be a development engine for the creation of intellectual capital for our global operations," said Murakami.

Chubb provides cybersecurity services globally from the center in Mexico.
Professionals will also provide support in areas such as intelligent process automation, digital technology, and data analysis.

Chubb operates in nine countries in the region.

BET ON THE CLOUD

Chubb pursues an aggressive five-year cloud migration strategy. “All new developments, from scratch, we are doing cloud native,” Murakami said.

But many legacy systems are also still in operation. And due to a myriad of acquisitions, Chubb deals with a lot of duplication and multiple systems.

“In parallel with being able to offer new fully digital products and services, we are working on modernizing our systems,” Murakami said.

Along this path, which has taken four years, the company sped up system delivery and cloud investments.

Recently, Murakami obtained authorization to modernize one of the "most important systems in Latin America" and migrate it to a more flexible architecture based on advanced programming interfaces.

The company chooses the public cloud with multicloud architecture, and coexistence between clouds from providers such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google.

INSURTECH

About 400 insurtechs are operating in Latin America, most of them in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. “A trend of accelerated growth is being seen in both Asia Pacific and Latin America. I am convinced that there will be increasing investments in insurtech,” said Murakami.

Globally, some US$6bn is being earmarked for insurtech investments. This figure could double by 2025, according to Murakami.

He added that "combining the insurance company's internal capabilities with external capabilities through partnerships with insurtechs" is key to success, in addition to adopting technologies such as cloud.

Personalized insurance is another promising model. Chubb is using technology to find partnership opportunities that make insurance more tangible for clients.

The company has an agreement with Chile’s Betterfly. "Betterfly aims to increase well-being and contribute to global humanitarian causes, so the partnership with insurance is natural," Murakami said.

"If [a client] has a better life expectancy, we can increase the sums insured," he added.

The company started a pilot test with its own employees to use the information generated by Betterfly to personalize insurance. “We are piloting with our own employees, but obviously the ambition of both Chubb and Betterfly is to expand it,” added Murakami.

In addition to Betterfly, Chubb has alliances with digital companies such as Nubank, MercadoLibre, Rappi and Kavak.

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