1. How long have you been an Expert of Camelot?
Three years. How time flies!
2. Have you been an expert on any Road Test panels?
I have participated in a number of road tests and they’re great for understanding what the corporate partners propositions are and, in return, to help them better understand how they need to pitch themselves to the insurance market.
3. Are you a leader or a member of a Think Tank(Special interest group)?
I’ve participated in a number of Think Tanks that have covered themes such as NED’s and the London Market. I am sure I will be participating in more in future.
4. Area of expertise?
5. Highest/proudest most recognisable previous role?
Head of Business Intelligence, Chaucer Syndicates
6. How long have you been doing this subject/area?
I have over 35 years of commercial experience across multiple industries, 7 years in the insurance market and 7 years providing consultancy in emerging technology.
7. Please can you provide some examples of recent projects that you’ve worked on?
I spent several months working for a fast-paced, Asia-based, InsurTech “Unicorn” (i.e. a startup with a Billion dollar valuation). It was very intense, agile, enterprise which is building on its Asia and US successes to extend its Insurtech platforms into Europe. With a technical team in Asia, business architects in Australia, a primary client’s base spread across Europe and a sales, marketing, legal and project management team spread across Europe and Aisa, remote working was the norm!
I’ve been helping a (non Insurance) startup with their Go To Market strategy and helping them to identify market potential, create use cases and case studies and validate their overall digital asset custody proposition.
8. What is your unique selling point? What makes your business approach unique?
As an adviser and mentor to emerging technology startups, and a consultant to larger established organisations, I am able to use my extensive knowledge of what really works. I cut through the hype, dispel the myths and unveil the reality of emerging technology
and what risks and opportunities they present. My consultancy company’s brand name is Distlytics. Think of it as distilling the complexity of technologies into clearly analysed and understood capabilities….Distil- lytics 😊
9. Can you name one professional high point from the last 12 months and what made it so good?
One of the things I do is to provide webinars to organisations and professional associations about emerging technologies and the associated risks and opportunities. One organisation received so much positive feedback about a session I ran that they booked me for another….and another!
10. We need to talk about…? What is, or what should be, hot on the industry’s lips in your view?
In insurance we’re still encumbered by monolithic, slow moving processes and procedures that firms are reluctant to change for fear of breaking them. We need to accept that any slow processes are, by definition, broken already. In a 24/7, always connected, real time world, customers expect simplicity, transparency and immediacy.
It’s time to radically reshape our businesses so they really are ‘customer centric’.
11. Please describe a challenging work scenario and how you resolved it?
Working with organisations that are looking to push regulatory boundaries can be, ahem, “interesting” at times. Often they’re trying to develop a new product or service for the benefit of the customer but it doesn’t fit with the regulator mindset (particularly around timescales). For organisations who are looking to deploy innovative solutions it can be frustrating when they want to quickly develop / deploy something but the regulatory hurdles can be considerable.
The only solution is to be pragmatic and accept that the approval and review processes will take longer than anticipated.
12. What should everyone be reading/listening to?
My default source for news these days is Twitter. Since it was acquired by Elon Musk, it is continuing to extend its broadcast capabilities. Livestreams are a bit glitchy at times but surpass any mainstream media for rapid dissemination of timely information. It also provides access to perspectives around the world that would otherwise be filtered. This does however mean that you need to be ever mindful about the accuracy of some of the items and possible biases in presentation.
For industry insights and professional networking, Linkedin remains the de facto platform. Youtube is an excellent learning resource and Tiktok (yes!) is gaining popularity as a learning platform too. I publish short videos on Tiktok and it’s fascinating to see the pace of growth the platform has had. And, unlike Instagram, it’s not just a place for social media influencers to hang out but there’s some great content and livestreams too.
13. Do you have any words of wisdom for us or a short phrase that sums up your ethos?
‘Fail Fast’ should not be the aim. The aim should be to try things and if they don’t work then stop doing them, review/revise/learn and move on. If they do work….do them even more and even better!
14. Do you have a Favourite quote?
“The rate at which we are adopting technology, both in our personal and professional lives is getting faster and faster. That means that today is as slow as it’s going to be.” - from Rt Hon Matt Hancock, MP when he was Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
15. Any professional goals for the upcoming year?
I’m a fan of lifelong learning and am always keen to continue learning new things. A great way to learn and develop understanding is to teach others and so I will be continuing to provide education on a
range of emerging technology topics as that requires me to keep learning about them.
16. Why are you such an asset to the industry & the network?
I’ve worked in many industries and have seen what works and, importantly, what doesn’t.
I’m able to balance the excitement and enthusiasm of introducing new technologies with the pragmatism and experience to actually make it work. I have both the scars AND the t-shirt!
17. Why does your area of expertise need to be spotlighted?
I’m a well known emerging technology evangelist with a desire to drag industries, such as the insurance market, away from the 20th century physical world and into the digital and virtual world of the 21st Century. To achieve that, I can provide the knowledge and expertise on how to do it right!
18. Anything else you think Insurers, solution providers to the insurance industry or potential members would find useful?
I have a vision that insurers need to stop selling insurance products and instead provide ENSURANCE services. I believe that people don’t want to pay for something that compensates them if something goes wrong. They want to pay for the assurance that it’s not going to go wrong. Insurance company data and emerging technologies such as blockchain, machine learning and analytics can provide comprehensive risk management solutions. I’d love to speak to others with a similar vision.
19. 2 or 3 tips or give aways that you can give to 1 or more of the following types of businesses.
● Insurance businesses - startup/scale ups -
Don’t spend time building a solution and then exploring the market to see if there is a need for it. Ask the market what their pain points are and then figure out a way of addressing them. That’s where Camelot workshops can be invaluable in helping firms understand how the insurance market actually works.
● Insurance businesses - established -
Learn what your competitors are doing and then see if you can do it better. Camelot experts have deep expertise of the market and what works and what doesn’t. Tap into their insights.
● Other consultants -
As more people move into consultancy they all have the same worries, fears and make the same mistakes. Save yourself some time and anguish and learn from Camelot experts who’ve been through similar situations.
20. Any stats/results to show off your proud moments?
My most successful project failure (?!!!!) that I’m proud of was when I implemented a system that led to a 15% reduction in productivity.
But it also delivered a 25% improvement in profitability. In essence it allowed sales people to work less by targeting more profitable customers. They loved it!
Another great achievement was a £1/2m analytics project that paid for itself within 15 minutes of going live! System went live at 09:00. By 09:15 I had a disgruntled Marketing Director complaining that the data was completely wrong.
Turns out he’d actually stumbled across a major fraud with one of our suppliers. We ended up receiving a rebate of over £1m from them. That paid the total cost of the project and meant that the Marketing Director became a major champion of the system.
21. And… Last but not least, how does being an Expert of Camelot help you/or add value to your business?
As an independent consultant you always feel that you’re on your own as you’re not part of a team or organisation. Camelot allows you to network with other consultants in a similar position. It provides a great environment of learning and sharing and has a great feeling of community and inclusion. You’re more than just an Expert of Camelot. You’re part of it.
If you’d like to network with our members, register for our next Camelot Connect