Episode 26

Building a Technology-Enabled Foundation with Jeff Hughes from Brighthouse Financial

Accelerate your understanding of business transformation and technology as Jeff Hughes takes us on a journey through the past five years of his professional life, where he played a pivotal role in successfully transitioning Brighthouse Financial to a new foundation. With over 200 transition services agreements and 100 programs and initiatives to navigate, Jeff and his team faced numerous challenges, but ultimately emerged victorious in their quest. Delve into the strategies and tactics that allowed Jeff and his team to build a sustainable Fortune 500 business, attract top talent, and drive growth through new products and features and uncover the pivotal events that shaped their journey, from the maturity of cloud offerings to the divestiture, and how they seized the opportunity to capitalize on these developments.

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Time Stamps

  • 06:10 What Jeff has been hired to accomplish at a strategic level
  • 08:26 Brighthouse Financial’s transition approach and how it differs from others 
  • 10:27 Critical decisions Brighthouse Financial made in 2017 for digital
  • 12:39 The principals that Jeff and Brighthouse Financial created when given the warrant to create new systems
  • 17:55 The essential initiatives for developing business ecosystem
  • 20:54 Jeff and Brighthouse Financial’s three indispensable digital initiatives
  • 23:04 How Jeff would describe his management style and how he attracts and retains top talent
  • 25:47 Areas where Jeff sees the controversial wisdom leading insurance


On this episode of Life Accelerated, Jeff Hughes shares about the company's successful transition to a new foundation that involved exiting hundreds of agreements and initiatives. Jeff emphasizes the importance of a modern ecosystem in technology, particularly in terms of shifting from Capex to Opex in the transformation to SaaS and cloud technologies and how Brighthouse pursued this path and completed the transition to a 100% cloud-based and 90% software as a service environment. The company wants to be a best-in-cost company and heavily leverages third parties for technology-enabled business functions rather than outsourcing existing jobs.

Key Takeaways:

    • Adaptability and strategic planning is key. With ever changing technology at our fingertips, it’s important to be able to quickly adapt and change business processes to keep up with competition.

    • Focus on driving growth and improving the advisor experience. This emphasizes the significance of customer-centricity and innovation in staying competitive in the industry.

    • Build a technology-enabled foundation. This showcases the importance of modern technology infrastructure and the strategic use of resources to enable cost-effectiveness and flexibility.

A lot of our digital initiatives will be around the advisor experience. So this will include more personalization, better access to data across their customer base, and eventually an extensive amount of analytics.

Jeff Hughes

Chief Information Officer, Brighthouse Financial

Our Guest

Jeff Hughes

LinkedIn Website

Jeff Hughes is the Chief Information Officer of Brighthouse Financial - a company that provides annuities and life insurance products that help protect what you've earned and ensure it lasts. Jeff began his career as a nuclear physicist for the US Naval Reactors Program, designing nuclear reactors for the Virginia Class nuclear attack submarine. He served 7 of the top 10 P&C carriers and 5 of the top 10 life insurers. Prior to Brighthouse Financial, Jeff was a partner in McKinsey's insurance practice and business technology office, as well as SVP and led systems development, vendor management, and delivery methodologies for CNA. His specialties include insurance, banking and financial services, technology strategy, technology operations, IT architecture, management consulting, and nuclear engineering.


Anthony O'Donnell: I'm Anthony O'Donnell, and this is Life Accelerated, a podcast for life insurers striving to achieve digital transformation. The story of Brighthouse Financial is about the creation of a new company and a new technology environment following MetLife's divestiture of its retail life and annuities business in 2017.

Our guest, Jeff Hughes, the company's Chief Technology Officer, joined MetLife prior to the divestiture and was tasked with the separated entity's technology transformation. This is a story of a major business from a household name insurer becoming, in effect, a greenfield opportunity. At least that's what the new company's leadership decided it would be.

Jeffrey counts how the divestiture meant ample investment in platforms and processes all across the business and operations functions that in turn forced decision making and a ruthless kind of prioritization that wouldn't have happened in a routine situation. This was nothing short of an opportunity to reinvest and reinvent the business's technology foundation, as Jeff puts it.

I am looking forward to introducing to our audience the fascinating person that Jeff Hughes is someone I've known for a long time, but I thought it best to talk a little bit about the very interesting story of Brighthouse Financial and the technological challenges and opportunities that brought.

