by Meridith Levinson

The Hartford Financial Services Group Hires Former Accenture Consultant Brian O’Connell as Its New CIO

Oct 23, 20072 mins

Plus: Banner Bank Promotes its CIO, and Bucknell U Recruits New IT Chief from Arcadia U.

The Hartford Financial Services Group hired Brian O’Connell as its vice president and chief information officer, leading IT for the company’s domestic and international wealth management businesses along with its group benefits business. O’Connell reports to Sharon Ritchey, SVP and COO of the Hartford Life’s U.S. wealth management division. He succeeds Terry Walker, who was appointed chief administrative officer for Hartford Life Japan, in the CIO role. O’Connell’s mission is to ensure that the company’s technology supports business expansion and growth, including the company’s efforts to cross sell insurance and financial services products to customers, and is shared across the company. He’ll be working closely with the finance, business resiliency and shared services departments to achieve his goals, according to the press release announcing his hire.

O’Connell proved his mettle to The Hartford while working for Accenture as managing director of its North American and Asian life insurance industry practice. During his 25 year tenure with Accenture, he was the lead partner on a project to transform the Hartford’s annuity customer service operation.

Steven Rust was promoted from SVP and CIO to EVP and CIO at Banner Bank in Walla Walla, Wash. According to the press release announcing his promotion, Rust’s move up recognizes his leadership and the improvements he’s made to the bank’s IT infrastructure. Prior to joining Banner Bank as its SVP and information chief in September 2004, he worked for banks and insurance companies as a consultant. Previously he spent 19 years with US Bank/West One Bancorp as its senior vice president and manager of information systems.

Bucknell University recruited Param Bedi to serve as its new CIO. Bedi, who currently serves as vice president and chief information officer at Arcadia University, starts his new job leading an 85-person IT department with Bucknell on January 1, 2008. Bedi has held his current position with Arcadia since 1999. From 1992 to 1996, he was Arcadia’s information systems and networking manager. He’s taught finance, management information systems, educational technology and computer science as an adjunct faculty member at Arcadia since 1992. Previously, he held IT management positions with CRW Financial and Solkatronic Chemicals. Bedi earned an MBA and a master’s degree in computer information systems from Temple University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce (accounting and economics) from the University of Delhi in India.