Daily News: July 26, 2012

AlixPartners Adds Smith as SVP, Financial Services

AlixPartners LLP, the global business-advisory firm, announced that Mark B. Smith, formerly senior vice president and chief strategy officer of Farmers Insurance Group, a subsidiary of Zurich Financial Services, has joined the firm as a managing director in its Financial Services Practice. Smith, who was also previously acting chief operating officer and head of strategic initiatives execution for the Americas at Zurich Financial, has deep experience in operational transformation and excellence, profitable growth strategies and innovation, technology and IT strategy, and customer strategies.

Smith, who is one of five managing directors in AlixPartners’ substantial financial services performance-improvement group in North America, brings more than 30 years of experience to his new position and who will be based in New York.

Said Peter Fitzsimmons, president of the Americas at AlixPartners: “Mark is one of the strongest financial services consultants in the country, particularly in insurance. His addition to our team is yet another sign of AlixPartners’ commitment to delivering a unique and deep offering of both services and expertise to clients in this industry.”

During his career, Smith has served as an acting CIO and has significant experience in systems integration, application management and data analytics. In addition to his client-service responsibilities, Smith, who reported to both Zurich’s CEO for the Americas and the CEO of Farmers Insurance, also performed key strategy duties for each company, including the development of growth and regional integration strategies and operating models for Zurich’s Latin American business units.

He too served as a member of Zurich’s global operations council (a council of COOs from all of Zurich’s business divisions), its global growth council, its global target-operating-model development group and its global strategy group, and led the startup of Zurich’s “Internal Consulting Group,” and that company’s global organizational design and alignment effort. He was also the architect of, and regional executive sponsor for, the Zurich’s global “lean” operational-improvement program.

Prior to joining Zurich in 2006, Smith was a managing partner in the insurance practice at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young (now Capgemini), where he led the North American insurance practice as well as worked in media and entertainment companies, among others. His clients included some of the biggest company “names” in the world. Earlier, at Ernst & Young, he as a partner provided a wide range of business and technology consulting services to clients, including operational transformations, systems integrations and outsourcing.

Smith has a bachelor’s degree of the University of California at San Diego, and he also completed executive development programs at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Chicago and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston.