EP 39 – Stephen Barnham – CIO MetLife Asia – Our Customers Trust Us


Michael Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.  Michael lived and worked in Tokyo from February 1990 until December 2011.  Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, building one of the biggest and fastest-growing podcast listener bases in the region.  His AsiaTechPodcast.com show has listeners in more than 170 countries and his company, Michael Waitze Media produces some of Asia’s most popular podcasts.

MetLife Asia , Chief Information Officer

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In this episode, Michael Waitze talks to Stephen Barnham, CIO for Asia Pacific at MetLife. Stephen shares some fascinating insights on MetLife’s view on the InsurTech startups ecosystem and its appetite to partner and work with startups. Stephen and Michael have known each other since the early 1990s when both were working for Morgan Stanley in Japan. 

Stephen has worked most of his career in technology and digital transformation. He explains how MetLife has adapted its strategy to the new InsurTech ecosystem and is working with startups to improve customer experience. Metlife is working with venture capitalists and has its own investment fund to invest in interesting startups mostly in the area of big data, artificial intelligence and full-stack InsurTech startups. MetLife also runs an incubator in partnership with Techstars

Stephen also touches on the strategy around their open innovation platform that is run out of LumenLab and comments on the sudden acceleration in InsurTech and how incumbents can identify and engage with startups and keep up with the speed in adoption.

Other companies mentioned in this episode:

GoJek, AWS, Grab and Vision Fund

Episode 47