The Future of Insurance Podcast – Bill Pappas

EVP, Head of Global Technology & Operations

Season 6, Episode 5, July 2, 2024

Guest Bio

Bill Pappas is Head of Global Technology and Operations, and is a Corporate Officer and a member of the company’s Executive Leadership Team. In this role, he directs a team of more than 43,000 people responsible for technology development, infrastructure, information and cyber security, data strategy and analytics, customer service, operations, crisis management, business continuity and procurement for all lines of business, serving more than 90-million customers across 40+ countries around the world.

Pappas joined MetLife in 2019 from Bank of America, where he was the head of operations for the consumer, small business, wealth management and private banking businesses. In this role, Pappas directed a team comprised of more than 50,000 employees and contractors delivering integrated service and operations solutions to approximately 63-million consumers and clients. In addition, Pappas led the global business services team that provided integrated technology solutions across Bank of America.

Pappas holds a B.A. cum laude in government and an MBA in international business from Bentley University where he serves on its Board of Trustees. He also is a contributing thought leader as a member of the Gartner Research Board and the Forbes Technology Council. 

Highlights from the Show

  • Bill and his team are responsible for everything tied to customers and their experience, and includes roughly half of MetLife’s staff with about 60k people
  • Bill has never seen the level of complexity, ambiguity and uncertainty that we have today at any other time in this 30 year Financial Services career, and there’s a convergence of these things today that’s quite different
    • Many of these issues – supply chain, inflation, political uncertainty, cyber – is the first time we’re facing them, so there’s no existing playbook for any of these items
  • Customer expectations spiked in COVID, but haven’t let up since then
    • MetLife has worked on the process to understand the customer needs, wants and demands
    • Then they look at product and process match up with those customer requirements, and then move to development where there’s a gap
  • This takes also look at staff, and how they’re supported in supporting customers, so MetLife looks at how it creates and maintains a contemporary workforce, which is something that must be dynamic over time
    • How do skillsets evolve, and how do you ensure your workface has the right skills at any given time
    • Workforces are hybrid, have moving priorities and expectations, and decision making isn’t as command-and-control as it might have been years ago
  • They are deliberate in not having technology for technology’s sake but only in support of the company’s strategic objectives, which helps protect against siloed thinking for any one function
  • Innovation is something they’ve moved to make it part of every staff member’s work as part of the culture’s DNA rather than existing in a specific team or group
    • They run hackathons, setup investment mechanisms for new ideas and more to ensure innovation is everyone’s responsibility and they’re empowered to deliver on it
  • DE&I is important to MetLife and is part of everything they do, but they couldn’t operate with such a customer focus without it and the diverse thinking and skills that come with it
    • For example, you cannot develop new, powerful tools like AI without different approaches and mindsets involved or you end up with something out of sync with your customer base
    • They see a shortage of women in STEM, and have been working with universities to drive more involvement by women in STEM career paths, and then looking at how to support them better through their careers; this is something they’ve also worked with other companies and non-profit organizations in the communities MetLife operates in to help make meaningful progress
  • You cannot move the industry or the market on your own, so MetLife has chosen to convene the industry to help learn together and foster the progress the company is trying to make on macro-level things like talent, AI and more

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Thank you to our sponsor

This episode is brought to you by The Future of Insurance book series, part of the Future of Insurance thought leadership series ( from Bryan Falchuk.

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