Jeffrey Hughes: Great. Well, thank you first of all Anthony for having me on the podcast today. And yeah, just a, a couple words about Brighthouse. So this was the Retail life and annuities division of MetLife. So really the core of their business, going back to the early days of the company, and it was spun off in a divestiture, which is formalized in 2017.

So what this provided as an opportunity for us going forward is to really reinvest or reinvent what. This technology foundation could look like. And there were two paths that as a company we could pursue. One would be to leverage existing systems and split off the data, but leverage those kind of original foundational platforms or to really make a departure and craft what I have called.

Since then, a 100% cloud, 90% SaaS, 90% software as a service environment, understanding that there's a little bit of marketing in that, but it really is an externally hosted environment and largely commercially vended software. And that's where we pursued. We have spent since 2017 and planted the victory flag at the end of last year in making that transition.

And I think it opens up a whole host of opportunities for us going forward. So it really did create a, I would say, rare, if not unique. Opportunity in the industry. There have been a number of divestitures announced sort of in and around the space since then, but I think we have pursued that entirely cloud-based environment, and that I believe is differentiating for us.

Anthony O'Donnell: Yeah, I mean, it sounds like kind of a dream job for a guy like you. It's almost like a greenfield opportunity and it's a huge chunk of business, so it's a very interesting story. Tell us just briefly what your role is and how you got involved in the project.

Jeffrey Hughes: Sure. So I joined for a brief moment. I was an employee of MetLife.

I joined at the beginning of 2017 and the divestiture was formalized in August of that year. I joined to lead the technology organization, so I serve as the Chief Technology Officer, which includes all technology functions. So it's our. Data, it's our business platforms, it's our technology infrastructure and operations.

It's our security. The CISO is part of that same organization, so it really is all encompassing of the functions within technology, and it was with the remit to build this organization. So we had, at that point, after the divestiture, there were probably a lot of the functions were sort of, Self-contained within the retail division.

Already when the divestiture took place, technology heavily leveraged the shared services of MetLife for its technology environment. So when we were splitting, we had to build that organization. I think we had probably 15 to 20 people at that time that were Brighthouse employees within technology. And that number is roughly around 200

today. So we've had to build that whole organization at the same time that we were converting and transitioning onto those platforms. And it's been, to your point, it really has been a dream opportunity. It was what was compelling to me to join the organization. No share of challenges, which I'm sure we'll talk a little bit about, but it's been a fantastic journey since then.

Anthony O'Donnell: Like I said earlier, I've known you for quite a while. I mean, that's probably an understatement. I find it really interesting to think about what you bring to the job. I mean, you've had a long consulting career, but you know, as I think about your background, I'm reminded of the joke about rocket science where the commentator says, well, it's not music theory.

I guess you could say that life insurance transformation isn't exactly nuclear physics.

Jeffrey Hughes: I think nuclear physics is way easier, actually. Uh, no. It's a, it's where I started my career was in nuclear reactor physics. Spent some time as part of the US Naval Reactors program associated with the USS Virginia Class of

submarines and then took a pretty right angle turn about three or four years into that to move over to management and technology consulting, which is where we came to know each other, and spent 15, I think probably right around 15 years in that field at two companies, Diamond Technology Partners, and then McKinsey after that, but always knew that.

It would be interesting to lead a technology organization, and again, doing so in this context and the opportunity to build an organization, build a platform, and do it in such a way that it's as close to greenfield as I think you're gonna get in this industry without being a startup. And the fact that you do have a lot of that legacy data, a lot of these legacy platforms makes it that much more

challenging, but I think coming out of this stretch of five to six years, I, I think we are very well positioned and largely have been able to fulfill the promise that we laid early in 2017.

Anthony O'Donnell: We refer to your role a little bit, and I thought we might talk a little more explicitly about your strategic brief, which is to say, beyond your specified duties, your job description, what have you been hired to accomplish at a strategic level?

Jeffrey Hughes: Sure. I think in building the broad remit was to extricate out of the MetLife environment to stand up and environment a foundation, a technology enabled foundation really is how we've thought about it for this new company. In doing so, I think that was sort of the job description, everything that goes along with that.

In doing so, there were a couple of strategic objectives we wanted to get accomplished. So we talk a lot about being a best in cost company. So for us, we believe that. Cost effectiveness can be a strategic differentiator, especially in this business. For me, that also translated to a predictable cost structure.

So when we talk about software as a service and cloud, there's some notion if well managed of getting to a predictable run rate going forward, and this shift from. CapEx to OpEx, I think is a real change in the industry that sometimes is not fully appreciated. So for us, that's also been a helpful aspect.

