Protege Profile: Jairo Orea

Jairo Orea, 35

Head of regional enterprise information integration

ING Insurance Americas

Mentor: Raymond Karrenbauer, chief technology officer

Please describe your current responsibilities. I am in charge of IT in those ING practices situated from Canada to Brazil -- seven countries with different lines of businesses and different markets. Basically, my job is to promote a common approach for information management (data warehousing, data management and BI), especially in regards to reuse, rationalization and IT architecture. In doing so, I am handling IT and business operations and explaining to executives at different ING practices concepts such as business intelligence and data warehousing and providing them with our common approach on enterprise information integration (EII).

How are you being groomed for your next position? When I first took this position, I worked a lot on organizational behavior and change management. I now am helping to lead people to a common goal and having to cross many cultural lines. By building these strengths, I am preparing for one of two career paths I see possibly unfolding -- either a position in risk management or one in technology management.

How has working with a mentor helped you in your efforts to move along this career path? ING hired me 14 years ago as a chief information security officer in ING's offices in Mexico. Four years ago Raymond invited me to participate on his team until we found the opportunity to work together. As he has moved into the role of ING's chief IT architect, I have worked with him to coordinate processes in the Americas. During all of this, he has coached me on the approach he takes and worked with me on different processes and methods designed to "culturize" different offices on common practices.

What are the benefits to having a mentor, and can you think of any downsides to this learning process? When you have a career mentor, it makes your job much easier, because there is a faster transfer of knowledge about company practices. For instance, you have access to shortcuts, tricks and tips you would not otherwise have. But more than that, you get the benefit of knowing what your mentor's experience was when he or she was facing the same challenges you are. In terms of downsides, I cannot think of one. I cannot imagine anyone saying they don't want to be coached or mentored.

Are you currently mentoring other individuals? In fact, ING recently brought a team from Brazil and Chile to be trained at our headquarters here in Hartford. This was a formal mentoring process I took part in, and we worked on measuring the success of different operations in the field and made decisions on how to replicate the best procedures. Also, I have been working with different people to see how practices in different parts of the Americas are approaching our common architecture.

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2006 Premier 100 IT Leaders

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