In this week´s episode of The Voice of Insurance (TVOI) podcast, Mark Geoghegan chats to Rod Fox, Managing Partner & CEO, and Rob Bredhal, President of TigerRisk Partners.
Having founded TigerRisk thirteen years ago, Rod discusses the ethos behind the company, its growth plans, if broker M&A will continue in the near future, and the impact of algorithmic underwriting in the broking business.
Speaking about the ideology at the heart of TigerRisk, Rod Fox kicks off the conversation by describing the company´s aspirations and principles. Rod explains that TigerRisk is the antithesis of a big broker, and its focus is on creating a top-notch team that puts the client firmly at the centre, while also “making reinsurance cool again.” He expands on how the organisation is not trying to be everything to everyone while at the same time expanding with significant growth in London and building out its presence in other territories.
“At Tiger, it´s about culture, high performance, finding your spot, and being great at life.” - Rod Fox, Managing Partner & CEO, TigerRisk Partners
When asked if TigerRisk is at a scale where they can go head-to-head with other brokers, Rod responds, “The years don´t matter, I think on day one we were going head-to-head; now, I´m probably a little naïve about that, but for our whole existence we´ve competed against those people and it doesn´t concern me, doesn´t scare me… our people are just as good, if not better - our competition has been with big brokers and we´ve had a seat at the table…we punch hard in our classes.”
Turing the conversation towards where they want to play, broadening their product value, and if the company wants to be a generalist or specialist, both Rod and Rob discuss how the company came in hard in the global property cat space and set a very high bar. They chat about how their London platform has gone way beyond just being a wholesaler, with now having real specialty capabilities in the City, along with the European teams developing significantly. Rob says that the company will continue to evolve and that “when we enter a space when we enter a line of business, we want to be the best in that line of business.”
As in most TVOI podcasts, Mark asks about the impact of digitisation and where the industry is heading with algorithmic underwriting, data and analytics. Mark particularly asks how TigerRisk is getting ready for the digital age. Rod comments, “We absolutely believe that we´re preparing; we talk about it all the time, we built our own platforms, we´re ready to go, we´re using them today. Digital trading will become much more active, algorithmic portfolio matching will occur; we are doing that today with our Tiger Eye platform and new classes of entrants." Mark prods further asking about TigerRisk´s preparedness for digital trading, Rod responds, “We think we´re very nimble with it too; we think we can push that button hard.”
Further discussing technology and if the industry will hit a tipping point in insurance and suddenly just switch, Rod opines, “I think when it happens it will happen fast-ish, but remember we´re talking about the insurance market place, so, fast is a relative term, but I think you will see it continue to creep and ultimately tip over.”
As the interview starts to wind up, Mark asks about Rod´s long-term plan. “We´re very happy, and from the outset we never had a specific plan, like alright we´re exiting here, we´re doing that, the idea of selling through a strategic makes no sense to us, we value the team, we value the culture, so our ethos has been - build a great company and the options will unfold in front of you. We´ve got a wonderful capital partner with Flexpoint today, and that´s worked extremely well. We took a page out of the Amlin´s book, and following and working with private equity has been great, so we´re going to continue to build this wonderful firm and see what happens – but very happy to keep rolling,” Rod Fox.
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