Is there ever a right time to sell your insurance business?

Its easy to lose the human element within the world of mergers and acquisitions. Many of our competitors are hard line consolidators buying with nosebleed-inducing multiples. These multiples are so high, in fact, that by definition the consolidator is forced to make a drastic impact on the business they are acquiring in order to leverage enough revenue to support the deal.As a business owner, especially an SME, that notion can be terrifying. I understand this on a personal level because I have lived and breathed this whole process as a broker myself. For you, each number isnt just a number - it means something tangible, emotional and personal. Your GWP includes that astounding success your top salesperson landed last month. Your costs include your infamous staff Christmas party. Your profits drive the bonuses you’re able to reward your employees with at the end of the financial year. Its all inextricably linked to your people.

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Risk Management

Augment Risk Continues Drive to Revolutionize Reinsurance, Announcing Andrew Matson as CEO

Augment Risk | December 04, 2023

Augment Risk, the pioneering new reinsurance brokerage firm, today announced the arrival of Andrew Matson as Chief Executive Officer. Matson will build on Augment Risk’s significant traction, having already bound $1 billion of premium in its first year of business. Augment Risk’s initial success is a testament to the firm’s transformative ‘Client, not class of business’ approach that protects and grows client equity value. “Augment Risk was founded to address a fundamental structural problem in the insurance and reinsurance markets. We champion the need for a shift from outdated practices of ‘products sold at prices’ to better cater to our clients’ needs,” Matson said. “I am thrilled to work with some of the most exceptional talent in the industry. We believe we can transform reinsurance broking for the better by focusing on our client’s entire business, creating partnerships with reinsurers, and enhancing equity value by better managing capital, reducing earnings volatility, and expanding the margins of our clients. Our approach has never been done at this scale.” The reinsurance industry has remained unchanged for generations. But with the advent of an increased interest rate environment, the rise in loss cost through inflation, and challenges mounting from natural catastrophes, the need to manage capital more efficiently has never been more important. Augment Risk has implemented a numerical approach to help clients better utilize their capital to maintain or improve their financial strength while achieving their business goals. At the heart of Augment Risk’s approach is a relentless focus on the client’s balance sheet, where capital has been blocked from being put to its best use due to operational complexity, vertical barriers, and mismanagement of risks. Augment Risk unlocks this opportunity by managing volatility through tailored solutions that are meticulously crafted to optimize enterprise value and are agnostic toward all forms of capital—a key differentiation from the conventional one-size-fits-all approach. Matson’s deep experience and understanding of the challenges facing reinsurers’ businesses are key to executing the vision of Augment Risk’s groundbreaking broker model. His accomplishments in the industry have spanned the globe and brought billions of dollars of premium to the global reinsurance market. “Andrew has the experience and conviction to lead Augment Risk’s next chapter of growth, and we are pleased to welcome him as CEO,” said Sam Gaynor, Managing Director, Altamont Capital Partners, which announced $100 million in funding for Augment Risk earlier this year. “Augment Risk addresses a clear market need to help global customers manage complex risk capital challenges based on efficiency, with a model poised to transform the reinsurance industry.” “Augment Risk provides the depth and breadth of expertise to ensure leaders of global companies have the capital, tools, and strategic insights necessary to thrive in a complex, often volatile environment; a one-size-fits-all approach to reinsurance doesn’t work and isn’t always in the best interest of their businesses,” said Keoni Schwartz, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Altamont Capital Partners. “This puts Augment Risk in a completely different category of reinsurance, building a new market in the industry to deliver better outcomes for these businesses.” About Augment Risk Augment Risk is a risk capital and reinsurance solutions broker, focused on designing and placing bespoke protections for a variety of clients. With a wide range of solutions, Augment creates growth and equity value through tailored transactions to deliver long-term capital and partnerships. Augment Risk’s expertise extends beyond (re)insurance, allowing the company to disrupt the value chain and build creative, value-accretive solutions for individual client needs.

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Compliance

NEXT Insurance Revolutionizes Agent Experience with Fully Customizable Coverage for Small Businesses

