SSP appoints Steve Lathrope as CEO

SSP today announces the appointment of Steve Lathrope as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). SSP co-founder Laurence Walker, who has been leading the company since 2007, will resume the position of Executive Chairman.

Steve joined SSP in 2011 as Managing Director of the Insurer Division, with responsibility for more than 120 insurance company and MGA customers worldwide. Ahead of his appointment to the role of CEO, he was promoted to Chief Customer Officer and then latterly Group Managing Director. Before joining SSP, Steve spent 19 years with Accenture as a partner in the global Insurance practice, consulting with a wide range of insurance companies in the UK and globally and advising on business and technology change.

Steve Lathrope said:
“This is an exciting time for SSP and I’m delighted to be moving into the CEO role. The whole SSP team is proud of the role we play in supporting the business operations of our 1,000+ customers worldwide. My focus as CEO will be to continue to raise the bar with regard to the service we provide day-to-day, and the contribution we make to our customers’ innovation and growth.

“The pace of change in the insurance industry continues to increase, and the role of technology is more significant than ever. The investment we have been making in SSP’s software products and services is now being realised through the unique solutions we’re providing to our new and existing customers — including our new SSP digital insurance platform and recently launched SSP Broking.”

Laurence Walker said:
“Steve’s recruitment to SSP was a key part of our succession plan. I’m delighted by the development and growth he has helped our team deliver on the Insurer side of the business, and the role he has played in the wider business as Chief Customer Officer and Group Managing Director. I look forward to working with him as our new CEO, and to realising the full potential of SSP.

“We are 100% focused on our mission to be the best insurance software provider in the market. Under Steve’s leadership we will continue to enhance our products and services, put customers at the heart of what we do, and deliver our overall strategic plan.”

SSP invests in insurer relationships with new appointment

SSP, a leading global provider of insurance technology solutions, has strengthened its Data and Distribution division with the appointment of a new Relationship Manager Scott Holmes.

The move follows the appointment of Siân Nicholls and confirms the company’s commitment to proactively developing its products and partnerships through continued investment in people and the business.

Reporting directly to Ron Atkinson, Head of Distribution Relationships, Holmes will manage and grow SSP’s relationships with its insurer and data partners. He will also be responsible for identifying innovative propositions that enable SSP’s customers to benefit from a wider range of products and services, while taking forward current solutions such as SoteriaDrive, its telematics offering, and Keychoice, the company’s insurance distribution business.

Holmes brings a wealth of insurance industry experience to the role, having held a number of positions focused around product and development. He joins SSP from Sompo Canopius, where he managed the relationships with software houses. Prior to this, he delivered key telematics and data enrichment strategies at LV=Broker.

“I’m very excited to join SSP at a time of extensive growth in the team,” said Holmes. “With insurers facing a tough set of challenges to remain profitable, I’m looking forward to using my knowledge and expertise to help our partners develop new revenue streams, take the fight to fraudsters, reduce their operational expenditure and retain more customers.”

Speaking about the appointment, Atkinson said:
“I am delighted to welcome Scott to our team. Our position in the broker market meant we wanted to appoint a Relationship Manager with a proven track record of building relationships and delivering unique schemes and solutions to brokers. Scott’s appointment confirms our commitment to the broker market at a time of great change in the industry.

“Scott will be key in enabling both insurers and brokers to benefit from the market-leading data intelligence our partners provide. Our continued focus on innovation puts SSP at the forefront of identifying the next new thing in the data space. When our partners ask us for something, they can be certain we have the knowledge to deliver.”

SSP celebrates most successful year in Africa

Steve Lathrope

Steve Lathrope, Chief Customer Officer at SSP comments on SSP’s progress in the African market, and its commitment to offering insurers in the region the rich, broad functionality required to deliver their growth and efficiency plans.

SSP, a leading global provider of general insurance technology systems and solutions, continues to expand its African insurer customer base, and is delighted to announce one go-live and four new deals so far in 2016. These are delivered and supported by SSP’s South African operations, demonstrating the company’s continued commitment to serving the needs of the African insurance market.

In all cases, SSP has provided a new strategic solution based on SSP Pure Insurance, a flexible end-to-end core insurance system for all lines of business, with a fully integrated broker portal that supports full-cycle trading. This provides a single solution for policy administration, claims management, finance, reinsurance and product configuration, with support for e-trading across the broker community.

The mix of deals includes one existing customer migrating from their current SSP system to the new strategic solution, one returning client and three new customers, across Zimbabwe and Kenya.

SSP now works with three out of the top five insurers in Zimbabwe based on assets and four out of the top eight in terms of GWP.

One of the new customers is Resolution, a top 10 Kenyan insurer. Having begun life as a health insurer, Resolution has now adopted SSP Pure Insurance for its move into the general insurance market. This new technology, coupled with backing from a private equity firm, has enabled Resolution to forecast 25% annual compound growth for the next five years.

“SSP is the partner we have chosen for the next stage of our strategic growth based on the depth of functionality available in the solution and its self-service capabilities,” says Alice Mwai, Managing Director at Resolution Insurance.

Steve Lathrope, Chief Customer Officer at SSP, says, “These deals demonstrate SSP’s progress in the African market, and that we are committed to offering insurers in the region the rich, broad functionality required to deliver their growth and efficiency plans.

“As SSP continues to make significant investments in its systems and solutions, we offer existing and new customers the right product in the right place, enabling them to be competitive in their markets.”

SSP strengthens insurer relationships with new appointment

SSP has strengthened its commitment to the broker market with the appointment of a new insurer relationship manager Siân Nicholls.

Reporting directly to Ron Atkinson, Head of Distribution Relationships, Nicholls will work closely with the company’s personal and commercial lines insurer partners to gain greater insight into their ongoing e-trading strategies, and help them to extend their distribution capabilities and introduce new products and services.

“I am delighted to be joining the company at such an exciting time, with all of SSP’s innovation and progress in rating and data leadership,” said Nicholls. “The broker channel is an important part of insurers’ income streams, so I am keen to explore with SSP’s partners how they can develop new schemes or enhance existing ones to extend their distribution capabilities.”

Her role complements the work of the existing relationship management team. As insurers look to adopt new models to maintain their profitability in an increasingly competitive and challenging market, Nicholls’ expertise will put SSP at the forefront of understanding insurers’ needs and developing its propositions accordingly.

Speaking about the appointment, Ron Atkinson said: “We want to put SSP at the front of insurers’ minds for relationships and trading, so we are the first people they speak to when they want to do something.

“Moving our insurer relationships forward in terms of level and service is a key part of achieving this. With proven experience in maintaining existing and new relationships with insurers, brokers and underwriters in a software house environment, Siân’s outstanding track record over the last 15 years will enable SSP to deliver a tangible competitive advantage for both personal and commercial lines insurers.”

Ando Insurance goes live with SSP Pure Insurance solution

Newly founded New Zealand-based Ando Insurance has started operating SSP Pure Insurance solution after an eight-month implementation phase.

SSP, a leading global provider of insurance technology solutions, was selected by Ando Insurance to provide its Pure Insurance solution in New Zealand late last year.

Ando Insurance provides multi-lines insurance, challenging the traditional insurance company model with a new, simplified business approach, based on customer-centric technology, smart processes and an experienced team.

Created by former Lumley CEO John Lyon and a group of partners, and in conjunction with Hollard Insurance of Australia, Ando has achieved great business growth since launching into the market in 2016.

Paul Miller, SSP general manager, Asia Pacific, said Ando’s dedication and commitment in working together with SSP to achieve a full commercial lines policy administration implementation in less than twelve months was commendable.

“In such a short timeframe, Ando has revealed a disruptive force in the New Zealand market and it is great that the SSP Pure Solution is able to underpin and support their innovative business model,” Mr Miller said.

