The international (re)insurance group, Direct Insurance has today revealed a multi-million-pound investment in its group-wide operations and IT in a bid to widen its digital capabilities. The financing will further grow the group’s data, analytics and digital platform capabilities across its international operations, which hit $500 million (approx. £359.9 million) GWP last year.
The project, which will focus on simplifying internal processes and leveraging data to drive business decisions and an improved experience for partners and customers, will be led by Tom Downs (pictured) Direct Insurance Group COO. Downs has been recruited to head up the group’s operations and IT functions and drive digital transformation across the business. Downs has 11 years’ experience in this form of change management and previously served as project manager at Sompo Canopius and as operations manager at Lloyds syndicate AEGIS.
Commenting on the investment, Downs noted that, as an entrepreneurial business, Direct Insurance is clearly aiming for the top. His team feels empowered to bring about real change, he said, and he is excited to explore what its broader digital capabilities will achieve for the group and its clients. As with all change projects, achieving the right balance between quality, speed and cost in relation to systems, process and people will be its key goal.
“It is important to be prepared to adapt and evolve as you go and to re-evaluate after each phase,” Downs said. “Get the balance right, have a clear vision and roadmap, with the right team and full backing from the board, we will achieve transformational outcomes.”
Meanwhile, David Bearman, Direct Insurance Group CEO stated that digital transformation is a key strategic goal for the group and that this is not about keeping pace but going further and using technology to explore new horizons. Direct Insurance’s operating model will continue manual processes for customers and partners that still opt for traditional methods, he said, but these will dovetail with the group’s new digital capabilities, streamlining processes and increasing efficiencies.
“Leveraging data and digital technology will drive more business,” he said, “deliver a first-class customer experience and bring more value to our clients and partners around the globe.”
Direct Insurance is actively recruiting to fill further roles in the team, including a change delivery manager and a data quality manager. Its multi-phased roadmap includes an enhanced pricing tool, a digital distribution platform, and a full overhaul of the group’s IT infrastructure.