By merging earlier this year, Premium Funding and Principal Finance created what they describe as Australia’s largest independent player in the insurance premium funding sector. They recently announced another stage in the company’s evolution: a new name, Arteva Funding.
“We thought, ‘What’s a name that’s familiar, that’s catchy but really has a techie feel,” said CEO Daniel Gronert (pictured above) who sees his company as tech-driven.
“And the meaning behind it really represents ambition, independence, strength and professionalism, which we thought really sums up our business completely,” he said.
The company works almost exclusively through insurance brokers who are Arteva’s distribution channel. The merger and rebranding haven’t changed that but have significantly shifted the capacity and range of the business.
“We’ve got a new shareholder with Pemba Capital Partners, so bringing private equity expertise, they’ve got great banking relationships, they’ve got strong financials behind them, it’s given us the opportunity to really stretch our business and move into servicing more corporate clients,” said Gronert.
That means larger dollar value premiums and brokers who deal with a wider spread of businesses. A significant change from the days of Premium Funding and Principal Finance.
“The two businesses in their own right, historically have been smaller independent funders and have really specialized in the small to medium enterprise market - so SME brokers, from a single man operator up to 20 to 30 staff,” he said.
Clients through brokers have included take-away shops, small transport companies and regular households for policies that might cover houses and boats. Constructing the business around these small dollar value premiums is what lay the foundations of Arteva.
“We’ve built two businesses that have heavily revolved around servicing SME brokers and meeting their service expectations but also helping them to monetize those transactions because generally they’re doing the small dollar value premiums, you’re talking about $1,000 for a boat or $2,000 for a house,” Gronert explained.
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In situations where the transaction amounts are relatively small, brokers can’t afford to spend a significant amount of time on each one. Every transaction needs to be as smooth as possible.
“All of our focus over the last 30 years for our independent businesses has been around, ‘How do we make that process as seamless as possible for these smaller brokers because if we can make their lives easy and their customers lives easy, they’ll use us,” said Gronert.
At Arteva, said Gronert, much of the new business is through brokers offering commercial insurance to companies that could have seven to 10 insurance policies covering various risks within their business.
“You’re talking premiums of $500,000 to a million dollars and above. So, it’s a big shift from where traditionally we’ve always been in the $5,000 to $10,000 range,” he said.
The CEO sees Arteva as a driver of technology and innovation in the insurance industry.
“We don’t want to be seen as a bank, we don’t want to be seen as a big, difficult finance company,” he said. “So we’ve used a lot of technology to help them [brokers], making it really easy for their clients to understand what they’re doing. Within two clicks of a mouse, they’ve accepted their agreement and the broker then gets paid.”