Skip to main content

The 2024 Global Insurance Symposium Official Agenda

Navigating a New Frontier of Risk

Symposium content covers various aspects of risk facing insurers and innovators

Day 1 – Tuesday, April 16

11:30am Registration Opens
300 Level

11:30am InsurTech Expo and Networking Lunch
Pre-Function Space Outside Ballrooms


Official Welcome and Opening Comments from Co-Chairs

The 10th Annual Global Insurance Symposium is co-chaired by Pharmacist Mutual CEO Aaron Pearce and Global Atlantic Senior Vice President, Legal & Associate General Counsel Christian Walk.

Ballroom B

1:45pm Keynote Address:

Risks and Opportunities in the Insurance Industry

In a dynamic keynote address, Matt Popoli, Partner and Global Head of Bain Capital Insurance, will speak on the interplay of financial risk and the insurance industry. Attendees will be guided through the evolving nature of financial risks – everything from traditional hazards to emerging threats. Mr. Popoli has more than 20 years of experience investing in the insurance industry and building leading insurance business; Bain Capital is one of the world’s leading private investment firms.

Ballroom B

2:30pm Breakout Sessions:

Option One: AI and Insurance: Ethical Risk or Reward?

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to evolve rapidly, it’s transforming the insurance industry creating new opportunities to improve how we work. On the other hand, utilizing AI poses significant ethical risks that must be addressed.

Join industry experts Shea Brown, Ph.D., Babl AI CEO and University of Iowa Professor of Physics and Astronomy; U.S. Department of Commerce National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee (NAIAC) Member and Faegre Drinker Partner, Scott Kosnoff; Dae Won Kim, Staff Data Scientist at Munich RE; and Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway to dive deeper into the ethical risks surrounding AI and the insurance industry.

Learn about critical topics such as:

  • How AI can be used to your advantage in the insurance industry
  • Ethical implications of using AI
  • How to take advantage of AI responsibly
  • What’s on the horizon – both from a technology and regulatory perspective

Ballroom B

Option Two: Climate Risk: How Insurers Can Weather the Storm

Across the world, people are starting to experience extreme weather events more often than usual – a trend that climate scientists expect to continue. Of course, extreme weather affects the insurance industry in more ways than one, and it will be essential for insurers to understand continued and future challenges in this space.

Industry experts speaking on the climate risk panel including Doug Bujakowski, Sammons Professor and Chair of Actuarial Science and Risk Management at Drake University; Charlie Sidoti, Executive Director of InnSure; Andy Siffert, BMS meteorologist; North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread; and Dave Stangis, Partner and Chief Sustainability Officer at Apollo.

Ballroom A

3:30pm Networking Break
Pre-Function Space Outside Ballroom

4:00pm Chief Risk Officer Panel

What's Keeping Your Chief Risk Officer Up at Night?

What is keeping your company’s Chief Risk Officer up at night? I’ll give you a hint: it’s not the monsters hiding in your closet, but rather the constant risks our industry faces, from inflation to emerging technology risks like artificial intelligence.

Moderated by Stu Doyle, Principal at Ernst and Young, speakers include Pooja Rahman, Chief Risk Officer at Transamerica; Ken McCullum, Chief Risk Officer at Principal; and Craig Venable, Chief Risk Officer at Alfa Insurance.

Ballroom B

5:00pm Welcome Reception and InsurTech Expo
Pre-Function Space Outside Ballroom

6:30pm Speaker Sponsor Dinner – invitation only.

Day 2 – Wednesday, April 17

7:30am Continental Networking Breakfast
Pre-Function Space Outside Ballroom

8:30am Opening Remarks from Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds
Ballroom B

8:45am Keynote Address:

Geopolitical Risk

Lieutenant Colonel Mark Evans, U.S. Army War College, leads the keynote on the second day of GIS. In a compelling address, LTC Evans will dive into the relationship between geopolitical risk and the insurance industry. In this exploration, attendees will gain insights into the complexity of geopolitical events such as political instability and international conflicts as they impact the insurance industry.

