Having taken the train from his home in Logan Square, one of Chicago's historic neighborhoods, Nate Root, SVP of Finance - Shared Services at CNA, has been in the office since 7:30 or so, reading e-mail and returning phone calls. With the train literally just outside the windows of our conference room in the CNA Tower, located in the southeast corner of Chicago's Loop, Root tells me about his tenure with the commercial P&C insurer.

Root has been with CNA since 1994; it has been his only employer since he earned his master's in mathematics from the University of Michigan. He joined the company as an entry-level actuary, concentrating on workers' compensation before he was promoted to lead the commercial auto pricing group. "The experiences I had as an actuary helped shape me," Root says. "The experience I had running large projects has been very eye opening and really amazing."

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