But we also, I guess maybe the third plank of this is we do heavily leverage a lot of third parties in this, whether these are cloud providers or SaaS providers, platform providers. I view this not so much, and I've even. Avoided using the term outsourcing because this isn't just turning over existing jobs to third parties.

It's really leveraging businesses for what they do best. And for us, it's the technology enabled business functions that we're procuring. For example, you don't talk about outsourcing your electricity production in your house. It's just not something that you would build on your own. More and more. I think this leverage of an ecosystem is gonna be the more prevalent.

Operating model going forward, and this isn't unique to us. I think what we've tried to do is be maybe more expansive in our thinking, but any number of companies in this industry are starting to move in that direction, have been moving in that direction, and I think that's important. We want to be able to leverage the innovation in any ecosystem.

We want to be able to leverage the advances that take place and then just be very thoughtful and very selective about what we decide to build on our own.

Anthony O'Donnell: Jeff, you said real change in the industry. That was the phrase that came out, and I was thinking as you spoke, that this is not the kind of routine transition that we might have expected 10, 15, 20 years ago. And one might say that it's at odds with the stereotype that insurance is a technologically laggard industry.

Jeffrey Hughes: I think that's a fair point and although I think that we, and in particular the team has just done yeoman's work getting us to this point. We did benefit from a confluence of two events. So one was in 2017 when we undertook this journey, the maturity of cloud offerings had finally reached a tipping point where we could be much more expansive in how we leverage them if we'd attempted to do this transition.

Even five years before that, let alone 10 years, I'm not sure the cloud offerings, the SaaS offerings would've been at a state of maturity that we could have been as broad in our thinking. In addition to that, I think the notion of a divestiture is a helpful one, and not just because there's investment that takes place as part of separating those two companies, but also because it presents a real

clarity of focus and a clarity of mission on what you're trying to achieve. It is much more difficult to get the level of just rigorous prioritization, almost, you know, brutal prioritization in some cases without this sort of strategic event overlaying all of this, which is we are trying to create a company and we really need to be able to do that in a certain amount of time.

So the fact that we had both of those coming together at that point, I think really benefited us. I think we really took a lot from that, and I think we've made sort of the most of that opportunity.

Anthony O'Donnell: But that's what it is, isn't it? You're describing an approach that's opportunistic and ambitious, not cautious and plotting.

Jeffrey Hughes: It's a good phrase. I think the opportunistic we've been presented with an opportunity. I think the challenge for the industry is how do you replicate or can you replicate that sort of transition without the step change event that a divestiture or an acquisition similarly provides you.

Anthony O'Donnell: Alright, so let's talk now about the yeoman's work you referred to, I think to understand both the nature and the magnitude of the task.

It would be good to talk about just where Brighthouse was in detail. You've given us the overview when you joined in early 2017 with the stage set for that divestiture divestment. I think to understand Brighthouse's digital journey, we have to look at some critical decisions that were made at that time, and I thought we could start with.

The opportunity that it created for investment in IT systems. And then maybe we could talk a little bit about principles that were established to create the new technology environment, and then maybe review some of the major initiatives that got you where you are today.

Jeffrey Hughes: So beginning with where we were when I joined in 2017, so the divestiture had been announced actually in 2016.

It wasn't formalized until later in the year in 2017, but the team had already begun planning. What are the phases of work that we're gonna need to do and undertake? And in what sequence? So not. Surprisingly, we had to begin with our technology infrastructure and our security that goes along with that.

So we were part of the MetLife ecosystem that we leveraged their network, we leveraged their devices, we leveraged their security protocols. So before we could talk about this transition over to new business platforms, we had to have our own environment in order to run this on. And that first, the critical, the seminal decision that we had to make was would we be leveraging sort of existing systems or would we be taking advantage of this opportunity?

Who needed to really craft the environment and I joined the organization With that decision having been made, our CEO had a huge role in crafting sort of where we wanted to end up. We had a very, very capable technology leadership. It was a small group, but we had some really fantastic leaders in the organization as I joined.

So that was sort of already in process, like we were already kind of moving down that path when I joined the organization.

Anthony O'Donnell: So that was a warrant for you to be creative.

Jeffrey Hughes: I will say I was quite happy sort of in the environment that I was in, and it really was this opportunity, this vision that really set the stage of, yes, this is something that you can't pass up.

