Zurich set for major innovation initiative in the UK

Insurer also outlines why it would rather skip M&As

Zurich set for major innovation initiative in the UK

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

Why snap up firms when you can come up with something original through ‘start-to-finish’ collaboration?

That’s the reasoning behind today’s unveiling of Zurich’s UK Innovation Foundry. The Swiss insurance giant has revealed it is not that interested in mergers or acquisitions in the UK at this point, and would much rather work with long-time partners from scratch.

“We launched the UK Innovation Foundry to build on a central principle of Zurich’s global strategy – that innovation and fostering an innovative culture should be a permanent fixture for all organisations that want to stay relevant,” explained David White, managing director - retail at Zurich Insurance plc. “If we are going to think and work differently, we need to focus our efforts in the right places and the Innovation Foundry will take ideas from an initial ‘spark’, test them for value at every stage, and move to a full-scale roll-out for the right ideas.”

Zurich said the Innovation Foundry will progress the firm’s innovation agenda in a manner that is “formally coordinated,” led by UK head of innovation Mark Budd.  All ideas are welcome – from improving processes to introducing technologies or a proposition. Examples in the UK include the insurer’s partnerships with Laka and EasyJet for disruptive bike cover and dynamic insurance pricing models, respectively.

“Building on our experience and achievements over the past year, we aim to work this in to the very fabric of our business,” added White. “No idea will be considered wrong; however, if something doesn’t work we want to fail fast and move on to the next thing. This is a very exciting time for Zurich in the UK, so watch this space!”

Innovation Foundry’s process was created with support from long-term partner Ninety Consulting.

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