Work Hard, Play Hard – Conduit Re
In this week’s, The Voice of Insurance podcast, Mark Geoghegan chats with Neil Eckert, Executive Chairman, and Trevor Carvey, Group CEO, the team behind Conduit Re, a new London-listed Bermuda-based reinsurer.
During the chat, both Neil and Trevor explain why they have set the business the way they have, their business plan, and what differentiates them from their peers.
When asked about Conduit Re’s USPs, both Neil and Trevor explain that the size of the business is one of the key things that sets them apart; large enough to have critical mass and be impactful, but also small enough to be nimble and change direction when the market demands it.
Speaking further on this subject, Trevor Carvey says, “One of the key aspects for us is to build a diversified book of exposures that essentially has balance within it. One of the ways which we are undoubtedly differentiating is bringing insurance knowledge I would say in the treaty world.”
When asked about disrupting the market, Neil comments that “If there is one thing I’d love to see us do and it’s not really disruption, but it’s to really differentiate ourselves in the level of service that we give to brokers and cedants and also the fact that we will use technology; we’re not an Insurtech, but we will use technology to enhance the level of service that we can deliver to the marketplace.”
The Legacy Factor
As the conversation turns to insurance technology and the advantages of not having legacy systems, Trevor says, “It’s been a wonderful luxury to be able to take a blank sheet of paper and say what are the best systems that are out in the marketplace? How can we cobble it together to give our underwriters the access to data, pricing models, and straight-through processing?”
As Trevor confirms, not having to run on legacy systems is indeed a luxury. The fact is that today, many insurers and reinsurers still run on monolithic systems that prevent carriers from pivoting quickly to respond rapidly to changing market forces, creating new products, and taking advantage of emerging business opportunities.
However, not being a start-up does not mean that a business cannot benefit from newer and innovative technologies and modern underwriting platforms. One of the main obstacles when replacing legacy systems is that many of these monoliths still offer a decent level of service, and justifying the expense of replacing them entirely can be hard to make.
Expensive and large-scale “rip and replace” projects of transactional systems might not be necessary. Modernisation and progress do not always have to come from disruptive changes that upend the entire IT ecosystem; systems can be modernised and updated through incremental steps that enhance and streamlined processes that are just as effective as total upgrades.
Discussing Insurtech start-ups entering the market and if Conduit Re sees itself as part of that group, Neil comments that, “We are not an Insurtech… we would love to be one of the best practitioners that uses some of the outputs from Insurtech and uses good technology.”
Speaking about using innovative technology and future-proofing Conduit Re’s systems, Trevor comments that “It’s a judgement call in terms of making sure that what you have is sound and robust, but is at the cutting edge and not at the bleeding edge.”
There is so much more covered in this episode, from the type of culture and environment Conduit Re is building, today’s state of the market and whether M&A has a place or not in the company’s growth.
Enjoy the podcast.