Shefi Ben-Hutta

Cofounder, Coverager

Shefi Ben-Hutta is the cofounder of Coverager, a media and intelligence firm covering insurance innovation. Its flagship daily email – with a 40% open rate – is widely acclaimed for its wit, op-ed and thorough yet brief analysis of industry happenings.  Its data tools offer access to insurtech funding, analysis of relevant companies by technology, a look at insurers’ investment and more – all tailored and customized for the modern insurance professional.  

In addition to daily coverage, Coverager offers customized reports on digital strategy and has been presenting to top life, P&C and reinsurance companies to bring them up to speed on customer acquisition strategies, new entrants, microinsurance and more. Its latest intelligence report titled ‘Auto Insurance Leads: Measuring Quality’ has been cited by CNN.  

Shefi has over 15 years of insurance experience, which includes working for an Israeli-based insurance agency, a commercial lines-focused technology startup, and a P&C insurer. She holds a B.Sc. in Applied Mathematics from Bar-Ilan University and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business with a specialization in strategy and marketing.

Peter Bendor-Samuel

Everest Group Founder and CEO

Peter is passionate about business transformation and finding new ways to create and capture value. He founded the consulting and research firm Everest Group [] more than 25 years ago to enable leading enterprises to take advantage of disruptive technologies, innovative service vehicles, and game-changing talent models. He has advised clients for more than two decades to effectively navigate through numerous disruptive trends across outsourcing and global business services, next-generation technology solutions, and through the latest wave driven by digital, cloud, analytics, artificial intelligence, automation, and exponential technologies.

Peter frequently contributes his thought leadership as a keynote speaker at industry events, and in international business media, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Financial Times, and is a regular contributing blogger on and His pioneering experience in outsourcing engagements led him in 2000 to write the definitive primer for the industry, “Turning Lead Into Gold: the Demystification of Outsourcing.”

On a personal level, Peter tries to live an intentional, principled life. He is an avid reader and writer, world traveler, and focuses on staying healthy and active. He pursues change for the better, for self and others, and seeks satisfaction in helping people within Everest Group and beyond to become what they aspire to be.

Manish Bhatt

CEO and Managing Principal of Hawthorne Advisors, LLC

Manish Bhatt is CEO and Managing Principal of Hawthorne Advisors, LLC, a boutique consulting firm that helps clients focused on low and middle income markets build new businesses or turn-around existing ones.

Prior to starting Hawthorne Advisors in 2014, Manish was Senior Vice President and Head of global eBusiness and U.S. direct sales at MetLife.

As head of eBusiness, he was responsible for managing MetLife’s corporate website, eMarketing and eCommerce efforts.  As leader of MetLife’s direct sales efforts in the U.S., he held P&L accountability for the business and directly managed product development, marketing, distribution, IT, operations and service.

Manish holds an M.B.A. degree from Columbia University and a B.A. in economics from Haverford College.

Jon Cooper

Chief Executive Officer,

Jon co-founded in 2012. He brings to the company more than 15 years’ experience driving strategic growth, operations and product for leading companies in the insurance and technology space. Jon founded to fulfill his lifelong goal of creating a business that improved peoples’ lives while also making insurance more personalized and relevant.

Prior to founding, Jon served as Chief of Staff to the CEO at TriZetto. In this role, he was responsible for advising the CEO on strategic and operational priorities including sales, product and corporate development, culminating in 2014 with a $2.7 billion exit to Cognizant. Jon also held roles of Product Manager and Director of Strategy at TriZetto.

Prior to TriZetto, Jon worked as a consultant for Oliver Wyman, advising insurance, pharmaceutical, medical device and other financial and healthcare organizations.

In other roles, Jon also led the claims department for an insurance company with over 1.5 million policyholders, and served as a staffer at a Washington D.C. based public policy think-tank.

Jon holds an MBA from the Wharton School where he graduated with honors and was the recipient of the Wharton Venture Award and a two-time recipient of the Snider Seed Grant. Jon’s Bachelor’s Degree is from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dave Dorans

Chief Executive Officer, Clareto

Dave is the CEO of Clareto which enables the exchange of electronic health data to support life insurance underwriting and related use cases.Clareto’s foundation arises from MedVirginia –a pioneer in health information exchange.

Previous to this role, Dave spent 14 years at Transamerica Re/SCOR where he was SVP of the Value-Added Services Division and CEO of Velogica, the industry leading automated underwriting system.

Prior to that, Dave spent 15 years working in various roles in the life insurance industry beginning on the distribution side working for a major Wall Street wirehouse and Brokerage General Agency and then worked for life carriers including First Colony Life and Provident Mutual.

