International Finance

Insurance entrepreneurs raise £180M to bring protection challenger to market

Investment backers cite huge potential of fresh approach supported by new technology

Entrepreneurial start-up company, Gryphon Group Holdings Limited, has announced that it has raised £180m in funding to design and build an insurance challenger that seeks to protect more families in the UK.

Initially focusing on protection and based on the founding principles of creating greater trust and improving adviser experience, the company believes there is significant potential to grow the market with its fresh approach.

The company is run by seasoned insurance professionals motivated to tackle some of the industry’s key challenges. Its co-founders are Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Pender, former Executive Director at Prudential and UK Life Chief Financial Officer at Zurich; and Chief Operating Officer, Simon Davis, former Chief Risk Officer at Guardian and Corporate Services Director at Admin Re.

Daniel Pender, CEO of Gryphon Group Holdings, said: “The insurance industry plays a pivotal role in our society but there is work to be done to keep pace with the evolving needs of customers and advisers. We felt there was a tremendous opportunity for an insurance challenger to build a business around the people it serves, and in doing so, establish strong long-term relationships built on trust.

“We are creating what we think protection should look like in today’s digital age. Technology has moved on remarkably and our ambition is to embrace that, bringing an intuitive customer offer and adviser experience to market.  This will give certainty to advisers when recommending our products and enable families to feel confident that we can offer the insurance that they need.”

£180m in investment backing to maximise the opportunity

Advised by Craven Street Capital Limited, Gryphon Group Holdings has raised £180m in funding for the new venture from investors – Leadenhall Capital Partners and Punter Southall Group. The backers were compelled by the insight and drive of the management team, and cite the significant market opportunity that exists for an insurance challenger who can use today’s technology to create a business which improves customer and adviser experience.

Dan Knipe, Life Portfolio Manager, of investors Leadenhall Capital Partners, said: “Life protection is an area where good customer outcomes are vital, making a service focussed challenger an exciting proposition. We see strong growth potential for the business as the management team have a deep commitment to their vision and bring significant industry and technology expertise to make it a success.”

Jonathan Punter, CEO, of investors Punter Southall Group, said: “We already know there is a significant protection gap in the UK. This translates into a great opportunity for an insurance company that can solve the issues of customer trust and adviser experience. This company, with its new approach, will be well placed to meet these challenges head on.”

Insurtech enabled and not bound by legacy system constraints

The infrastructure will be based on digital and cloud based technologies, built with the support of a number of leading partners. The core platform technology partner is Liss Systems, a UK company owned by Nasdaq-listed technology group, EXL. The digital interface technology partner is Space.

Whilst maximising the potential of an insurtech approach, the business will be people-centred not technology-led, putting customer and adviser needs at the heart of its business.

Daniel Pender, continues: “One of our key advantages is that from a technology perspective we are starting from a blank canvas with no legacy systems or constraints. This allows us to frame everything around the customer and adviser when creating the product, systems and processes. Ultimately, we want it to be intuitive, simple and easy.”

Guy Williams, Director, Liss Systems, core platform technology partner, said: “We are excited by the team’s vision. We’re looking forward to playing our part in building what is sure to become a hugely successful insurance business which combines the potential of new technologies with a clear people-centred design.”

Nigel Edwards, SVP Insurance Europe & Head of UK Service, EXL, Nasdaq-listed technology group that own Liss Systems, said: “Driving innovation in the insurance sector is an important strategic priority for us at EXL. The business model will sit at the cutting edge of current insurance industry developments – providing more customer-centric products and services which deliver at those crucial policy ‘moments of truth’ for customers and advisers.”

Paul Brooks, Creative Partner, Space, digital interface technology partner, said: “The insurance industry has been crying out for a challenger that is truly motivated by the idea of making things better for customers and advisers. We are delighted to be working with such an innovative business partner who has the conviction and ambition to reinvent protection from the ground up.”

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