An interview with Ross Stephenson


Sovereign’s CIO talks to FST Media about key priorities and the future of wearables in the insurance industry.

FST Media: What are your IT priorities for the next 12 to 18 months? 

Stephenson: Our main focus will be on assessing the legacy stack and finding ways to simplify them for the future. We also have several compliance projects and product releases underway.

FST Media: How will big data, analytics and business intelligence shape customer experience at Sovereign? 

Stephenson:  Before we begin relying on our data to guide us, we are assessing it to make sure it is giving us the right information, which is an essential part of the process.

FST Media: How is Sovereign managing the conversions between IT and banking? 

Stephenson: We work closely with all areas of the business to ensure we are completely aligned to our customers’ needs. This allows us to develop innovative technological solutions that truly meet the needs of our customers and improve their experience.

FST Media: Is Sovereign in the process of simplifying its business framework or has this simplification been achieved? 

Stephenson: We have started a program to simplify our business across product, process and technology to ensure our customers have a great experience.

FST Media: What role will wearables and biometrics play in the future of the insurance industry? 

Stephenson: We are trying to adapt to what our customers want and help them get healthier, which is better for them, us and the country. Wearables will play a key role in this by helping people be more mindful about their health and helping them consider their own wellbeing.

FST Media: What is proving to be your most effective customer acquisition channel and why?

Stephenson: Sovereign has a long history with our advisors and the bank, so we receive most of our acquisitions through those channels.

FST Media: Every leader has a legacy they wish to be remembered for, what is yours?

Stephenson: If I look back in two years’ time, I want to be able to say that we have achieved a better experience for our customers than when we first came in. It is not just about technology, it is all the other business units working in unison. We spend a lot of time making sure we are all on the same page and working toward the same goals. At the end of the day, it is all about the customer. If we can improve the experience for them, I will be happy.