We’re adding speakers all the time! Check back for more information. Our agenda will include a CEO Panel, Commissioners Panel and the opportunity for breakouts with a group of diverse industry roles.

Meg Anderson

Vice President & Chief Information Security Officer, Principal Financial Group®

Meg Anderson leads the Information Security & Risk team for Principal Financial Group® in the role of VP-Chief Information Security Officer. She drives information security strategy for the global Fortune 500 company, including security operations, identity and access management, data protection, governance, risk and compliance.

Meg participates on a wide variety of CISO councils, is a board member of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) where she chairs the strategy committee, and is on the FinCyber advisory group for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Before the role of VP-CISO, Meg acquired over twenty years of technical and leadership experience in application development.

Meg graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Management Information Systems.

W.  Robert Berkley, Jr.

President & Chief Executive Officer, W. R. Berkley Corporation

Rob Berkley is President and Chief Executive Officer of W. R. Berkley Corporation. He joined WRBC in 1997 and served as President and Chief Operating Officer from 2009 to 2015; Executive Vice President from 2005 to 2009; and Vice President for strategy and acquisitions from 2000 to 2002. He was Executive Vice President of Berkley International from 2000 to 2001 and President from 2001 to 2002. From 2002 to 2005, he was Senior Vice President of Specialty Operations and was responsible as well for international operations.

Prior to joining Berkley, he was an investment banker with Merrill Lynch and Company.

Rob is a director of W. R. Berkley Corporation and the W. R. Berkley Corporation Charitable Foundation.

He graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in finance, and serves on the Georgetown University Board of Trustees and the Board of Advisors of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown. He also serves as Chair on the board of Brunswick School, St. John’s University School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science; Chairman of the Greenwich Hospital Board of Trustees, American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) and The Institutes Board of Trustees; and is a Trustee of Yale New Haven Health Systems and member of the Yale New Haven Health Systems Investment Committee.

Terry E. Branstad

Former U.S. Ambassador to China and Governor of Iowa

Terry E. Branstad is the former U.S. Ambassador to China and the longest serving governor in American history.

A native of Leland, Iowa, Branstad was elected three times to the Iowa House of Representatives, as Iowa’s lieutenant governor in 1978, and as Iowa’s youngest governor in 1983. As the state’s chief executive and longest serving governor from 1983 to 1999, Governor Branstad weathered some of Iowa’s worst economic turmoil during the farm crisis of the 1980s, while helping lead the state’s resurgence to a booming economy in the 1990s.

At the end of his tenure, Iowa enjoyed record employment, an unprecedented $900 million budget surplus, and the enactment of historic government overhauls that led to greater efficiencies in state government. As a result of Governor Branstad’s hands-on, round-the-clock approach to economic development, Iowa’s unemployment rate went from 8.5% when he took office to a record low 2.5% when he left office in 1999.

Following his four terms as governor, Branstad served as president of Des Moines University (DMU). During his six-year tenure, he was able to grow the university into a world-class educational facility and send its graduates to offer healthcare in all 50 U.S. states while also becoming the first college in the U.S. to receive the Platinum Level of Recognition from the Wellness Council of America.

In October of 2009, sensing a need for change in the way state government operates and wanting to “lead Iowa’s comeback,” Branstad retired from DMU and was re-elected governor in 2010.

During his second tenure as Iowa governor from 2010 to 2017, Governor Branstad signed historic investments in Iowa’s infrastructure into law, including Iowa’s roads and bridges, as well as the innovative Connect Every Acre Plan that expanded high-speed broadband internet to Iowa’s agriculture industry, schools, businesses and homes.

On December 7, 2016, Governor Branstad announced that he had accepted the nomination from President-elect Donald Trump to serve as Ambassador of the United States to the People’s Republic of China. He was sworn in as Ambassador on May 24, 2017.

Ambassador Branstad served as U.S. Ambassador to China during one of the most challenging periods in recent U.S.-China history since the two countries re-established diplomatic relations in 1979. Under his leadership during unprecedented crises including the COVID-19 outbreak and the Chinese government’s closure of the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu, Ambassador Branstad led the largest drawdown of a single diplomatic mission in U.S. State Department history while evacuating over 1,300 staff members from China. He also created the Personal Protective Equipment for America Taskforce, which delivered 5,000 tons of urgently needed medical supplies to the U.S. to combat COVID-19.

