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What’s New: In brief (May 09, 2006)


May 9, 2006   by Canadian Underwriter


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MFX recently entered into a three-year contract to manage all IT infrastructure and operations for the Matlen Silver Group, an integrated business and technology solutions provider headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey. Under the terms of the contract, Matlen Silver’s IT operations will be run from one of MFX’s high-security data center locations and will include acquiring and full operations management of all hardware, infrastructure and system software, disaster recovery, and the provision of a Storage Area Network (SAN) environment. “Data security was one of the key drivers behind the decision to move our IT management over to MFX,” Robert Hanley, managing director of Matlen Silver’s Business Solutions Center, says. “Many of our clients are in the financial sector and they require high levels of security and the expertise to resolve issues immediately should any systems crash.”

Aviva recently appointed Paul Wood to the position of group business protection director. Wood joins Aviva from UBS Investment Bank where he held the position of chief security officer from ’99 to April 2006. In his neew position Wood will guide and monitor Aviva’s adherence to business continuity, disaster recovery and crisis management processes, driving all aspects of organizational risk management. Prior to joining UBS Wood worked in the Ministry of Defence with a variety of security roles from ’74 through to his retirement from government in ’95. During this time Paul was involved in numerous government security projects encompassing the protection of key national infrastructures and in ’95 he was awarded the MBE for services to government. Adding Wood to the Aviva team reflects the Company’s increased emphasis on having a clear, integrated business protection strategy across the Aviva group and the move addresses security-related issues in line with the growth of Aviva’s global businesses.

Raymond Protti, president and CEO of the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA), recently told a joint meeting of the National Press Club of Canada and The Economic Club of Ottawa that providing consumers with access to insurance product information “where and when they want it” is a “good sense public policy initiative.” Protti’s speech follows up the banking industries recommendation that, in lieu of the Bank Act review, the government should change the prohibitions limiting Canadians’ access to information about insurance products. Protti says the inability to get insurance information from banks is “counter-productive public policy that works against the interests of consumers.” Protti says in order for Canadians to gain more access to insurance information changes to legislation should include:
* availability of insurance product information at a bank branch;
* the ability for banks to send individually tailored insurance product information to consumers;
* the ability for bank branch personnel to refer consumers to external insurance professionals; and,
* to send relevant consumer information to insurance affiliates.
Protti says brokers, insurance companies and mutual fund dealers are able to offer their clients banking products like deposit accounts, credit cards, loans, mutual funds, as well as insurance all in one place, but banks are barred from doing the same.
“In no other situation would it be acceptable to regulate the restriction of product information to consumers. No one would allow it. It would be roundly chastised as anti-consumer,” Protti says.