Ando Insurance COO, Dean Edwards, said that as an agile and focused business, without any legacy baggage, Ando was uniquely placed to take advantage of emerging trends in the industry, such as disruption to the traditional insurance value chain, and new distribution channels.

“SSP Pure Insurance equips us with the agility and flexibility to rapidly launch innovative propositions into the market, which are tailored to meet the individual needs of our customers. As a strategic partner, SSP has played an integral part in developing Ando’s innovative model further,” Mr Edwards said.

SSP Pure Insurance is an easily implemented, flexible, end-to-end core insurance system solution, providing all the key components needed to manage an insurance operation, including policy administration, product development, claims management, finance, reinsurance and co-insurance as well as inbuilt document management, task management and business analytics.

Regulatory uncertainty drives insurers towards more agile hosted technology

  • 55% of insurers see hosted Software as a Service (SaaS) technology as a way to cope with fast changing regulatory requirements
  • Insurers turning their backs on large-scale core IT system implementation programmes in favour of more agile, quick-to-deploy solutions, says SSP
  • 82% would consider deploying SaaS (whether throughout all business lines, on major lines, in niche / orphan lines or as a test)

Insurer adoption of cloud hosted ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) technology is set to grow as a response to unprecedented regulatory change, according to new research from insurance technology specialist, SSP. 82% of insurers are considering deploying SaaS technology within their business in some form, with 55% citing its ability to enable them to respond to regulatory changes as the overall the most recognised benefit.

The research, which surveyed 94 senior insurance decision makers and insurance IT professionals, also found that insurers see SaaS as a way of making their businesses more nimble.  Just under half of insurers see cost reductions (48%) and increased product speed to market (47%) among the benefits of SaaS technology. This is possible because SaaS technology moves insurers away from costly ‘on premise’ installations to a more rapidly deployable, externally hosted and managed model.

There are strong indications that SaaS is becoming more mainstream solution across the industry. Amongst insurers considering implementing SaaS, more than half (59%) said they would across their whole business, compared to 34% who would consider deploying the technology across selected niche or orphan business lines.

However, some insurers remain concerned about a perceived loss of control in moving their software to a SaaS model with a quarter (27%) of respondents saying this is a barrier to adoption. SSP believes that the flexibility provided by SaaS solutions will swing opinion in the long term and expects 80% of its insurance policy administration clients to move to a SaaS model by 2020. 

Stephen Lathrope, Chief Customer Officer at SSP said:
“Insurers tell us again and again that they need their IT systems to be able to respond more quickly to changing demands on their businesses and enable them to take advantage of emerging market opportunities. Compared to traditional “on premise” systems which typically involve expensive and time consuming development and installation, SaaS-based solutions provide new and enhanced capabilities more rapidly and at lower cost.  By having these capabilities delivered to them via specialist providers, insurers can focus their time and money more on innovation within their business, and less on keeping their technology up to date.

“This approach is particularly useful when dealing with the level of change that we see resulting for the current regulatory climate. Insurers have been grappling with Flood Re, changes in the Insurance Premium Tax and the Competition and Markets Authority’s reforms to motor insurance to name just a few. Having these changes handled for them by their service provider reduces the level of distraction within their own teams, enabling them to focus on competing in the marketplace”.

SSP marks transition to software as a service model with new Hood Group deal

  • SSP to provide insurance solutions provider Hood Group with SaaS-based policy admin solution including pricing, data enrichment, aggregator integration, contact management, customer self-service, finance, and pre-application fraud prevention for household and travel products
  • SSP expects 80% of Insurer policy administration business will move to a pay as you go hosted model within 4 years, ending the “fruitless cycle of legacy technology upgrades”

Insurance technology specialist, SSP, says it expects 80% of its insurance policy administration clients will be using its Software as a Service (SaaS) model by 2020, with insurance solutions provider Hood Group announced today as the first. SSP currently provides technology for 8 of the top 10 UK insurers and works with the top four global insurers.