During his tenure, Ambassador Branstad’s two greatest achievements were the signing of the historic Phase One Trade Agreement between the U.S. and China in January of 2020 and successfully lobbying the Chinese government to stem the flow of fentanyl into America. The Phase One Trade deal secured $200 billion in Chinese commitments to purchase U.S. goods and services in the agriculture, manufacturing, energy, and other sectors, achieved stricter enforcement of Intellectual Property protections, and opened up China’s restrictive financial sector to U.S. banks and other financial services companies. Moreover, the Chinese government’s decision to schedule fentanyl as a controlled substance in May of 2019 virtually stopped fentanyl shipments into the U.S., saving thousands of American lives.

In addition to serving as U.S. Ambassador, Branstad has also served as the Co-Chair of the Council of Governors appointed by President Barack Obama, as Commissioner and Chairman respectively of the White House Fellows Program and Commission for Excellence in Special Education appointed by President George W. Bush, and as Trustee of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation appointed by President Ronald Reagan.

Branstad received a B.A. from the University of Iowa and a J.D. from Drake University Law School. Of the many factors behind his continued success in politics, academia, and the nonprofit and corporate board worlds, Ambassador Branstad has always stuck to one personal mantra he often repeats, “Tough times never last, but tough people do.”

Mark Breading

Partner, Strategy Meets Action

Mark is known for his insights on the future of the insurance industry and innovative uses of technology. Mark consults with insurers and technology companies on forward-thinking strategies for success in the digital age. His inventive methodologies, fresh ideas, creative conceptualizations, and ability to incorporate InsurTech and transformational tech in business strategies are unparalleled. He also leads SMA’s research program, publishing 25–30 research reports per year and conducting various custom research projects for insurer and vendor clients. His thought leadership in the areas of InsurTech, transformational technologies, customer experience and digital strategies has earned him a ranking of one of the "Top Global Influencers in InsurTech" by InsurTech News and Onalytica, as well as a place in the ten finalists for the "Top Global IoT in Insurance Influencer Award."

Before joining SMA in 2009, Mark spent 25 years with IBM in roles including the Global Insurance Strategist and Director of Global Financial Services Executive Conferences in addition to leadership roles in consulting and marketing. Mark co-developed IBM’s Account Based Marketing program and led the global project office to implement ABM across all industry verticals worldwide. Mark has held both technical and business roles in sales, consulting, marketing and business strategy, and has advised insurers around the world for almost 30 years.

Meg Brown

Chief Human Resources Officer, American Enterprise

Meg Brown is Chief Human Resources Officer at American Enterprise. In her role, she is responsible for all aspects of our human resources strategy, including organization development, facilities, talent acquisition and management, and employee engagement.

With more than 25 years of leadership experience and 17 years at AEG, Meg brings a unique combination of deep operational knowledge and a passion to positively impact culture. In her previous role as Chief Administrative Officer, Meg led and implemented organizational effectiveness strategies to drive business results while building a high-performing team.

Prior to joining the company in 2003, Meg served for 15 years as Manager at Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Iowa.

Meg holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing from St. Olaf and a Master of Arts from the University of Northern Iowa. She has achieved AHIP, LOMA and CLOP designations.

Jiten Chhabra

Co-Founder & CMO, CareValidate Inc.

Interviewed by CNN, the NY Times, SXM Doctor Radio, American Heart, Dietetic and Psychological Associations for his work on digital health, Dr. Chhabra is a physician, engineer and entrepreneur. He is the recipient of multiple awards from organizations like the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Google Research and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for his mission to make healthcare content more useful for everyone. He is the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer at CareValidate Inc., where he oversees the caregiver journey and user experience teams.

Alex Frommeyer

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Beam Dental

Alex Frommeyer is the co-founder and CEO of Beam Dental, a digitally native dental benefits provider that incorporates dental hygiene behavior into policy pricing. Beam Dental combines an easy-to-use online insurance platform, AI-powered underwriting and the connected Beam Toothbrush for better overall wellness. Beam has raised over $160 million in venture capital funding and is the only digital-first company within the $75 billion dental insurance industry. Beam also offers vision insurance, powered by VSP, and group term life coverage for employers of all sizes in partnership with Nationwide Insurance. Beam is available in 41 states around the U.S. and is accepted at over 400,000 access points nationwide.

Bryan Falchuk

Author, "The Future of Insurance, Vols. I & II"

Bryan is a best-selling author, speaker and life coach. He has faced major adversities and learned how to overcome and achieve. From obesity to running marathons, from career struggles to success as a CXO, from watching illness threaten his family to finding lasting health, he has been through many lessons he used to develop his unique approach to inspiring others succeed.

