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Katie Crook-Davies - Expert Spotlight

Katie Crook-Davies, Managing Director of consultancy, Tabei, tells us all about life and health insurance and her mission to protect more people through market-leading propositions and faster processes.

What is your role since leaving corporate life?

I’m the Managing Director of Tabei, a consultancy supporting the life and health insurance sector across proposition development, actuarial and data science and marketing.

How long have you been a member of Camelot?

Since mid 2019.

Area of expertise?

Life insurance proposition development, actuarial services, marketing and PR.

Highest/proudest most recognisable previous role?

National Account Manager at Vitality (possibly the first actuary to join the ‘dark side’ of sales… but don’t quote me on that 😉).

How long have you been doing this subject/area?

12 years.

Please can you provide some examples of recent projects that you’ve worked on?

  • Proposition development and innovation for one of the UK’s largest insurers.

  • Life proposition development for large UK mutual insurer operating in the advised market.

  • Marketing support for global MarTech business supporting digital distribution for life insurers.

  • Content marketing for UK protection advice firms.

What is your unique selling point? What makes your business approach unique?

Tabei combines 20+ years of actuarial expertise with a keen eye for marketing and customer experience – a combination I believe is essential in delivering life and health insurance solutions that customers really want!

Can you name one professional high point from the last 12 months and what made it so good?

Launching our new actuarial software, t+1, was a huge professional high point for me. It’s four years in the making and I’m so proud of what this new technology can do and the potential transformation it can bring to the actuarial modelling space. 

We need to talk about…? What is, or what should be, hot on the industry’s lips in your view?

It has to be diversity and inclusion! We need to get uncomfortable topics on the table, normalise them and create safe spaces for everyone to discuss openly. And of course, it’s not just the right thing to do, it makes absolute business sense – it’s really time to make D&I a strategic business priority!

Please describe a challenging work scenario and how you resolved it?

Naturally, being self-employed, I wear many hats and am often juggling multiple work priorities at any one time. I find this situation can fix me in the ‘doing’ and the day-to-day work, sometimes taking focus away from the bigger picture and important business strategy work. I’m continuously working to better manage this but it’s certainly a work in progress. For me, it’s never easy to say ‘no’ to things!

What should everyone be reading/listening to?

A shameless plug, but check out if you’d like to learn more about D&I and hear thoughts from experts in this field on the work we can all do to make our industry a nicer place for everyone!

Do you have any words of wisdom for us or a short phrase that sums up your ethos?

Do work that excites you, surround yourself with people who energise you, don’t calibrate to others’ measures of success, write your own story and, above all, never undervalue your skills and experience!

Do you have a Favourite quote?

“Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be; embrace who you are.” – Brené Brown

Any professional goals for the upcoming year?

This is an easy one – to spread the t+1 message far and wide and to continue to deliver seamless integration and exceptional service to existing clients. t+1 delivers more competitive pricing and better model cost control and we’re really excited to show everyone in the insurance industry the power that newer technology has over legacy actuarial modelling software.

Why are you such an asset to the industry & the network?

My 12-year tenure in life and health insurance puts me in a unique spot as an independent consultant – I’ve developed a solid actuarial grounding in the sector and specialist technical expertise yet I’m also at an early enough stage that my thoughts and behaviors flow freely – I’ve not been shaped by decades in the corporate world, and instead present with fresh ideas and approaches that haven’t been tried before.

Katie’s experience and technical know-how meant that she delivered work to a high quality. Katie was a trusted pair of hands, an absolute pleasure to work with and far exceeded my expectations.

Claire Kelly – Head of Protection Product, LV=

Why does your area of expertise need to be spotlighted?

As in many industries, I believe success comes from designing great products, pricing competitively and marketing effectively and this couldn’t be more true than for life and health insurance – products that are notoriously difficult to sell. 

Great proposition and customer experience, actuarial pricing capabilities and simple, jargon-free, communications will be a winning combination in this space – and it’s these three pillars that we specialise in at Tabei.

Most importantly what are 2 or 3 tips or ‘give aways’ that you can give to fellow consultants?

  • Try new things and encourage teams to think creatively and explore their curiosity.

  • Embrace failure – see failure as a chance to learn.

  • Step away from the pack to see brand new opportunities and apply your existing capabilities in exciting ways to develop a competitive advantage.

  • Really put the customer at the heart of all proposition development work and never undervalue the importance of customer research.

And… Last but not least, how does being an expert of Camelot help you/or add value to your business?

The life of an independent consultant can be a lonely one, but Camelot has allowed me to meet so many like-minded individuals from across insurance who are facing, or have faced, very similar challenges.

I’ve been able to get invaluable advice and guidance from more established consultants, which I’m extremely grateful for, and hope to be able to do the same for the fresh talent entering this space.

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