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Supercede founders see opportunity in overlooked reinsurance space

26th February 2021 - Author: Matt Sheehan

Supercede co-founders Jerad Leigh and Ben Rose believe there is “real opportunity” for their firm to become the primary digital ecosystem in the reinsurance space, which they say has historically been overlooked by technology.

The launch of Supercede, a data-driven global trading platform formerly known as Riskbook, was announced earlier this month.

The platform aims to provide a free-to-use, independent market with built-in analytics services, and it will focus exclusively on placements within the reinsurance market.

Speaking in an interview with Reinsurance News, CEO Jerad Leigh noted that the reinsurance market is “plenty big enough, and unique enough to justify its own dedicated technology solutions, and ecosystem.”

However, he argued that past attempts at digital solutions have prioritised the primary insurance market, leaving them “ill-equipped” to handle the complexities of reinsurance business.

RMS

“We want to remain very focused on solving the needs of the reinsurance space,” Leigh told Reinsurance News.

“The players in reinsurance have a different network, so reinsurance underwriters and brokers don’t really interact with their insurance counterparts. And what we wanted to do is build an ecosystem dedicated to this section of the market … So for us, we’re open to all and exclusive to reinsurance by design because this section of the market is unique compared to its insurance equivalent.”

This exclusive focus on reinsurance already differentiates Supercede from other digital trading platforms, but President Ben Rose argued that there are other distinguishing factors.

“We see them as totally different products with totally different missions,” Rose said, referring specifically to other market platforms.

“The Supercede mission focuses very much on eliminating the pain points that we face today, across all products and lines of reinsurance business from our own teams’ experiences on the front line,” he added.

Another distinction is that Supercede has been mindful to preserve its independence by avoiding funding from large investors, which Rose says could jeopardise the impartiality of the platform.

To encourage broad take-up across the market, Leigh and Rose have also decided to shift the conventional placement platform business model and make Supercede free to use.

“There’s a real opportunity here for reinsurance people, whether they’re cedents, brokers or reinsurers, to come together around a primary digital ecosystem, to make the data preparation and placements and network just radically better for everybody. And we’re beginning to see this snowball,” Leigh remarked. “There’s a huge opportunity for us and I think the time is absolutely right for it.”

The Supercede co-founders further told Reinsurance News that they were optimistic about the timing of the launch amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in an unprecedented re-evaluation of the role of technology in re/insurance.

“It’s been a tough year for the whole world in general, and the reinsurance industry is no exception. And we’re still uncovering the full extent of the repercussions,” said Rose.

“But we’re confident the Supercede launch is going to give the reinsurance world something to be quite excited about going into 2021. We have a real opportunity here to do something in the insurtech space at a time when it’s most needed by the market. Because companies have talked about adopting new technology, but so far they’ve really just adopted Zoom. They’re still doing the same processes manually, still building spreadsheets and comparing spreadsheets side by side, etc.”

“So there’s still a big opportunity there that hasn’t gone away on the analytics side,” Rose continued. “On the placement side, Lloyd’s has been closed so there’s definitely a need for a digital alternative. And then on the networking side, even Monte Carlo was cancelled last year so we need other ways to stay in touch.”

“There needs to be a space for reinsurance people to come together, to meet each other, to learn what everyone does, and to find opportunities to do business,” he concluded. “So we’re really excited that, actually, the pandemic will help the market come together around the possibilities of digital.”

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