Hyperion X chief data officer on "customer first" strategy

He came to insurance from healthcare and quickly became aware of one key difference

Hyperion X chief data officer on "customer first" strategy


By Bethan Moorcraft

Hyperion X, the data and technology division of Hyperion Insurance Group (Hyperion), has just celebrated its first anniversary. Launched as Hyperion’s fourth business on January 01, 2019, the unit is focused on developing key areas of data, analytics and digital platform delivery. It sits alongside the global insurance giant’s existing broking businesses, Howden Broking Group, RKH Specialty, and MGA DUAL.

At the time of its launch, Hyperion CEO David Howden described the new data and technology business as “a clear demonstration of our [Hyperion’s] commitment to delivering the best solutions … in the most cost-effective way.” He said investment in data and technology is “critical” in order to enhance the products and services Hyperion offers and “reduce the unacceptably high cost of doing business”.  

To drive innovation at Hyperion X, the business enlisted Miguel Baptista as chief data officer early in 2019. He joined the firm from Merck Pharmaceuticals following more than 20 years in information management, customer insights and analytics strategy. As chief data officer, Baptista is responsible for leading Hyperion X’s data collection, use and analysis to develop a pipeline of digital products for clients and business partners while optimising delivery costs.

Baptista, who is based in London, UK, described his switch over from the healthcare industry to insurance as “an interesting challenge.” He told Insurance Business: “Hyperion decided to create a business that’s focused on driving transformation not only for the group itself, but also for the wider industry. I thought that was an interesting challenge. I did my due diligence around where the insurance industry was in the digitisation agenda and I felt there was a lot of opportunity where I could make a difference based on my past experience. After 11 months in the industry, I was not wrong. There’s lots to do, but it has been a fun journey so far.”

One thing that really struck Baptista when he entered the industry was what he described as the “lack of focus on the customer.” He said that compared to some of the other industries he’s worked in, where there’s a “sharp and obsessive focus” on the customer, the insurance industry in comparison is quite inward-looking and archaic in terms of processes.

“My belief is, if you think of the customer first, then a lot of the processes you have today will go away because inherently you’ll have to simplify them to make them more streamlined, make them easier, and make it easier for customers to access a policy, whether they’re a business or a direct consumer,” he said. “If you focus on providing the best customer experience, making sure the customer gets the best value, and making sure the customer is at the heart of how you deliver, then I think the rest of the experience will fall into place.

“That’s my observation after the first 11 months in the business. I don’t think the focus on the customer is quite there, and that’s something I’m passionate about driving - that obsessive focus on the customer and how we can lower the cost for transaction, make all the processes simpler, while also using data to drive the business and insights with the intent of making the customers happier, and putting some of those benefits that we have back to the customers.”

Still in its infancy, Hyperion X is putting the focus back on the customer. The unit is enabling other Hyperion entities to simplify their internal processes and leverage the data coming out of the digitisation of those processes to drive more business and a better customer experience.

“We’re also providing the same thing for customers and partners outside of Hyperion, where we either partner with Lloyd’s or the carrier to do some interesting things around transacting business and connecting capital to distribution in a more streamlined way,” Baptista added. “By doing that within Hyperion, we’re preparing the group to be better placed for the future. Hopefully, by extending our services outside the group, we can help shape and drive necessary innovation in the wider insurance marketplace.”    

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