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Deborah Smallwood




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Deb Smallwood, the Founder of SMA, is highly respected throughout the insurance industry for strategic thinking, thought provoking research, and advisory skills in helping insurance companies re-think, re-energize, and re-tool their IT plans and technology investments for profitable growth and differentiation. Insurers and solution providers turn to Deb for insight and guidance on business and IT linkage, strategy, and architecture. Those seeking an edge in today’s highly competitive world turn to Deb to capitalize on her deep industry knowledge and experience and her specialized understanding of distribution, portals, agent connectivity, and underwriting automation.

"Never before have the opportunities for the insurance industry been so phenomenal and the challenges so great. I grew up in the insurance industry and have experienced the shackles that misaligned business processes and monolithic technology solutions are placing on insurance companies. Today, I really do believe those shackles can finally be removed. It's about creating a culture of innovation – and a plan to address the modernization, optimization, and innovation of the business of insurance through enabling technologies investments. My personal goal is to help our clients shape a clear and focused strategy and plan of action – and to help them make informed technology decisions. There is no room for mistakes!”

Deb has held leadership roles in premier insurance companies, professional services firms, and research advisory organizations, where she consistently demonstrated the ability to find new ways to leverage technology to achieve optimal business outcomes. Her skill set includes linking business strategy to IT strategy; development of business and IT roadmaps; selecting, shaping, and delivering core solutions; and the implementation of right-sized governance models.

Prior to founding SMA, Deb served as Chief Transformation Officer for Insurance Company of the West (CIO) where she was recruited to deliver as much IT functionality to the business operations as possible in the least amount of time. Deb led company-wide change that included developing and integrating the corporate business strategies into 5 Strategic Initiatives. Before joining ICW, Deb launched and served as Managing Director of TowerGroup's Insurance Research & Consulting Practice.

As a Partner at KPMG LLP, she launched an IT consulting practice specializing in the assessment and management of IT risks. She began her career at Liberty Mutual, where she directed a variety of large-scale core system replacement projects and rose to leadership of the commercial lines application development and maintenance group.

Deb's expert opinion and counsel are in demand by press, clients, and major industry events. She is a frequent contributor to leading insurance trade journals and has been a keynote speaker at major industry and customer conferences. Deb is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Business Administration.