This week´s guest on The Voice of Insurance podcast is Rinku Patel, CEO of London-based MGA platform, Pine Walk, which brings a wide range of experience to help with the start-up and ongoing phases of building an MGA. In this episode, Rinku speaks about his vision and purpose for Pine Walk, its growth strategy, the nature of the organisation´s relationship with its parent Fidelis, and his day-to-day responsibilities.
Responding to interviewer Mark Geoghegan´s questions about the company´s mission, Rinku discusses how Pine Walk is focused on producing stellar underwriting, adding, “It´s really about bringing to the market an all in one solution which gives an Underwriter the capacity, working capital, platform and investment, all in one place. Together with a pace of execution, it gives underwriters a high degree of certainty early on about the deal they´re walking into. Our ultimate aim is to provide a wrapper around the underwriter in partnership with Fidelis, which means that the underwriter ultimately gets the focus on underwriting.”
Speaking about the number of MGAs on its platform and company growth plans, Rinku discusses the company´s financial target for 2024 and that although he feels confident he can reach that goal without adding any new MGAs, he´s always in constant discussion with new MGAs, commenting “We´re always in constant discussion, we are opportunistic in the way we go about looking for our new MGAs, we don´t set ourselves any targets, we look for the right deal, the right time, right underwriter with our platform with capacity, so if we find a deal that works for us we´ll look to do it, but you´ve seen last year we signed three MGAs, this year we have a number of conversations underway already, it´s possible we do none of them, or we do all of them; it´s all opportunistic in the way we go about these.”
Mark asks Rinku if he´s opportunistic in regards to the type of class Pine Walk prefers to work with, or if it´s the great underwriting walking in the door, Rinku responds, “With a finance background I like certainty so what I´m after is a track record, predictability, what an Underwriter´s likely to do. From a personal perspective, I like the innovation, excitement, and doing something new, so when we look at an opportunity, it is balancing both things.” Expanding further on this point, Rinku adds, “Tried and tested, strong calibre of underwriting, that is what we´re after initially, and first and foremost.”
Lloyd´s and MGAs are synonymous with each other and a great platform for MGAs; Mark asks if Lloyd´s be of interest, Rinku responds, “I´d say never say never. There may be a need from a licensing perspective in the future; right now we haven´t come across an opportunity that´s required it, but if an opportunity came along which meant that Lloyd´s was an option for us, we´d consider that.”
Discussing working with MGAs and their business plan, sustainability is the name of the game, Rinku remarks, “We´ll look at the opportunity over a 10-, 15-year cycle, for us, to make sure it´s a long-term business. We want the underwriter, ultimately, to be in their last job.”
Enjoy the podcast.
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