SSP’s SaaS offering moves insurers to a pay per transaction model which enables them to implement updates and introduce new products more quickly. This includes product lines not traditionally seen as justifying complex capex spend.

Hood Group, which has used SSP’s technology since 2006, white labels home and travel insurance propositions for brands such as Asda Money, RAC, Telegraph Media Group, MORE TH>N and Legal & General. SSP’s SaaS solution will enable it to introduce bespoke data sources, capabilities and products quickly for each brand. Using SSP’s SaaS offering, the company can trial new capabilities as required, without investing in costly or expensive upgrade programmes.

Whilst traditional upgrades will continue to be an important part of its business, SSP expects the majority of insurers to opt for SaaS in the future, with three in talks to adopt the technology this year.

Rupert Bidwell, Head of Territory for Europe at SSP commented:
“Insurers are caught in a fruitless cycle of legacy technology upgrades. They are an expensive, time consuming diversion which distracts insurers from developing better products and us from creating new technology.

“Expectations are changing. Insurers want to experiment with new technology and ideas without having to bet their future on them. Whether it’s top tier insurers looking to keep niche lines competitive or smaller disruptors who need to be at the leading edge, I fully expect 80% of our insurer administration software to be based on SaaS within four years.

“Hood Group are jumping ahead of their competitors today. I can’t wait to see what we will achieve together.”

Simon Hood, CEO of Hood Group said:
“We’re committed to being at the forefront in using technology and data innovatively to add value to both our partners and their customers. This has been the backbone of our success to date and will be the bedrock of our success going forward. We’re building our data capabilities to target core customers for our individual partners and at the same time we’re expanding on our digital marketing skills which have already made a real difference to promoting the insurance solutions we provide.”

He continues: “SSP’s Software as a Service solution will allow us to take all this to a new level as we continue to deliver innovative and sustainable insurance solutions for our partners. It will enable us to be fast and flexible, facilitate our plans for full customer service propositions and take a lead in the development of emerging products.”

Markerstudy adopts SSP Verify to help combat fraud

  • SSP Verify will augment Markerstudy’s existing fraud protection measures by helping eliminate ‘pre-inception’ discrepancies in insurance applications
  • Markerstudy was able to identify in excess of one million pounds of mispriced premiums in one month period

Insurance technology specialist, SSP, has signed a new deal with insurance group, Markerstudy. The deal will see SSP Verify anti-fraud technology activated across product lines in the Markerstudy, Zenith and Chaucer brands.

SSP processes more than 3 million quotes a day, allowing SSP Verify to construct a single customer view which tracks suspicious behaviour across all aggregator and SSP broker channels. This data can then be fed into the quote process. SSP Verify is designed to highlight inaccuracies that artificially reduce a customer’s premium and underestimate their risk.

In a recent trial, Markerstudy identified premiums of over one million pounds involving ‘pre-inception’ discrepancies in insurance applications. According to SSP, around 35% of converted motor insurance applications in the UK include at least one inaccuracy. With the new deal in place, SSP will work with Markerstudy by integrating SSP Verify into its quote systems.

Adrian Coupland, Managing Director, Data and Distribution at SSP Worldwide commented:
“Even though the majority of insurance customers are honest, insurance fraud remains a chronic problem in the industry. We developed SSP Verify to provide insurers with a solution which operates in real time, highlighting inaccurate applications before quotes are returned.

“Importantly, our technology allows Markerstudy to fine tune the system to its needs. Whether that’s moving suspicious applications onto a different channel, pricing risk more accurately or declining a quote.”

Gary Humphreys, Group Underwriting Director at Markerstudy Group said:
“We have long recognised fraud as a problem in the insurance industry and SSP is assisting us as part of our wider existing strategy to tackle it.  SSP Verify provides an additional tool to monitor fraud in real time and to prevent it getting onto our books.  Reducing application fraud helps us protect our business and provides a fairer service to our customers.”