Andrew Friedman

Principal and Founder, The Washington Update

According to CNBC, Andy Friedman is “one of the nation’s most sought-after speakers on all things political.” An expert on political affairs, he is known for predicting the outcomes of Washington tax and fiscal deliberations and providing financial advisors and investors with strategies to consider in light of the changing political landscape.

Friedman was a senior partner with the law firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., where he practiced for almost thirty years, serving as head of the tax and corporate groups. He received his bachelor degree as valedictorian from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and his law degree from the Harvard Law School.

Friedman appears on CNBC, which refers to him as “Wall Street’s Tax Expert” and calls him “one of Washington’s savviest political observers.” He also has appeared on The Larry Kudlow Show, Fox Business Channel, and POTUS radio, has been profiled in The Washington Post and Research magazine, and is quoted extensively in publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal to USA Today.

Friedman is included in Best Lawyers in America and Chambers’ America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, which notes that “Andy’s ability to combine vast knowledge and a practical mindset permits him to convey the most complex of tax concepts in layman’s terms. He is the expert’s expert. If every lawyer were like him, the world would be a much better place.

Christopher Hessenius

Head of Product Development and Pricing for John Hancock

Christopher Hessenius has extensive experience in life insurance product development and pricing.  He is currently head of product development and pricing for John Hancock’s direct to consumer (DTC) life insurance business.   He leads a team that is responsible for all aspects for DTC product development from application to issue.  He is particularly charged with bringing innovative solutions to market that will enable more individuals to purchase life insurance and reduce the protection gap in America.  This includes application simplification, streamlining of underwriting, and methods to drive customer engagement post-issue.  Prior to his current role, Christopher supported specialty product development at John Hancock which included proprietary products for high net worth clients, COLI/BOLI, and international universal life products.  In addition, Christopher has led pricing initiatives for VUL and survivorship UL products.  In his nearly nine years with John Hancock, he has also worked in many other areas including experience analysis, financial reporting, and variable annuity modeling.  Christopher is Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.  He is a graduate of Providence College where he studied mathematics and quantitative economics.

Dr. Michio Kaku

Theoretical Physicist, Futurist and New York Times Best-Selling Author

Dr. Michio Kaku is one of the most widely recognised scientists in the world today. A theoretical physicist, futurist and Professor of theoretical physics, Michio is the co-founder of string field theory and continues Einstein’s search for a “Theory of Everything”.

He holds the Henry Semat Chair and Professorship in theoretical physics at the City College of New York, where he has taught for over 25 years. He has also been a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, as well as New York University (NYU). He is the author of several scholarly, Ph.D. level textbooks and has had more than 70 articles published in physics journals, covering topics such as superstring theory, supergravity, supersymmetry, and hadronic physics, seeking to unify the four fundamental forces of the universe – the strong force, the weak force, gravity and electromagnetism. He has hosted several major TV specials, such as Sci Fi Science, Time and Visions of the Future and 2057 and has written for popular science publications.

Using the cutting edge research of today’s foremost scientists, Michio explores the science of tomorrow: computers, artificial intelligence, reshaping our genetic inheritance. He explains how science is opening entirely new avenues for society and organisations at large and provides valuable advice on how to prepare for change. Michio’s research directly impacts on the world of business, finance, and the economy.

Guy Kawasaki

Venture Capitalist, Author, Speaker and Former Chief Evangelist at Apple

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. He is a brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz and an executive fellow of the Haas School of Business (UC Berkeley). He was the chief evangelist of Apple and a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation. He is also the author of The Art of the Start 2.0, The Art of Social Media, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

Jim Mallon

Board Member, SE2

James A. Mallon serves as an independent director on SE2’s Board and as president of LiveAmerica, a consumer-focused distribution company that provides new living benefit life insurance and retirement solutions to consumers in the broad middle income market and to small business owners.  Jim is an insurance industry leader with more than 40 years of experience in the industry and expertise in trailblazing new solutions for customers.

Jim served as president of all of American International Group’s life insurance business including the international businesses from 20111 until his retirement in 2015. Prior to that he was the CEO of American General Life companies, including American General Life and Accident Insurance Company from 2004 to 2011. Jim also oversaw the development of Quality of Life Insurance, one of the first living benefit life insurance products in America.  As CEO, he also drove a strategy that generated impressive growth during a period of negative growth for the overall industry. Jim has also served as the president and COO of National Life Insurance Company, a member of the National Life Board of Directors, the chairman of Life of the Southwest (a National Life Group subsidiary) and CMO of The Hartford.

Jim graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College, attended Harvard University, and attended the Executive MBA program at the Whittemore School of Business at the University of New Hampshire.

