The Hanover launches corporate innovation initiative

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The Hanover is creating a unit to drive digital innovation across its businesses. The group is tasked with identifying emerging customer segments; leveraging data and analytics; and helping the company’s distribution partners innovate and strategically grow their businesses.

The move was announced at the end of last month by the P&C insurer as part of its "Hanover 2021" initiative, In addition to the digital component, Hanover 2021 includes the launch of Hanover Agency Markets, a combination of the company’s small commercial, middle market and personal lines businesses into one division. The Hanover is also planning an expansion of its domestic specialty market business, with the goal of duplicating the success of its U.K. specialty division, the Lloyd's syndicate Chaucer.

The innovation unit will led by Mark Berthiaume, who until the announcement had been the company’s CIO and chief administrative officer, and Richard Lavey, who had been CMO and president of the company’s personal lines business.

"Our innovation unit will be working together with our field teams and our businesses, applying case-driven business focus that addresses real needs and opportunities for our agents," said Berthiaume, who now has the title of chief technology innovation officer. "We'll do some R&D because it's important to stay current. [Innovation] won't be hanging under IT, or hanging out there by itself."

Mark Berthiaume, The HanoverBerthiaume said he plans to "rely heavily on partnerships and licensing arrangements to better enable speed to market and to manage cost effectively."

Lavey was given the title of chief growth innovation officer. "Our innovation unit will develop growth solutions that help our partner agents attract new customers in new market segments," he said, adding that it "will focus on several well-thought out initiatives around key areas of need for many of our agents, from engaging millennials to better serving micro-small commercial segments. It’s an inside-out approach that we think is unique to the industry and one that will serve us well.”

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