Ricardo García Gutierrez – Zurich Santander Chile
Ricardo García Gutierrez has a lofty goal for himself and for Zurich Santander Chile, where he’s head of digital.
“I picture myself helping to build not just a better Chile, but a better world,” García says. “I’ll do this by working on sustainable projects that will not only bring success to the business but have a positive impact on everyone that surrounds us.”
When he became chief digital officer, he focused on expanding how the company markets and sells its insurance products and services, while also making the organization more efficient. It’s been more than three years since the work began, and García says he’s proud of the progress.
“We still have a long way to go, but we’re working toward it diligently and expeditiously,” he says.
In the sales department, he helped accelerate the integration of Salesforce because of the COVID-19 pandemic and new sales opportunities. García also helped implement internal tools and services to attend to clients “in a more efficient and closer way.”
García says every market and every company is trying to improve its digital capabilities, not only in terms of technology, but also related to culture and work lifestyle. As he explains, “we’re facing one of the biggest digital accelerators of human existence.”
Leading a digital transformation
Zurich Santander provides health insurance, medical reimbursement, accidental death, property, travel and long- and short-term life insurance. It’s a joint venture between Zurich, the global insurance company, and Santander, the bank. Zurich Santander employees sell insurance products only to Santander Bank clients.
For the past two years, García has supported the migration to a new core system for Zurich-Santander, which has 180 employees in Chile. There are also offices in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Spain and Uruguay and about 1,500 employees overall. Part of the transformation included practical steps, like making it possible to sign electronically for internal approvals and to reduce paper consumption.
Adding distribution channels, like social media and phone marketing, has allowed the company to reach new customers and bring them better customer service, he says. The plan to migrate the core business functions to a more flexible, customer-centric model with additional products and services will keep García busy well into 2022.
For the next two years, García says he’ll be helping design solutions related to claims, finance, customer experience and communications needed to build a powerful digital platform that will serve Zurich Santander clients.
“We are working on building a digital platform to distribute a variety of insurance products and services,” Garcia says. “It’s one of the main tech projects we’ve undertaken, and it’ll allow us to offer a better product and service to our clients in an easier and more efficient way,” he says.
With customers and clients working from home and requiring on-demand medical attention, Zurich Santander Chile has mapped out a plan to build more robust and customized products to satisfy these demands.
“Connecting all of our services and ensuring they are agile and transferable when demands change is paramount,” García says.
During the past few years, he’s been working to expand his knowledge in technology and innovation with a focus on financial products.
“I’ve never stopped learning and adding to my skillset, which is imperative to stay relevant in the fintech industry,” he says.
García earned a bachelor’s degree from the Universidad de los Andes in Santiago, and he continued his studies in Santiago at the Universidad Nacional Andres Bello by getting a business and marketing degree. Then, he earned a certificate in digital marketing and management from Universidad Europea de Madrid.
Before getting his first full-time job, García worked as an intern at AIG, the global insurance company, in different locations—including Argentina, Colombia and the U.S.—then spent three months interning for MetLife in Madrid. His first real-world experience came in Philadelphia as a business analyst for Latin America for Chubb, the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company.
After two years in the U.S., García took his talents to Ecuador, where he served as an account manager for Chubb in the capital city of Quito. After nine months, he was promoted to the digital business development team and named the lead regional analyst for Latin America. He stayed in that role for two and half years.
“These were amazing years with our Miami-based team where we built not just a distribution channel but the first pieces of a digital insurance company,” García recalls. “Empathy, perseverance and leadership were big components to our teams’ success.”
When he moved to Zurich Santander Chile in January 2019, García says he faced similar challenges to the ones he faced with Chubb. He says his experience transforming a traditional insurance company to a digital one has helped.
Right now, as head of digital, García continues to focus on improving service internally and externally. It’s all a part of responding to client and employee demands, and it’s something he takes pride in doing. After all, his goal is to make Chile and the world a better place.
“There’s no better place to start than with the dedicated team at Zurich Santander Chile,” García says.
View this feature in the Spring II 2022 Edition here.
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