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Cajastur

The biggest challenge ever in my career

Task

Adapting a project initially envisioned for another client to the idiosyncracy of the market of this bank, in a different region, and make it a reality!

Challenge

Coordinating different insurance providers into a comprehensive and manageable IT system to 'sell insurances'.

Turning an existing bank with 300+ branches from an agent of a single insurance provider to an insurance broker working with half a dozen providers

Back in 1996, I was hired as an ITC consultant in another medium-sized savings bank in Catalonia to assist in modernising the ITC of this area of the business. I envisioned and sketched out the ITC system that should meet their requirements, but before it could be turned into a working solution the bank was absorbed by a bigger bank and the project was frozen.

Yet Cajastur got wind of this project and, in 1998, asked the Insurance Director of that bank and myself to adapt it to their environment and put it into place. And so we did.

Cajastur had long been an agent from a single major insurer and used to work with dumb terminals at the branches connected to the insurer’s internal mainframe. For two years, working with a team of up to 15 people from its staff and their ITC provider, I worked alongside the bank’s internal committee for this project, designed the business cases and procedures and negotiated with the insurance companies.

The result was a new ITC website-operated server-based system that independently managed and processed the insurance operations (simulation, issuing insurance covers, etc) at the branches and linked financial information with the banks’ mainframe while exchanging at the same time insurance data with the providers via pre-agreed standardized API calls.

Furthermore, the system included as well a data management and analysis framework that allowed the insurance team at the bank to manage the business and predict trends. What today is a regular practice in the banking world, was indeed a novelty in Spain back in 2000.

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