Leading with empathy: delivering a

compassionate customer experience

Leaders from banks & insurers share their vision for going above and beyond for customers in times of financial hardship

The past year has seen financial and social-shockwaves roll across the globe: little wonder, then, that the plight of vulnerable customers has rocketed up regulators’ agendas, with the US Federal Reserve System conducting research into the financial health of consumers and communities, and the UK’s FCA publishing a consultation on vulnerable customers. Now, more than ever, is the time for banks and insurers to proactively demonstrate empathy, fairness and flexibility throughout the customer experience.

Tune into our TV debate, to find out how you can enable between customer experience for those in need and in turn deliver a better CX for all.


Tim Hawley

Head of Customer Vulnerability and Complaints InsightCapital One

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Tim Hawley

Head of Customer Vulnerability and Complaints Insight

Capital One

Tim leads a multi award winning approach with a focus on Universal Design Standards for Vulnerability and promotes consistent practices across the industry. He has made publicly available the Capital One approach to Vulnerability Design and is a sought after speaker on this topic.

Vicki Heslop

Head of CXCovéa Insurance

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Vicki Heslop

Head of CX

Covéa Insurance

Vicki was appointed to Head of Customer Experience in July 2020 after leading the customer facing motor and home claims teams and developing their best in class claims service for a number of years. Vicki is now responsible for the delivery of the customer experience strategy, for all products, operational and claims areas across Covéa Insurance.

With over 20 years’ experience working across a variety of claims management roles; Vicki has been instrumental in the culture shift at Covéa Insurance, placing greater focus on all elements of customer experience.  Since 2014, Covéa’s Personal Lines claims, underwriting services and Provident teams have all attained the ICS ServiceMark Accreditation with distinction along with their Commercial and HNW departments.

Lori Pon

Director, Claim Transformation and Claim Service CenterAAA – The Auto Club Group

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Lori Pon

Director, Claim Transformation and Claim Service Center

AAA – The Auto Club Group

Lori is 20+ veteran of the insurance industry with extensive experience in developing a holistic vision and roadmap for seamless service delivery. She has successfully led the build, implementation and organizational change management for core platforms and integrations across the insurance ecosystem. In her current role, Lori serves as ACG’s Insurance Claims Innovation Leader. She oversees governance of the Claims technology roadmap and is responsible for managing large-scale enterprise software solutions and delivery of best-in-class products and capabilities from ideation to implementation. Her role includes determining the feasibility and viability of innovation concepts to include business case development, program management oversight, organizational change management and post-implementation evaluation. She has responsibility for the strategic project portfolio through the full lifecycle and ensures alignment to enterprise and departmental objectives.

Lori received her BA in Business Administration from Wesleyan College and MBA from Mercer University. Lori has earned her Project Management Professional (PMP®) designation and is Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certified.

Neal Keene

Field Chief Technology OfficerSmart Communications

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Neal Keene

Field Chief Technology Officer

Smart Communications

Neal is the Field CTO at Smart Communications, the only provider of a customer conversations management platform. Neal has more than 25 years of experience helping businesses – especially those in insurance and financial services – to modernize their customer communication and business process tools to take advantage of digital innovation. Having worked with a range of clients, from small businesses to large enterprises, Neal has deep experience in strategic product planning, business development, industry solutions and analyst relations. Prior to joining Smart Communications, Neal held executive positions at Intelledox, Thunderhead Inc., and EMC Document Sciences.

Andy Katzen

Industry PrincipalPegasystems

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Andy Katzen

Industry Principal


Andy Katzen is an Insurance Industry Principal at Pegasystems.  His role is to help the world’s leading Insurance carriers utilize Pega’s platform to boost efficiency and solve problems fast. He came to Pega with nearly thirty years of IT and Insurance experience. Most recently he served as the Market Lead for Life, Annuity and Group Benefit products at a leading global Consulting organization. In this role he led the Go-to-market team who owned the software solutions and implementation services for the Insurance Practice. Prior roles have included Development and Implementation Management positions with Oracle’s Financial Services Business Unit, as an application developer with AIG Insurance, and as an AVP of Technology with Barclays Bank. Andy is a Penn State graduate and resides in the Philadelphia area.


10 June at 3pm BST/10am ET

60 Minutes

  • The impact of global disruption: how have the instances and rates of economic hardship changed and how are they likely to continue to shift?
  • Acting with speed and care: how successful have financial organisations been so far in proactively recognising and understanding customers facing economic hardship?
  • Human, digital, hybrid: how important is the human touch for the vulnerable? Do digital-first communications pose barriers for customers in vulnerable situations?
  • Exploring AI and ML: how can banks and insurers use digital capabilities to track customer communications in real time and provide a more personalised and compassionate response?
  • Improving insight: how are organisations getting more from their data and using that knowledge to offer greater value to customers?
  • Managing the emotional side of finance: how are banks and insurers ensuring contact centres have the tools and processes in place to navigate their expanding role?
  • Making the conversations count: how can technology be proactively deployed to allow staff to move away from transactional conversations to more meaningful interactions?
  • From chatbots to virtual assistants and instant messaging: Are they primarily for simple use cases or can they be utilised to handle more complex customer queries?
  • Inspiring customer trust and loyalty: how can banks and insurers ensure empathy is central to company culture?
  • How can regulators, financial services institutions and consumer bodies work together to improve the treatment of customers dealing with economic hardship in the future?


Sponsored by:


About Smart Communications

Smart Communications is a leading technology company focused on helping businesses engage in more meaningful customer conversations. Its Conversation Cloud™ platform uniquely delivers personalized, omnichannel conversations across the entire customer experience, empowering companies to succeed in today’s digital-focused, customer-driven world while also simplifying processes and operating more efficiently. Smart Communications is headquartered in the UK and serves more than 650 customers from offices located across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. Smart Communications’ Conversation Cloud platform includes the enterprise-scale customer communications management (CCM) power of SmartCOMMTM, forms transformation capabilities made possible by SmartIQTM and the trade documentation expertise of SmartDXTM. In 2021, the company acquired Assentis, a leading European software solutions provider specializing in customer communications management (CCM) with a focus on the financial services industry.

To learn more, visit




Sponsored by:

Pegasystems webinar | Insurance Innovators

About Pegasystems

Pega delivers innovative software that crushes business complexity. From maximizing customer lifetime value to streamlining service to boosting efficiency, we help the world’s leading brands solve problems fast and transform for tomorrow. Pega clients make better decisions and get work done with real-time AI and intelligent automation. And, since 1983, we’ve built our scalable architecture and low-code platform to stay ahead of rapid change. Our solutions save people time,
so our clients’ employees and customers can get back to what matters most.

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  • Tom Wolfenden, Head of Retail Banking, HSBC