And so that really was that that was coming in to say, all right, we've made this decision. How do we execute on it?

Anthony O'Donnell: So given that warrant to create new systems, let's talk now about some of the principles you established. It's fascinating. It's exciting to think about how you go ahead and do that once you've been told that you can.

Jeffrey Hughes: I would say as I came on board, one of the points that frankly, even in sort of the initial conversations about the opportunity, one of the points that I have made that any number of technology leaders, any number of other CIOs have made. When they're choosing these cloud, choosing these particularly software as a service models is the need to remain true to a standard process.

And even going so far as to say, if it comes down to changing the technology versus changing the business process, we're willing to adapt our business process to the platforms that we have in front of us, and we have not been. Perfectly successful in that approach. But I would say that has been the underpinning of so many decisions that we have made over time that we're willing to adapt our business processes to platforms, because at the end of the day, it may actually be simpler to adjust those.

Processes to meet some level of standardization than to rewire commercially vended platforms. You, you very quickly, in my view, erode the business value of these platforms. If you start going in there and opening up the hood and changing out the engine. So for us, that was a very beginning underpinning.

Anthony O'Donnell: Would it be fair to call that a kind of trade off, but one with business considerations in mind?

Jeffrey Hughes: I think it is a tradeoff, and it's not an obvious one. I think there are. Any number of companies who would rightly say we may be in the financial services space. We may be in manufacturing, but at the heart of it, we're a technology company.

Building our own technology assets is a source of differentiation for us. I think the other, what I would say, the other differentiation, which is the path that we're selecting is aggregating and integrating a number commercial platforms. Into a foundation, into an ecosystem that provides modularity. And with that it provides flexibility.

That provides a sort of predictable run rate going forward. And that allows us to be, this is one of the bets that we're making that allows us to have speed to market because we're not dealing with a number of customized internal platforms. We're dealing with something that's vented in the industry.

That to me, is the other end of innovation, which is not. Individual assets that are particularly bleeding edge. It is the aggregate of these veed assets that really gives us a foundation that we think gives us a lot of flexibility and a lot of predictability in terms of our cost. So far, that's been the outcome that we've seen, but again, it's not necessarily the outcome that.

Companies always go with it, nor should they. There are really some technology companies are the obvious example, but even in financial services, even manufacturing, there are assets that are created that are truly differentiating. I would view us as sort of having the differentiated foundation and that's what we've invested in.

Anthony O'Donnell: What would you identify as the essential initiatives that got you to that threshold that you mentioned earlier on?

Jeffrey Hughes: We were talking a little bit about the separation of that infrastructure. That was the first big one, and that was tough. A lot of people, and I will throw myself into this camp, truly underestimate the difficulty of network engineering and what it takes to set that up successfully.

And especially if you're moving into, we again didn't try to be. Particularly bleeding edge on this, but there were some leading capabilities that we wanted to incorporate as part of that network. So that was the initial transition, and that is global. It affects every individual in the company. So getting that right is difficult.

I would say there were certainly some hiccups that we had along the way, but I think we've ended up. With an environment that suits us well, and I would say that in particular during covid, we had really built the organization to be flexible in terms of where people were working, not envisioning anything like what we saw in 2020, but we were able to make that transition literally over days, maybe even a couple of days, because the environment was built to support that.

So that was kind of the big initial one has served us well over time. Then we shifted to sort of our more corporate. Back office, our corporate foundation. So this included our financials, this included our HR systems, our legal systems, our legal platforms, so all of that back office technology. That was step two, and that was a ton of work.

I mean, that really did take us a while. To get through, relatively speaking, a while to get through as we were sort of wrapping that up, let's call that in the twenty eighteen, twenty nineteen timeframe. We then also began in earnest this transition of, we had established a new set of policy administration systems with a partner and begun to release new products on that platform.

At that point, we started to transition a lot of that enforced policy. So I think those were sort of the three waves that we pursued. It was creating our own. Infrastructure, creating the corporate platforms and then creating the core insurance platforms as top of that. Underpinning all of that obviously is the, especially when we get to the insurance platforms, is the data that needs to be migrated along with that and the tooling associated with that.

Anthony O'Donnell: Let's take all of that and talk about what this means for digital transformation in particular. This is a thing I always like to discuss, that we think of digital as this front end experience, and yet it's made possible by a lot of back office systems and a lot of front end systems. So in doing all this work, what kind of a digital experience do you create?

