Mark Smith

Free! 1 hour

33+ years of experience in management, leadership, and consulting, and has held responsibility for budgets of up to $800M.


Mark Smith

Mark Smith has more than 33 years of experience in management, leadership, and consulting, and has held responsibility for budgets of up to $800M.

As a Senior Executive Partner with SOLID Executive Partners, LLC, Smith provides CEO advising, senior executive coaching, and C-suite consulting. He draws on his combination of consulting and senior executive experience to guide clients in innovating, effecting large-scale business transformation, and managing change. Smith is also well-versed in the various aspects of strategy and operations. His industry expertise covers insurance, finance, technology, and entertainment.

Smith currently holds the positions of Vice President & Partner and Head of the Strategy Practice for FSI within IBM’s Global Business Services Unit. He assists major insurance companies across the globe in completely re-engineering their businesses, from strategy to marketing to customer satisfaction.

Prior, he served AlixPartners as the managing director of its Enterprise Improvement Practice and the head of its Global Insurance Industry Practice, with responsibility over 200 FTEs and a P&L of $100M. He was responsible for managing global insurance-sector resources as well as sales and service delivery.

Smith joined Farmers Insurance Group in 2003 as Senior Vice President, Chief Reengineering Officer, and Head of Service Center Operations for the Zurich Financial Services Group. His service center responsibilities included managing 3,000 employees across ten operations. He also spearheaded a series of transformative operational and organizational initiatives, including new systems integration. While continuing as SVP, he later became Chief Strategy Officer, acting COO, and Head of Strategic Initiatives and the regional PMO for the Americas Region (which included Farmers at $20B, Zurich North America at $21B, and Zurich Latin America at $2.8B). His achievements in these roles included developing and implementing two major operating models and a common IT platform. Other titles and responsibilities with Zurich included: Chief Customer Officer, with responsibility over marketing strategy and service center operations for 7,000 employees and 11 service centers; Chief Transformation Officer; and Chief Growth/Revenue Officer.

During his last years with Farmers, Smithserved in the roles of SVP, CSO, Head of IT and BI Strategy & Initiatives, and Executive Lead for Customer Strategies and Corporate Customer Centricity. In the position of CSO, he had responsibility for growth, customer strategy, customer experience, enterprise business analytics, intelligence, and IT. The CIO and a 200-person team reported to him. Smith’s accomplishments included creating the Ideapoint innovation methodology and program, which won the 2009 Insurance Network News INNovator Award, as well as developing a project acceleration methodology (Accelerate) and a rapid Lean methodology (LeanPoint). All of these
enable companies to perform faster, lower-risk, and higher-impact business transformations.

Before joining Farmers, Smith gained extensive consulting and managing experience at Ernst and Young. There he served first as a consulting senior manager, then as a partner and, eventually, managing partner.As a managing partner of the North America Insurance Practice, he grew revenues from $155M to $400M and practice size from 800 FTEs to 1,800 FTEs and 10 partners, all of whom reported to him. He also provided interim CIO services to Farmers Insurance, managing 2,000 people. This led to his later career with Farmers.

Smith has also served as a consulting manager with Peat Marwick KPMG and a senior consultant with Arthur Andersen Consulting. He began his career in 1979 as part of General Electric’s Management Development Program.

His extensive list of diplomas and certifications includes an MIT Graduate Diploma in Strategy & Innovation, a Lean Black Belt, a Stanford University Graduate Certificate in Enterprise Risk Management, and a BA from the University of California, San Diego, among others. He is a member of several associations and more than half a dozen boards, and currently serves as the chairman of the board for the Red Cross’s West Coast region, as well as the audit committee chair and board director for the California State Parks Foundation.