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Top InsurTech Leaders 2019

As part of our ongoing focus on innovation in the insurance industry, ACORD names annual Top Ten InsurTech Leaders.

Each year, ACORD speaks to industry stakeholders and evaluates vision, execution, and outcomes to identify the Top Ten Leaders with the greatest current and future ability to change the industry through InsurTech. Be sure to check out our most recent list. ACORD’s 2019 Top Ten InsurTech Leaders, in alphabetical order, were:


Matt Aaron & Kiki Johnson
Co-Founders, Insurance Agent App

Winners of the Startup Disruptor category in the 2017 ACORD InsurTech Innovation Challenge, Aaron and Johnson are known for doing their homework. By finding out the real-life pain points for each stakeholder, they have been able to create a solution that makes things better for agents, carriers, and policyholders alike.

Stephen Barnham
CIO, MetLife Asia

From India to China to Singapore, Barnham has been a leading figure in the digital transformation of the financial services industry across the Asia-Pacific region. With a policy that “for every $3 of expenses the company can save, $2 will be reinvested in digital efforts,” he has kept MetLife Asia at the forefront of innovation. He also actively mentors and collaborates with startups, academia, and investment funds.

Bill Churney
President, AIR

As President of AIR, Churney has created a culture driven by data and innovation. Under his leadership, AIR has created modeling solutions which both enable efficiencies in traditional lines and expand capabilities into new areas. His vision involves not just helping businesses thrive, but ultimately improving the lives of people throughout the world.

Kirstin Duffield
CEO & Managing Director, Morning Data

A passionate and principled industry visionary, Duffield has led Morning Data for over a decade, but remains on the cutting edge of technology. Frequently named to “most influential women in technology” lists, her background includes not only IT experience, but also business analysis, compliance and marketing. Her highly collaborative approach has enabled success for many startups and small enterprises.

Taylor Rhodes
CEO, Applied

Though no stranger to the software space, Rhodes is new to the insurance industry, having taken the helm at Applied this June. His fresh perspective, as well as keen insights on the potential of data-driven capabilities in insurance, have driven engagement with employees and customers alike. By matching in-house innovation with smart acquisitions, he has already made an impact in the industry.

Haug Scharnowski
Head of Finance Operations, Zurich NA
Lars Thomas
Managing Director, Aon 

Despite the decades of legacy and global reach of Zurich and Aon, they have emerged at the forefront of the digital transformation of finance and accounting. Scharnowski and Thomas have partnered to drive innovation in premium accounting reconciliation, leveraging industry-leading technology to automate the process and free up resources to focus on more pressing client needs.

Sabine VanderLinden
CEO & Managing Director, Startupbootcamp InsurTech

VanderLinden has been on our InsurTech Leaders list three years running, and it’s easy to see why. As head of the InsurTech area for global accelerator Startupbootcamp, she has amassed an enviable track record of startup mentorship. With headquarters on two continents, her team has provided guidance which has enabled many InsurTechs to reach their full potential.

Henri Winand
CEO and Co-Founder, AkinovA

Having held more than a dozen patents and published several scientific papers, Winand has gone from PhD to MBA to CEO. He co-founded AkinovA in 2017 with a mission to create an electronic secondary marketplace for the trading of reinsurance risk. Their commitment to industry collaboration, and ability to handle dynamic emerging lines, are changing the reinsurance landscape.

Amy Zupon
CEO, Vertafore

A proven B2B software veteran at the helm of one of the leading insurance technology vendors, Zupon refuses to rest on those laurels and remains committed to continuous improvement and innovation. She is highly attuned to her customers’ changing needs, making sure that technology initiatives are clearly focused on them. Leading by example, she has created a company culture that embraces innovation.