New Global SSO Role is Ticket to AIG Getting Ahead of its Peers

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Barbara Hodge

AIG on top

Global Shared Services Leadership

AIG banks on new ‘Global Head of Shared Services’ role to leverage technology and innovation to reclaim “leading company” status in insurance industry

60% of top 15 insurance companies in the world run Shared Services to stay ahead of their competitors (SSON Analytics data)

It was interesting to read, last week, that American International Group (AIG) has just recruited an experienced global shared services executive to take on a brand-new role that establishes a single point of accountability for key operational and financial capabilities. Shane Fitzsimon’s responsibilities will include developing and implementing a global strategy for a cost-effective infrastructure that will – and this is critical – better leverage technology and innovation.

AIG's Global COO and CEO of General Insurance, Peter Zaffino, addressed both the need to modernize shared services as well as "restore AIG as the leading insurance company in the world" in his announcement of Fitzsimon’s joining AIG.

Indeed, SSON Analytics data identifies nine of the top 15 insurance companies in the world (measured by revenue) as already running Shared Services.

The linking of pole position amongst peers with a modern, global shared services, will reassure SSO executives that they are on the right track, indeed, are in the right career to potentially leave their mark on a modern enterprise.

Zaffino spells out the benefits of bringing in someone of Shane's caliber in terms of his “proven track record” in "aligning shared services capabilities within global organizations with long-term operational and financial objectives." But modernizing shared services within a global context doesn't just make operational sense – it's also a smart step towards retaining key staff and leveraging their business insights and knowledge to provide more valuable services to customers. A recent comment on highlighted the challenges of providing interesting careers for tenured staff at AIG specifically. The new global perspective will, presumably, reinvigorate such opportunities.

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