Hector Monsegur

WhiteHat Hacker and Cyber Security Expert; Former Technical Expert, Anonymous/LulzSec

An internationally recognized expert on global cybersecurity issues, Hector is a proven offensive security researcher and industry leader. With regular appearances on CBS, within the pages of Wired magazine and through other major outlets, he is a leading voice on cyberattacks and cyberwarfare.

As Director of Assessment Services at Rhino Security Labs, Hector brings a unique perspective from decades of offensive experience and a desire to make an impact in client security. In his role as a security researcher, he has identified countless zeroday vulnerabilities and contributed to dozens of tools and exploits for a wide variety of clients.

Formerly known by his online alias “Sabu,” Hector was once the technical expert behind the Anonymous/LulzSec hacker collectives. As a blackhat hacker, he highlighted critical vulnerabilities in numerous organizations, including governments, military organizations, and cybersecurity firms.

Later, in working with the US Government, he identified key vulnerabilities – and potential attacks – against major federal infrastructure, including the US military and NASA. Since working with US government and commercial security executives around the world, he has helped prevent upwards of 300 cyberattacks.

Continuing his security and vulnerability research at Rhino Security Labs, Hector works to secure clients in technology, healthcare, finance, government, and other industries. In his leadership role, his unmatched technical experience is shared to both educate other operators and guide technical research.

Paula Nelson

President, Retirement, Global Atlantic Financial Group

Paula Nelson, President, Retirement, provides executive leadership for Global Atlantic’s Retirement business, including business management, strategy and distribution. She joined the company in 2010 and has over 29 years of experience in the financial services industry.

Prior to working at Global Atlantic, Paula served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Transamerica Capital, Inc., a leading wholesale broker/dealer offering variable and fixed annuities, mutual funds and life insurance. She also held the position of Managing Director for AEGON Financial Services Group, Inc., where she was responsible for business development with AEGON’s top institutional business partners in the United States.

Paula holds an associate degree from the University of Minnesota. She is Series 6, 26 and 63 FINRA registered and holds a life and health insurance license in Minnesota.

Tom Scales

Head of Americas - Life, Annuity and Health, Celent

Tom leads life and health research across the Americas. His research focuses on operational best practices, real-world case studies and the application of vendor technology. His particular passion is to challenge life insurers to move faster in innovation as well as operational and IT transformation. He also leads a broad range of consulting projects, such as transformation project health checks, Deep Dive strategies for both insurers and vendors, and a variety of system selection projects.

Tom also leads the Life, Annuity, and Health practice in the Americas.

Tom is an industry veteran. His early experience was primarily with vendors, in a broad variety of roles from the most technical to sales and marketing to executive leadership. Later in his career, he led operations and technology for Crump, the nation’s largest life and annuity brokerage. More recently, he led the operations and technology organizations at Transamerica, for their US Life insurance companies, including both agent and worksite companies.

Tom is a regular presenter at industry conferences, such as LOMA’s Customer Service and LTC/DI conferences as well as vendor conferences.

Tom has a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from Rice University.

Chris Tarbell

Former FBI Cyber Security Special Agent; Director, Berkeley Research Group, LLP

Former FBI special agent Christopher Tarbell is one of the most successful cyber security law enforcement officials of all time–so successful, in fact, that books and movies are being made about his legendary career. Dubbed “the Eliot Ness of online crime” by Newsweek, he is the man responsible for infiltrating the hacker group Anonymous and taking down the notorious dark web drug trafficking site Silk Road, called “the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the Internet.” He led the tracking and arrest of two of the most infamous figures in cyberspace: Sabu, who was at one point the most influential hacker in the world, and Dread Pirate Roberts, who was later convicted for his involvement with Silk Road.

With 17 years in law enforcement–including time in the FBI’s preeminent cyber crime squad–and extremely rare insight into the minds of the hacker community, Tarbell is the nation’s preeminent voice on cyber security, and the man that gives even the most notorious cybercriminals nightmares. He shares adrenaline-pumping stories detailing growing cyber threats and challenges modern businesses face. His hair-raising anecdotes prove that just because you cannot see your adversary, or maybe even know his or her real name, it doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself.

Mitch Wein

Vice President of Research and Consulting, Novarica

Mitch Wein is a Vice President of Research and Consulting at Novarica. He is an expert in international IT leadership and transformation as well as technology strategy for life, annuities, health, personal and commercial lines, wealth management, and banking. Prior to joining Novarica, Mitch served in senior technology management positions at AXA including Interim CIO of AXA Ireland, Chief Architect and Head of CTO for AXA UK, and CTO of AXA Equitable; he was also on the AXA Group Architecture Review Board and Information Systems Architecture Committee Board and co-developed the AXA IT Strategy and Group Target Architecture. Mitch was also CTO for the Domestic Brokerage.