Jeffrey Hughes: I would just reiterate your point and wholeheartedly agree with the notion of when digital is discussed. It's usually in the context of a front end user facing experience, but what we have again, had the rare, if not unique opportunity to do, is address all of the underpinning. Plumbing beneath that, and that is very helpful.

And again, not always an opportunity that carriers have, but it's a very helpful environment to work within because now when you talk about front end facing experiences, it should be against an an environment that is easier to build upon, that can be more quickly developed, you can be more incremental, more modular.

There's all of these benefits that come along with that. So I would say we're at a point where we've been able to declare victory on that. Transition over to this new set of plumbing and really for everyone listening, celebrate the plumbers in your environment. It is a very difficult job and kind of trying to predict the future of what a foundation needs to be.

Support is very difficult without overspending. So for us, we've been able to accomplish that. It is now really about showing what this environment can do. I've talked about. As a pilot, I have this pension for aviation analogies and we've built this plane and now we want to go fly it. Like that's the exciting part.

Building is interesting, but we really wanna go fly this thing. And for us, a lot of our initial digital experiences, We have remained true to the notion of being an advisor focused company. So a lot of our digital initiatives will be on that advisor experience. So this will include more personalization, it will include better access to data across their customer base.

Over time, we want to be able to introduce analytics, but. Over the past couple years as we've been making this transition, there have been a couple of initiatives that we've been able to deploy. We have a digital desk, which provides sales material that our wholesalers can then in turn provide to their financial advisors, the advisors they serve.

So a lot of this will be geared around the advisor experience and making sure that those advisors can then service their customers in a way that's best for them and makes us particularly easy to work with. We have a wholesaling organization that provides product information to advisors, and then it is the advisors that then in turn provide specific financial advice to their customers.

And our objective is to make sure that our products, first and foremost, meet the customer needs, that those advisors are relaying back to us, and that we are then also in turn, easy to do business with from an advisor perspective.

Anthony O'Donnell: Well, we'd like to ask our guests what their three indispensable digital transformation initiatives are, and I guess another way of asking this question is to follow your aviation analogy. You know, what are some of the most important destinations for the plane that you're flying?

Jeffrey Hughes: Up to this point, priorities 1, 2, 3, 7, 12, 22 have been this effective transition from the environment that we were working in onto this new foundation.

So that's really been the dominating priority, the dominating set of initiatives. We've, over the past five years, I think it's been over. 200 individual transition services agreements that we've exited with met, and that's been a part of well over a hundred individual initiatives and programs. I think what we look forward to going forward is, again, in notion of sort of flying this plane, I think that first destination is, As we talk about our growth agenda, being able to develop products and features that will resonate in the marketplace.

So how do we continue to drive growth across the organization? I think the second destination is this notion of advisor experience and making us easy and intuitive to do business with, and increasingly across different channels. So whether that's call center, whether that's online, being able to facilitate those multichannel interactions.

I would say the third from my perspective is more internal facing, and not necessarily digital technology, but being able to build a workforce that is facile in those concepts around digital capabilities, around digital transformation, what that impact means. But for us, the transformation component of this, we feel like we've really done a lot of that transformation.

A lot of where carriers get hung up is how do you recast a. Oftentimes legacy environment to work in a digital world. We've been handed a great opportunity to be able to address that platform, and now we're building on top of it. But certainly the big two in terms of digital technology is gonna be how do we facilitate the growth agenda?

And a lot of that will be around products and product features. And then how do we facilitate an advisor experience that's compelling.

Anthony O'Donnell: Yeah, to follow up on your workforce comment, and maybe in the spirit of understanding how you sustained that flight or how you continued the battle after the last great victory, how would you describe your management style, and what do you do to make sure you're attracting and retaining top talent in your organization?

Jeffrey Hughes: Part of that attracting and retaining has been the mission that we've been on. So the same things that attracted me to this opportunity continues to attract people into the organization, which is that it's building a Fortune 500 business. I think that continues to be, even as we've completed this transition from a.

Platform perspective. And there are still, let's be clear, there are still sort of a couple of initiatives to wind out, but now it really is around building and sustaining a business and I found we've been able to recruit some really, honestly fantastic talent who are motivated by that. As a mission. I think it's always helpful to have a very clarifying mission for the organization and for us, it's to build that organization and build a sustainable model that will take us forward.

And from my perspective, and we hear this from newer employees all the time, the amount of responsibility that they've been able to get so early, in some cases in their careers is really a compelling offering for them. So that probably is sort of first and foremost the ability to build this from an operational perspective.

