October 14, 2021
Despite the huge amounts of data in the market, most of it languishes in aged and siloed legacy systems where it provides little value to anyone. The huge opportunity is to convert this data into a format that cedents, brokers, and reinsurers can use to generate actionable insights and streamline processes.
This unique opportunity to drive change is just one of the reasons why I decided to leave my CTO role at Willis Re, to move to Supercede as Chief Product Officer. Over the last decade, I have been helping large enterprises like Willis Re, and before that TD Wealth, to embrace digital solutions, whilst embedding a start-up culture to promote innovation and collaboration.
To bring real change to the market, based on my experience, there are three key areas to consider:
It is no secret to say that the reinsurance sector has, with a few exceptions, been slow to embrace modern technology, and there are many reasons for that. However, the good news now is that we have seen a step change in attitudes, perhaps accelerated by the pandemic, with most firms acknowledging the need for innovation.
Understandably, firms are at different stages of their innovation journey, but we can now see a growing appetite in the market to embrace modern technology, with more companies adopting cloud-based solutions and investing in data. Modern Big Data strategies in particular offers companies the opportunity to differentiate themselves for competitive advantage.
The question for some, however, remains do we buy or build? Traditionally, many firms have been tempted to build solutions internally. However, this approach has often proven very costly, with the need to maintain the hardware and continually update the software to keep up with the pace of change and industry developments.
Indeed, such is the pace of change that it is now much easier and more beneficial to work with readily available, more cost-effective third-party solutions, where vendors have already invested in developing their technology with a wide range of clients. This is why we are increasingly seeing organisations partner with Insurtechs with proven products that can add value at all stages of the reinsurance lifecycle.
At Supercede, we have a senior team with the ‘real-world’ perspective of innovation at large insurance firms, and the best approaches to the implementation of new technologies; a fact that gives our clients and partners great comfort at a time of change.
My priority over the coming few months is simple: to continue to build Supercede’s vision of a reinsurance ecosystem. To do this, we will first formalise our near-, mid- and long-term roadmap for our products, whilst growing the team and shaping how we scale, worldwide.
In the future, I believe the reinsurance industry will be built on a plug-and-play architecture where re/insurance companies and brokers integrate digital solutions that interconnect with each other via APIs, as part of a wider ecosystem. At Supercede, we are therefore becoming more than a reinsurance platform provider; we are creating a solution that fits within that wider data-driven ecosystem.
It’s early days, but we are already on the path to integrating with a number of key stakeholders who already play an important role in the reinsurance ecosystem, such as Web Connectivity and Trace. The key benefit of this is that many in the industry are already working with these market leaders, meaning that our solutions can be more seamlessly and easily integrated.
As we move forward, we will continue building the key elements that make our technology super integrable with our clients’ systems, whether they be cedents, brokers, or reinsurers. This integrate-first mindset will ensure that clients can not only get data into our platform with ease, but can also get data out, via Supercede Analytics, which is an area where we will lead.
During my career, I have been fortunate to work on some great initiatives and I have enjoyed working with wider leadership teams to transform the digital and data estate.
I understand from this experience that we need to build a framework that enables our clients and partners to influence the direction of travel whilst ensuring it aligns with our overarching vision. As we scale, we will evolve our platform using modern Agile principles, so that we can rapidly react to the changing needs of our clients and the wider market.
We aim to create and evolve the best solution for the industry, by building the right features in the right order at the right time. To achieve this, we are engaging with our clients and the wider market to continually evolve how we develop our platform and capture actionable insights for clients to make informed decisions, whilst reducing costs via operational efficiencies.
When deciding to become Chief Product Officer at Supercede, I was attracted by the founders’ reinsurance-specific experience, and the energy and talent within the wider Supercede team. As a passionate product and technology leader, I am excited by the opportunity to help the reinsurance sector embrace a new digital and data-first platform, like Supercede, across the value chain.
By working together as one with our clients and partners, Supercede will help the reinsurance industry overcome its data challenges. We will integrate digital solutions that collect data in a structured and usable format, build forward-looking, cloud-based data strategies that seamlessly connect internal and external data sources, and adopt digital solutions that interconnect with a wider ecosystem to avoid rekeying data or having to build costly one-off internal solutions.
We have already made a strong start, with major clients such as Markel onboard and professionals from well over 100 firms signed up to our data-first trading platform. I cannot wait to move forward with our talented team to help today’s innovators become tomorrow’s winners, as part of a dynamic market-wide, data-first ecosystem. Watch this space.
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