Bryan’s work has been featured in several top publications like Inc. Magazine, The LA Times, Chicago Tribune and more. He has spoken at multiple TEDx events, and has been a featured guest on over 175 podcasts, TV and radio shows. His two best-selling books, Do a Day and The 50 75 100 Solution, help people live better across every aspect of their lives.

Rob Galbraith

Author and Partner, Insurance Nerds

Rob Galbraith has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry in a variety of positions in the fields of P&C insurance, banking and investment markets. He holds a Masters of Science in insurance management from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Michigan State University.

Rob earned his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation in 2003 and has served in leadership roles both at the national and local chapter level. He was elected to serve on the CPCU Society's Leadership Council from 2016–2018 and previously served on the industry Advisory Board to The Institutes. Rob received the Loman Award for outstanding service to the Alamo Chapter of the CPCU Society in 2009. He has also earned the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designations from The American College of Financial Services.

Rob is a recognized thought leader on P&C insurance who is a published author and media contributor. Named by Nick Lamparelli as 'The Most Interesting Man In Insurance" for his travels and commentary, Rob is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and corporate events. He has been ranked as high as #6 on the InsurTech London Top 100 Influencers. Rob's passion is finding ways to provide insurance products to all who have a need through innovative approaches that leverage the latest in technology, building strong relationships with a diverse network of people from a variety of disciplines and educating the public on the risks they face.

Dan Houston

Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, Principal Financial Group®

Daniel Houston is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Principal Financial Group®. He is responsible for overall management of the company.

Houston joined Principal® in 1984 in Dallas. He has held several management positions, being named senior vice president in 2000, executive vice president in 2006 and president of Retirement and Income Solutions in 2008. He was named president and chief operating officer in 2014 before assuming his current role in 2015.

Houston is a member of the Business Roundtable. He is past chair of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and is chair of the Greater Des Moines Water Trails initiative and serves on several boards including Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI), Iowa State University Business School Dean’s Advisory Council, Future Ready Iowa, Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), Greater Des Moines Partnership, and Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. In 2019, the Greater Des Moines Committee named Houston to the Iowa Business Hall of Fame in recognition of his significant contributions to the enhancement and development of the state’s economy.

Houston received his bachelor's degree from Iowa State University in 1984. He has appeared before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging to discuss the importance of educating the workforce about the financial needs in retirement. Houston joined the joint forum of U.S. Senate Committees on Finance and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions to discuss “Private-Sector Retirement Savings Plans: What Does the Future Hold?” He also authored a chapter in “The Upside of Aging” published by John Wiley & Sons in 2014, on the keys to achieving financial security in retirement.

Andrea Keenan

Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer, AM Best Rating Services

Andrea Keenan is EVP and Chief Strategy Officer responsible for AM Best Rating Services’ strategy and commercial teams globally, coordinating with those teams to develop markets, communicate with stakeholders, liaise with the media and coordinate events.

Andrea started at AM Best in 2000 as AM Best’s first country risk analyst, overseeing the launch of AM Best’s current country risk methodology. She served multiple roles at AM Best, including building and managing economic and industry research and analytical training. From 2013–2015, Andrea moved from analysis to the commercial side of the business and served as managing director of AM Best América Latina, based in Mexico City, where she initiated and expanded AM Best’s first Latin American presence.

Prior to joining AM Best, Andrea was the U.S. economist at Toyota Motor North America in New York City, and analyst at International Technology and Trade Associates in Washington, D.C.

Currently, Andrea serves on the Board of Directors of the Microinsurance Network as deputy chair and is a member of the Inclusive Insurance Working group of the Insurance Development Forum (IDF). She is also adjunct professor of economics at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Andrea holds a master’s degree from Temple University in economics, a master’s degree from American University in international affairs and a bachelor's degree from York College in international studies.

David Kidd

Senior Research Scientist, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

David Kidd is a senior research scientist at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Dr. Kidd is a recognized leader in applied research and vehicle safety whose work focuses on identifying data-driven, pragmatic solutions for preventing harm from crashes. His research evaluates both vehicle- and policy-based solutions. He has authored over 30 peer-reviewed papers on topics such as seat belt use, distracted driving, advanced driver assistance systems, and driving automation technology. Dr. Kidd received a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech in 2006 and a doctorate from George Mason University in 2011.

Christopher Grant McDaniel

President, Catastrophe Resiliency Council

Christopher has 30+ years’ experience in the financial services industry with varied projects and management roles including organizational transformation, process improvement, roadmap development, PMO and all facets of operations and technology. He also has extensive experience in the Property and Casualty, Reinsurance and Life and Annuity space, with strong industrywide relationships and operational expertise.

Christopher is currently President of The Institutes Catastrophe Resiliency Council (CRC). CRC’s mission is to collaborate with risk- and insurance-focused parties to create a healthy, competitive risk marketplace that promotes resilience against natural catastrophes.

Previously, Christopher was President of The Institutes RiskStreamTM Collaborative, and he continues to serve on its Board of Directors. The Institutes RiskStream Collaborative is an unprecedented, industry-led consortium collaborating to unlock the business potential of blockchain and other InsurTech technologies across the insurance industry. RiskStream accelerates time to market and adoption through real-world applications and impactful use cases.

Prior to The Institutes, Christopher was a Specialist Leader in Deloitte Consulting Insurance Practices specializing in Strategy and Operations.

Previous to Deloitte, Christopher was the SVP of Operations and Technology for the Insured Retirement Institute, where he brought together operations, technology and compliance executives across the largest insurance and brokerage companies in the nation into one strategic voice to drive the annuities industry forward. Christopher also served as the Chief Operating Officer and VP of Product Management at Aplifi, the industry provider of the second largest annuities transaction order entry platforms. During his tenure he completed a turn-around of the annuities processing software firm from zero customers in production to 40 during, with a more than doubling of the company’s valuation.

Lastly, Christopher served as an SVP and Chief Information Officer in Pacific Life’s Broker/Dealer unit. This unit consisted of six securities firms with more than 3,000 branch offices. Christopher was brought in to standardize the technology across all companies, while running the day-to-day technology. Systems implemented tripled securities trading volume while providing 75% improved regulatory compliance with bullet proof disaster preparedness.

Daniel McGehee

Director, Transportation & Vehicle Safety Policy Program

Daniel McGehee has been obsessed with car crashes for over 20 years. He is interested in every aspect of them—from how, when and why they occur to technologies for avoiding them altogether. His driver performance, distraction and technology development research has led to innovative, interdisciplinary collaborations involving engineering, medicine and public health. McGehee's research has helped policy makers to improve government safety standards, as well as state and federal laws. While the first generation of safety systems were designed to help protect occupants in cars, his research deals with preventing or reducing the severity of crashes. Such technologies will ultimately lead to higher levels of automation on our roads.

Margaret A. Meister

President & Chief Executive Officer, Symetra Financial

Margaret Meister is president and chief executive officer of Symetra Financial Corporation and president of its insurance subsidiaries. She is also a member of the company’s board of directors.

Ms. Meister joined Symetra in 1988 as an actuarial student. She was appointed chief actuary in 2004 and chief financial officer (CFO) in February 2006, assuming responsibility for the company’s financial strategy and operations. She became president and chief executive officer in February 2018.

As a member of the company’s executive leadership team, Ms. Meister played a principal role in Symetra’s initial public offering in 2010, as well as its successful acquisition by Sumitomo Life in 2016. In addition to her responsibilities as CFO, she served as chief information officer from 2014 to 2016, leading the Information Technology department during the transition of the company’s data center. She also has had responsibility for Symetra’s brand strategy development through her oversight of the company’s marketing, advertising and communications programs.

Ms. Meister is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. She graduated from Whitman College with a bachelor’s degree in math. Ms. Meister is a member of the board of directors of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and also serves on the boards of the United Way of King County and the Washington Roundtable.

Matthew C. Mosher, CERA, FCAS, MAAA

President & Chief Executive Officer, AM Best

Matthew Mosher is the President and Chief Executive Officer for AM Best Rating Services, Inc.

Matt is responsible for AM Best’s rating services business. He also serves on the board of AM Best Company, Inc., AM Best Rating Services, Inc. and all of AM Best’s rating subsidiaries.

Matt has been employed at AM Best since 1995. Prior to assuming his current role in July 2019, Matt served as Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for the entirety of AM Best’s rating operations since 2016. Matt was responsible for the rating analytics globally for AM Best since 2009. Matt led AM Best’s non-life rating analytics from 2001 through 2009, and prior to that, served in various managerial roles, as well as serving as AM Best’s non-life actuary. During that time, Matt was responsible for the development and maintenance of most of the non-life rating models, including Best’s Capital Adequacy Model (BCAR).