I do think that the notion of a cloud-based, SaaS-based model. I would characterize it as a truly modern technology environment. I think it's also compelling. I think this has been a difficulty you mentioned a little bit earlier, this is not an industry that's necessarily known as an innovative industry.

We generally get tagged with sort of the laggard label. I think this environment provides a bit of differentiation for that, so I think that also helps in sort of bringing people into the organization. In terms of management style, you asked about that I, for better or for worse, and there are both ends of this tend to operate on a principle of everybody sort of brings good ideas to the table.

Every idea is worth some evaluation and worth an understanding of how people came to those conclusions. So it tends to be a relatively deliberative, and ideally there's some notion of consensus. It's not a requirement, but it tends to be sort of a deliberative approach to evaluating options. I think on the positive side that that brings everybody under the tent when we talk about decision making, there are.

And I recognize this, there are just some situations when you need somebody to just say, yep, that's interesting. We're taking that hill and we're gonna move forward. But I, I think that style has helped us in the sense of bringing people in and making them understand that they have a contribution to provide immediately.

I hope that's something that sustains going forward.

Anthony O'Donnell: Well, when I first met you, you were a consultant with Diamond and that made me want to ask you, what are some areas where you see the conventional wisdom potentially leading insurance? IT decision makers, astray.

Jeffrey Hughes: I've mentioned it a few times and I, I think it really does sort of ring true even in this context, is that the importance of a modern ecosystem, and, and I might even characterize this as technology leaders understand this, this isn't always understood by business leaders that the importance of that ecosystem is only becoming.

Greater because we are at a point where there are a number of technologies that it's not exactly clear where things are gonna head and you have to build for a foundation that accommodates sort of multiple directions. So for me, the plumbing is still fantastically important and I don't know that that outside of the technology arena, that's always understood.

I mentioned the shift from CapEx to OpEx, and I really do think that is an under. Appreciated shift with this transition to SaaS and to cloud technologies. I've worked, whether it's in consulting or within organizations, where the amortization sort of overhang really does squeeze out over time the ability to innovate, the ability to build.

And I think that is not fully appreciated, just how constraining that can be. And for us, the ability to, the clean slate certainly helps, but I think the ability to not have that overhang up to this point. Of sort of all of these capital investments from years before and really constraining your ability for future investment.

I'm not sure that's fully understood. I think the notion, because it is sort of all the rage in the discussion right now around AI and generative AI. I think that over time is a game changer. I think for us, there are some more practical concerns in front of us around ensuring we have the right data quality, ensuring that we know sort of where that data sits and it's easily accessible.

That will in turn allow us to make appropriate use of these things going forward. But there's no doubt that that's gonna be a game changer over time. It's something that we're paying very close attention to, as are a lot of others in the industry. I think it's probably fair to say we might be in this hype cycle where right now we're at the peak of that, and then a little bit more pragmatism will creep in over time, and then the real use cases will emerge.

Anthony O'Donnell: Jeff, thank you so much for sharing your insights and for sharing the fascinating story of Brighthouse.

Jeffrey Hughes: Thank you, Anthony. It's good to see you again. As we've said, it's been a relationship over a number of years, so I really appreciate the opportunity. Thank you.

Anthony O'Donnell: It was a great pleasure to reconnect with Jeff Hughes.

We joked about whether insurance technology was in fact rocket science. As it happens, Jeff's career began in nuclear physics serving in the US Naval Reactors program. While he had a rare opportunity to act creatively and to do so with adequate funding, he acknowledges the inevitable challenges of standing up a new technology enabled business foundation.

Keys to Brighthouse's success included getting things in the right order, starting with the infrastructure foundation. One rule Jeff put in place was to use standard processes, even to the extent that business processes may be adapted to the technology rather than the other way around, because it might be simpler in the end.

Another principle was to be rigorous about cost structure, a principle that has enabled an enviable shift over time from CapEx to OpEx. Another aspect of Jeff's disciplined approach is to leverage third parties, though never in a manner that involves simply turning over jobs to other entities. When Jeff began his work, Brighthouse's technology organization had less than 20 people.

Today it has about 200. Yet another aspect of Jeff's working principles is to leverage technological advances and be very selective about when to build versus buy. Thank you for joining the Life Accelerated podcast. For more relevant content to help you achieve digital transformation, visit equisoft.com/lifeaccelerated.


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