Co-founder goes behind the scenes of new business pre-BIBA launch

The launch date is fast approaching

Co-founder goes behind the scenes of new business pre-BIBA launch


By Mia Wallace

What lies behind the decision to try and innovate a market not widely renowned for innovation? For Matt Hicks (pictured left) and his co-founders – David Hoare and Alexander Cardona – at the newly launched broker management software provider, Recorder, it was a question of spotting that the time was right to reshape the challenges facing the UK broking market into opportunities. 

The road to building and launching Recorder

Having each spent about a decade scaling fintech companies focused on driving efficiency in the banking sector, Hicks said, he and his co-founders launched Codat in 2017. As an integration platform looking to provide banks with connectivity to small businesses’ financial data to enable better quality lending and payment products, Codat saw them work with some of the UK’s largest insurance companies. 

“[They] were interested in leveraging Codat’s data platform to improve underwriting and mitigate underinsurance,” he said. “We observed that small business adoption rates with the blue-chip insurers lagged behind adoption rates within banking and we quickly realised that this was because most small businesses use a broker to buy insurance and therefore their trusted business relationship was with the broker and not the carrier.”

In 2021, Codat raised £130 million from leading financial institutions like JP Morgan, PayPal and Amex to expand its business globally, he said, and he and his co-founders recognised the time was right to build a new business from the ground up. After exiting Codat last year, their attention turned to the opportunity present within insurance to work directly with brokers and help solve their challenges. 

After six months of researching the market, Recorder was incorporated earlier this year, he said, and the plan is to fully launch the product at the upcoming BIBA Conference on May 15 in Manchester. Identifying some of the key pain points that brokers see facing their businesses that emerged during this research, he noted that the team interviewed dozens of brokers and small businesses.

“The main takeaway from this research was business owners and brokers are frustrated with the current process of putting policies in place,” he said. “Business owners are asked to manually fill out information in documents and there is a lot of back and forth via email in order to get the information required for quotes from insurers. 

“Brokers described the pain of having to manually re-key customer data into their existing broker management systems and insurer extranets with some brokers claiming up to 75% of their time was spent on admin, leaving just 25% of their time in front of customers to understand their business risks.”

Driving efficiency in the commercial insurance broking market

Essentially, he said, Recorder is looking to help brokers leverage the latest technology on the market to drive efficiency within the commercial insurance market in the UK. Recorder plans to partner with certified brokers in the UK to give them the digital capabilities required to seamlessly collect structured data from their small business customers via broker-branded online portals which will also enable them to quote, buy and manage policies online. 

Though aimed at brokers, the firm is looking to impact all the key stakeholders in the insurance market – the insurer, the broker and the client – an ambition anchored by Recorder’s commitment to instilling a “culture of customer obsession” across the team. While SMEs are not Recorder’s direct customers, he said, the business is focused on trying to make the process of buying insurance easier for them.

Hicks noted that it is as a result of this approach that he expects Recorder will be attractive to brokers. The business uses APIs to pre-fill customer data for proposals and AI to automatically pull key data from policy documents. The expectation is that brokers will see significant efficiency gains after implementation, he said, which will be realised due to the way brokers are able to record structured customer data at the start of the journey and then use this data to pre-fill their presentation to the market. 

“When it comes to insurers, Recorder wants to significantly grow the number of commercial insurance policies that are underwritten automatically via imarket or pre-agreed standards via API,” he said. “Ultimately, we want Recorder brokers to be more profitable to serve for insurers so that savings can be passed on to small businesses. We also aim to mitigate the risk of underinsurance by notifying brokers when there is a material change in circumstances at the insured client’s business.”

What the market can expect from Recorder at the BIBA conference

The launch date of Recorder is fast approaching, and Hicks and his team are looking forward to exhibiting at the conference, which will see attending brokers able to get started with its Leads product. The business already has a handful of forward-thinking brokers currently testing Recorder, he said, and so far the feedback has been very positive. 

“We plan to onboard over 100 brokers to the Recorder platform this year,” he said, “and we plan to launch Quote & Buy journeys for cyber, employers liability, public liability and professional indemnity by the end of 2024.”

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!