Featured Analyst: Karen Monks

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31 July 2018
Karen Monks

Karen Monks started her career as a financial analyst but a job in management consulting ultimately led her to life insurance operations and technology. She is particularly interested in understanding how technology can create efficiencies, so it only made sense that she applied those same skills to Celent where she created standardized processes for Celent’s vendor research. When she's not busy finding the most efficient way to complete a process or project, you'll find Karen at the gym for a boot camp class, cooking, or spending time (usually traveling) with her family.

WHERE ARE YOU FROM ORIGINALLY / WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?

I currently live outside of Richmond, VA. I was born in Rome, GA. Grew up in Pittsfield, MA. A GE town.

FAVORITE ANIMAL / PETS?

We lost our family dog in 2016 and have not got another yet; she was that special.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CITY/PLACE YOU’VE TRAVELED?

We travel a lot, so no one favorite. Top three are Amalfi Coast, Italy; Budapest, Hungary; and Iceland. Traveling is my favorite hobby.

FAVORITE BAND / MUSIC / SONG?

I like a variety of music. Anything you can work out to suits for me!

FAVORITE FOOd?

Indian, but seafood is a close second.

WHAT's your story?

Started my career with GE in the Financial Management Program. From there went back to get my MBA and joined Coopers & Lybrand after graduation as a management consultant. Hating the travel, I moved in house at John Hancock in their internal management consulting group. Through the many projects we ran at John Hancock job I was exposed to life insurance operations and technology. It also had me working with an ex-Celent employee who thought about me years after we parted ways in 1999. I moved to Richmond in 2001 and worked as a landscape designer (which is very analytical) and as a financial analyst valuing closely and privately held companies. I joined Celent in 2010 as a life insurance analyst and have been here ever since.

WHAT impact should an analyst provide?

It is my hope that our research in new business and underwriting systems and the related cost savings that could be had by relying less on human underwriters has helped change some of the thoughts regarding these systems. Our research has shown that there are verifiable benefits, although not without challenges, related to implemented new business and underwriting technology.