Ando opened its doors in January 2016, founded by Lyon and a number of his ex-Lumley colleagues, and has since grown to over 150 employees in the team. Lyon says the focus will now be on building up the technology needed to support the business, bringing in more talent and ensuring the company is well primed to enter the next stage of growth.
“When we started, we built the business on three key pillars,” Lyon told Insurance Business.
“The demand from the broker market was for different propositions and more choice, the ability to handpick a team of people and use current technology, and develop solutions for the New Zealand market rather than bringing in products from overseas. It’s nice to reflect back and see that the opportunity was real, and the opportunities are even greater now with the insurance market shrinking even further.”
“The support from the market has been excellent,” Lyon continued. “We’re currently sitting on approximately $165 million in premium, which is a phenomenal result from our standing start three years ago. We have 150 people working in the team, and we’ve completed a lot of the core technology build which will set us up to make incremental improvements to our processes.”
Lyon says the company’s journey can be split into three key phases, and the next stage will involve utilising more insurtech to increase its distribution capabilities. With Allianz having recently announced its withdrawal from three key business lines in New Zealand, Lyon says now is the perfect time to ramp up the competition and challenge the industry to bring something new.
“The first horizon of our business was the ‘start-up’ phase, and that is coming to an end now as we achieve sustainable scale and bring in more resources,” Lyon said.
“We’re now thinking as a more mature business. The second is about ‘resetting the platform,’ which is about bringing in the capabilities and processes that we need to become scalable. This includes things like appointing a CFO, bringing in HR, governance and compliance capability, etc., which will enable us to grow sustainably to the next level. The third horizon is around looking at how we can broaden our distribution and use insurtech to challenge the industry a bit more. That’s the journey we’re on.”