Ballroom B


Insurance Commissioner Panel

Insurance regulators from several states will address the latest insurance regulatory developments, industry trends, and the most significant risks facing the industry in the years to come. This panel is moderated by Faegre Drinker Partner, Pat Hughes, includes Commissioner Scott White of Virginia, Commissioner Michael Conway of Colorado, Commissioner Jon Godfread of North Dakota, and Commissioner Andrew Mais of Connecticut and President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Ballroom B

10:30am Networking Break
Pre-Function Space Outside Ballrooms

11:00am Breakout Sessions

Option One: Litigation Risk: What Every Insurer and Innovator Needs to Know

Understanding litigation risk and regulatory risk and its impact is crucial to a successful career in the insurance industry. By mitigating litigation risk, insurers and innovators will be better equipped to handle potential litigation and protect themselves in today’s litigious society.

As all attorneys know, there is no “one size fits all” approach to litigation. In this panel, industry experts will discuss the latest litigation trends and how companies can avoid financial losses and damage to their reputation.

Hear from industry experts like Jason Gould, Of Counsel at Carlton Fields; Patricia Carreiro, Shareholder at Carlton Fields; Sean O’Brien, Shareholder at Dickinson, Bradshaw; and Katherine Weber, Shareholder at Maynard Nexsen. Aaron Pearce, President and CEO of Pharmacists Mutual will be moderating.

Ballroom B

Option Two: Fraud Risk: How Insurers Can Rewrite the Script on Bad Actors

Our industry knows how important it is to be vigilant regarding fraud risk and protection. Scammers always find new ways to circumvent the proper process and commit insurance fraud. Please join us to hear from several industry experts regarding emerging fraud risks and how to keep your company safe.

The panel, moderated by Cindy Nelson of Grinnell Mutual, features three fraud risk experts:  Josh Himes, SIU Director at Nationwide; John Trovinger, Associate Vice President of Client Success for the Anti-Fraud Analytics Group at Verisk; and Michelle Rafeld, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.

Ballroom A

12:00pm Lunch
Pre-Function Space Outside Ballrooms

12:10pm Student Case Competition
Ballroom B

1:30pm Global Insurance Accelerator Demo Day
Ballroom B

2:45pm Networking Break
Pre-Function Space Outside Ballrooms

3:00pm Breakout Fireside Chat Sessions and Mini Keynote

Real Estate Risk and Insurance: Impacts on Investment Portfolios and Personnel

Panelists will delve into the intersection of real estate and insurance, including considerations regarding real estate as an investment, as well as the impact of remote work on the industry.

Speakers for this fireside chat include Ben Bailey, Managing Director for JLL; Reena Pally, Managing Director of Debt Strategies Real Estate, MetLife Investment Management; Kevin Farley, Vice President of Enterprise Worksite Services, Principal Financial Group; moderated by Barrie Ribet, Head of Asset Allocation & Structuring and Asset Solutions, Global Atlantic Financial Group.

Ballroom A

Mini Keynote: A Story of Risk and Capital

Historically, life insurers would originate a policy and retain many/most of the associated risks, making them capital-intensive businesses. In recent years, shareholders have rewarded public life insurers that have gone “capital light”. Over the past decade, several tools have facilitated this shift, including new entrants focused on asset-intensive business. Dive deeper into A Story of Risk and Capital with Michael Bacon, Client Executive and Head of US Life & Health Reinsurance Transaction Origination at Swiss Re.

Ballroom B


CEO Panel: Navigating a New Frontier of Risk - Views from the C-Suite

Not often do we get to hear industry insights from a bird’s-eye-view, or in this case, a CEO’s-eye-view! We’re very excited to hear from several industry-leading CEOs, as they share about guiding their companies and navigating present and emerging frontiers of risk. This year’s participants include Grant Kvalheim, CEO & President of Athene USA and President of Athene Holding Ltd; Allan Levine, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO at Global Atlantic Financial Group; Eric Steigerwalt,  President and CEO of Brighthouse; moderated by Natalie Lamarque, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Principal Financial Group.

Ballroom B

4:45pm Closing Comments
Ballroom B

5:00pm Wellabe Reception

601 6th Ave. Des Moines, IA 50309
This is three blocks from the Iowa Events Center and two blocks from the Hilton Hotel.