PR Newswire | September 21, 2023

NEXT Insurance, a leading digital small business insurer, today announced a differentiated new offering that will enable agents to fully customize coverage quotes to better meet the needs of their small business clients. NEXT's Coverage Builder represents a fundamental leap in allowing agents the ability to micro-tailor small business quotes for their clients, all while maintaining NEXT's superior instant bind capabilities. Coverage Builder is fast, easy to use, and tailored exclusively to agents pre-purchase, equipping them with the tools they need to select the appropriate limits and fully control the coverage they're quoting. With Coverage Builder, agents can select their base policy limits, add or remove coverage or update limits post-purchase, all while benefiting from the convenience of instant underwriting and price updates. This saves agents valuable time and money, allowing them to make changes automatically without the need to pick up the phone and connect directly with an underwriter. NEXT's Coverage Builder offering furthers the company's commitment to its agents by providing a user-friendly and accessible digital quoting experience, 100% online. Coverage Builder is also available to all NEXT customers post-purchase, allowing small business owners to tailor their policies with immediate price updates and seamless policy management. "NEXT's Coverage Builder feature is 100% hassle-free," said Cody L Slocum Lammers, Commercial Lines Agent & Broker at Affordable Insurance Solutions. "This new feature sets NEXT Insurance to a new level, above its competitors, as this allows agents the flexibility to customize policies to fit the needs of each individual small business. It's user-friendly and simple to understand- this is truly a game changer for NEXT Insurance agents!" "Agents are the go-to insurance experts and know exactly the unique types of coverage small business owners need - that's why we're offering them the opportunity to customize policies for their clients instead of standardized coverage packages," said Jack Ramsey, Vice President of Agent Business at NEXT Insurance. "Now, with NEXT's Coverage Builder, we are empowering agents to instantly quote and easily customize and bind policies that will best serve their customers. As a result, small business owners will gain the peace of mind that they're only paying for the coverage they need to protect their business and livelihood." NEXT's Coverage Builder offering comes on the heels of the company's launch of commercial umbrella/excess liability coverage to support small businesses in their entrepreneurial journey. The digital small business insurer also recently announced its integration with Ivans Download™ for General Liability and Workers' Compensation policies and its strategic hire of Jack Ramsey as the company's Vice President of Agent Business. These developments are further evidence of NEXT's commitment to agents and dedication to providing them with a smoother, more intuitive insurance purchasing process for small business clients. If you're interested in working with an insurance agent through NEXT Insurance, visit our website to find an expert to help you get the right coverage at the best price. About NEXT Insurance NEXT Insurance is transforming small business insurance with simple, digital, affordable and tailored coverage. Trusted by over 480,000 business owners, NEXT offers policies that are easy to buy and provides 24/7 access to Live Certificates of Insurance, additional insured, and more. Revolutionizing a historically complicated insurance industry, NEXT utilizes AI and machine learning to simplify the purchasing process and provide more affordable coverage. Founded in 2016, the company is headquartered in Palo Alto, has received a total of $881 million in venture capital funding, is rated "A- Excellent" by AM Best and has been recognized by CNBC Disruptor 50, Forbes Fintech 50, Inc.'s Best-Led Companies, and Forbes Best StartUp Employers. For more information, visit NEXTInsurance.com. Stay up to date on the latest with NEXT on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and our blog.

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Core Insurance

Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance, Inc. Selects Applied Pay to Simplify Payment Process

GlobeNewswire | September 26, 2023

Applied Systems® today announced that Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance, Inc. has selected Applied Pay to make their business units more efficient across all workflows and simplify the payment process for their customers. The agency is taking advantage of Applied Pay’s integration with Applied Epic to automate payment collection, processing, and reconciliation, while providing an effortless, modern checkout experience that internet-savvy clients have come to expect. “We’ve used other payment solutions in the past but didn’t get the buy-in we expected because the process was too cumbersome for our customers,” said Tiffany Johnston, Senior Vice President, Technology Operations Manager, Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance, Inc. “We’ve been long-time customers of Applied, so migrating to Applied Pay was the obvious choice. Not only do we get that ease of client payment through a link, but our accounting staff can streamline their back-end processes, a benefit that really made Applied Pay stand out.” Applied Pay is a cloud-based electronic payments hub that enables agents and brokers to provide their clients with a secure, online way to pay new and recurring premiums. Directly integrated into Applied Epic®, Applied CSR24® and EZLynx Client Center, Applied Pay provides intuitive, branded checkout pages where policyholders can pay premiums via credit card or ACH. It automatically handles payment authorization and tokenizes sensitive information to increase security and ensure compliance. The solution also reconciles receivables at the account level, reducing manual workflows and improving the accuracy and timeliness needed to reconcile payments. “In today’s e-commerce climate, consumers can make a purchase with just the click of a button, and paying for an insurance premium shouldn’t be any different,” said Chase Petrey, president of Applied Pay, Applied Systems. “It’s always a win-win when one solution can simplify processes for both customers and staff at once, something Applied Pay will allow Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance, Inc. to do by offering their customers an intuitive payment hub that models the modern online shopping cart experience while providing a speedy and secure reconciliation process for their accounting staff.” About Applied Systems Applied Systems is the leading global provider of cloud-based software that powers the business of insurance. Recognized as a pioneer in insurance automation and the innovation leader, Applied is the world’s largest provider of agency and brokerage management systems, serving customers throughout the United States, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, and the United Kingdom. By automating the insurance lifecycle, Applied’s people and products enable millions of people around the world to safeguard and protect what matters most.

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