WASHINGTON, D.C. – ACORD, an insurance industry standard-setting organization, presented the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) with five awards today. The recognition was for IRI’s efforts to promote industry standards through its initiative to transform the annuity experience for financial professionals and consumers. IRI also was recognized for advancing women in the insurance industry.
“IRI is grateful to ACORD for recognizing the initial achievements of IRI’s unique strategic initiative to transform the annuity experience for financial professionals and consumers,” said Wayne Chopus, President and CEO of IRI. “We are working closely with ACORD and other industry stakeholders to modernize our industry to meet consumer demand for annuities. As important, we must streamline the annuity experience to make it digital, understandable, and easy. We’re also very excited to be recognized for efforts to advance women in the insurance industry, a major component of our diversity, equity, and inclusion mission.”
IRI’s leadership on this initiative and its collaboration with ACORD resulted in an ACORD Standards Advancement Award and an ACORD Industry Vanguard Award. The IRI initiative applies a digital-first strategy that will push the adoption of fast, modern, streamlined processes for each step in the annuity journey and create consistency across the industry. Additionally, applying standardized rules of engagement will support broader product understanding, faster transactions, and easier management of annuity products.
The ACORD Standards Advancement Award is presented to organizations demonstrating leadership in the areas of Standards development, advocacy, and implementation. It recognizes those who have gone above and beyond in guiding the insurance industry toward greater clarity in sharing insurance data.
The ACORD Industry Vanguard Award is presented to organizations that have enhanced and extended the scope of ACORD’s Standards, Architecture, and Forms and driven their adoption and use by new stakeholders and communities.
Three IRI staff members were also recognized for achievement.
The ACORD Community Leadership Award was presented to Katherine Dease, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer and Bryan Harmelink, Director, Operations and Technology. The ACORD Community Leadership Award is presented to individuals demonstrating leadership in the areas of Standards development, advocacy, volunteerism, and implementation. It recognizes those who have gone above and beyond in guiding the insurance industry toward greater clarity in sharing insurance data.
This last year, Dease has worked with 24 carriers and 10 distributor members to identify the top friction points in the financial professional experience and tackle them based on priority. Through these discussions, IRI has identified short-term solutions to top critical issues, and all three involve ACORD Standards.
Harmelink has worked to improve engagement and advocacy to the IMO and RIA channels regarding adopting ACORD standards and creating Paperless Transfer. He also is coordinating efforts to use ACORD standards to eliminate the FP friction and create more efficiency.
ACORD’s Women’s Insurance Advancement Award was presented to Anna Hildreth, Director, Membership & Business Development. This award is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of women in the insurance industry. Hildreth launched IRI’s Women in Leadership Initiative in 2021 to provide opportunities for networking and education through shared experiences and storytelling to promote the advancement and inclusion of women in the financial service industry. She created the vision for and executed IRI’s 2023 Women in Leadership Symposium.
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Contact: Dan Zielinski
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