Prior to joining AM Best, Matt spent two years in consulting and seven years within the U.S. property/casualty industry.

Matt speaks to many industry groups on a wide array of insurance and rating issues and is a vocal advocate of the need to educate students about the opportunities within the insurance industry.

Matt is a graduate of Lehigh University with a B.S. in statistics. He is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society, a member of the American Academy of Actuaries and a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst. He also has three sons taking actuarial exams.

Jay Pugliese

Co-Founder, CareValidate Inc.

Jay is an experienced sales professional and entrepreneur with expertise in enterprise account management, technology installation and brand management. Jay is an Aging-in-Place subject matter expert and Co-Founder of CareValidate Inc. CareValidate is one of the few technology-led companies that have entered the insurance sector to optimize easy to use AgeTech products.

Kirt Walker

Chief Executive Officer, Nationwide Insurance

Kirt Walker is chief executive officer of Nationwide, a mutual insurance and financial services company focused on protecting people, businesses and futures with extraordinary care. He was elected to this position in 2019, and in this role also serves as a member of the Nationwide Board of Directors.

Kirt initially joined the Nationwide family of companies in 1986. Prior to being elected CEO, he served for 10 years as president and chief operating officer of Nationwide Financial. 

During his first 23 years, he served in various leadership positions within the company’s Property and Casualty business, including president and COO of Nationwide Insurance and president of Allied Insurance, Nationwide’s former independent agency subsidiary.

Kirt’s leadership philosophy focuses on “The Four Ps”: People, Planning, Performance and Partnerships. This philosophy extends to driving an engaged, caring culture of associates that leads to better solutions for customers and other stakeholders.

Kirt is a graduate of Iowa State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in management. He also holds a Masters of Science in management with an emphasis in leadership degree from The American College.

Kirt is passionate about the community in which he works and lives. He advocates for the professional development and advancement of industry professionals as a board trustee for The Institutes, a property and casualty risk and insurance knowledge group. He also serves on the American Red Cross Board of Governors and the Nationwide Children’s Hospital board. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Directors for Catalyst—an organization dedicated to accelerating progress for women through workplace inclusion. Kirt previously served on the Columbus State Community College Board of Trustees and on the boards of the American Council of Life Insurers, Association of Ohio Life Insurance Companies, Mid-Ohio Foodbank, American Red Cross of Greater Columbus, White Castle restaurant company, New Albany Foundation and Greater Des Moines Partnership and as a trustee for Grand View College in Des Moines. 

Past honors for his community involvement include being named CEO of the Year by Des Moines Business Journal and an Honored Ally by Stonewall Columbus, Central Ohio’s leading LGBTQ organization.

Jane Wang

CEO, Optimity

Jane J. Wang is the CEO of Optimity, a leading InsurTech in Policyholder/Member Engagement that powers a mobile-first Engagement Engine with embedded distribution funnels. Using the science of micro-learning, personalized nudges and incentivization to live healthier, wealthier and longer, Optimity has over one million members and grew approximately 30% MoM the last year. The Optimity app offers their members support beyond physical health, including mental, nutritional, social and financial wellness. The 2.1B data collected power their health, financial score and other subscores to create innovations in live underwriting and next-best-action prompting. The Optimity (or white-labeled) health rewards apps have been adopted by top multi-line insurance carriers, employers, and aligned health partners to adopt a data-driven approach and build a healthy relationship with their policyholder or member.

Prior to Optimity, Jane worked at IQVIA and CROs of pharma companies (e.g., Biogen, Takeda) to maximize adherence and dynamic risk score patients in North America, Asia and Europe. She is passionate about proactive health, improving morbidity/mortality, and innovative uses of gamification and behavioral science. She holds an MBA from Ivey Business School, a HBSc. from McGill University and health/wearable data analytics and executive education from Stanford University.

George Woods

Senior Vice President, Guy Carpenter

George Woods is Senior Vice President of Global Strategic Advisory at Guy Carpenter. An innovative and highly motivated business executive with strategic planning, project management, sales and marketing experience, George has consistently achieved new business, revenue and profit goals. He possesses strong leadership skills and builds new business relationships easily, and he has a successful track record of managing key accounts, projects and teams to accomplish growth targets. George is a resourceful and results-oriented professional with formidable negotiation skills who has successfully capitalized on business opportunities in domestic and international markets.