NACD Board Leadership Conference NACD Chapter System

Strategy and Oversight for Harnessing Big Data and Digital Transformation

April 20, 2017
Darien, CT



On April 20 at the Country Club of Darien, NACD CT hosted a program on Big Data, Analytics and Digital Transformation.


Special guest panelists were Vik Atal, former head of Citibank’s Global Card Business and current Director of public debt collection company PRA Group and Dave Edelman, one of Linkedin’s top 5 most followed executives and the current CMO of Aetna.  Dave formerly led the Digital practice at Mckinsey, Digitas and BCG.


The program was hosted and moderated by Bob Mannarino who has led digital transformations in financial services, healthcare, human capital management and information businesses with several companies including Citigroup.


The panel focused on the nature of digital transformations today and the role of the Board.   Dave and Vik provided real-world examples and systematic approaches they have used in successful transformations which were well received by the audience.


They generally agreed that the pace of change for all the elements of digital transformations is increasing and that a “Digital Transformation” requires operating faster and in a more multidisciplinary way than before.  And that the focus needs to be on the outcomes or the effect on the target market, not on the specific technology.  Although understanding the possibilities that new technologies create is a key strategy enabler.


Additionally, there was significant emphasis on:

  • How to make an organization ‘information centric’ and to reach beyond the companies’ borders to gather whatever information might be useful from whatever source may be available
  • How pursuing a digital transformation can affect investment allocation decisions in a significant way
  • The need to understand what you are trying to accomplish and an equal or greater emphasis on how you will do it – financially, organizationally, technologically, etc.
  • Establishing clear priorities for the short-term and long-term and securing early wins and to establish regular reporting, tracking and discussion with the board
  • Acquiring or developing leadership talent to bring focus to the effort
  • The need for boards to have some Digital competencies and a structured approach to continually educate the board on matters they need to keep abreast of

The program was attended by about 50 local directors and executives and the majority of the program was a lively Q&A session with the audience.

Location and Time


Darien Country Club
300 Mansfield Avenue
Darien, CT 06820

Speaker Spotlight


Bob Mannarino

Bob Mannarino is a Board Director and Chief Executive Officer who has been leading Technology, Information Businesses and BPO firms for over 20 years. He is known for his strategic insight, leadership, operational acumen and entrepreneurial ability to create value, especially through the application of technology or analytics. He draws upon a diversity of experience with services, software, consulting and hardware firms where he has served as Board Director, CEO, Chairman, President and COO in public and private companies. Bob has operated businesses in a dozen countries and is adroit in leading teams to higher growth. Bob is on the Board of Operating Advisors for Clearview Capital, serves as Chairman for a private global information business, OKS Group and is CEO of Boardroom Associates, his strategy firm. He recently served for seven years as an Independent Director of a public IT company and has served as a Board Member for numerous other companies. Bob is a graduate of Chicago Booth with an MBA, Beta Gamma Sigma in Finance and Marketing graduating in the top 10% of his class. He holds a BS in Computer Science, Magna cum Laude, from Union College.

Vikram Atal

Vikram is a globally oriented leader in the consumer financial services arena, with three decades of experience and a compelling track record in Accelerated Value Creation. He currently serves on the Board of the PRA Group ( Nasdaq: PRAA) , including its Audit, Compliance and Strategy committees and is advising a range of consumer oriented companies on growth strategies, performance optimization and information based decisioning. He previously served on the Boards of the Student Loan Corporation and Upromise. Over the course of a 27 year career at Citigroup (1986---2013), Vikram was the CEO of Citi’s Credit Card franchise in North America (a business with revenues of $18 Billion and over 60 Million customers.) between 2005 and 2008 and led the business to record results, including high customer and employee satisfaction; drove strategy and execution against Citi’s worldwide portfolio of High-Risk Consumer assets through the financial crisis in 2008 ---2012; and, most recently, had company wide responsibility for leveraging information and analytics to drive business growth and superior insights for clients. His prior responsibilities at Citi included multiple senior roles in Partner Management and Finance. Vikram is actively involved in the community serving as a Board member of multiple youth and education focused foundations in the U.S. and advising Lend-A-Hand India (which provides vocational and entrepreneurial skills training to rural youth in India). Vikram received his B.A. in Mathematics from St. Stephens College, Delhi, India and a B.S. in Economics from the London School of Economics. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants Institute in the U.K. Vikram and his wife, Nandita, are based in Manhattan. Besides his family, his passions are squash, golf, travel, food and the arts.

David C. Edelman

As Chief Marketing Officer, Dave leads the research, design, development and delivery of all marketing activities across the enterprise. He works closely with our segment leaders to advance the Aetna brand and deepen the company’s digital and consumer-centric marketing to drive profitable growth. Dave joined us from McKinsey where he co-led the Global Digital Marketing and Sales Practice. He was responsible for the cross-functional team that sets clients’ roadmaps for digital transformation, while also bringing hands-on expertise in analytics, technology, program development, and process redesign. Dave wore two hats at McKinsey, serving also as chief marketing officer for McKinsey’s Marketing and Sales practice. Prior to McKinsey, Dave was at Digitas for nine years, most recently as executive vice president for the Strategy and Analysis practice. Earlier, he was a partner with the Boston Consulting Group where he helped to build BCG’s “Segment-of-One Marketing” and “E-commerce” practices. Dave received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Harvard College and his MBA from Harvard Business School. David is a known thought leader in Marketing, with over one million followers as an influencer on LinkedIn. He speaks at many Marketing conferences, and has published two lead articles in the Harvard Business Review.



1 Credit

Question about this Event?

Contact NACD Connecticut Chapter 10 Winton Farm Road, Newtown, CT, 06470 phone: 203-434-8881 email: