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InsurTech Spotlight with Matt Cullen

Welcome to the ABI InsurTech Spotlight, Week 8. I’m Matt Cullen, and each week I’ll be putting questions to one of the movers and shakers of the UK InsurTech arena – the leaders of exciting InsurTech businesses, InsurTech and innovation leaders within ABI member companies, InsurTech experts, commentators and investors. This week is ABI InsurTech lead, Matt Cullen.

Yes, I am interviewing myself.

Hi Matt, why have you decided to interview yourself this week?

I’d like to say it’s because I’m a crucial mover and shaker on InsurTech, but the reality is that – amidst a busy period - I was too disorganised to have an interviewee lined up this week!

Fair enough. So tell us about the work you do on InsurTech day to day, beyond running this blog.

Leading the ABI’s work on InsurTech is only one part of a pretty broad role, but it’s an important part. It’s really important that the UK’s insurance and savings trade body is visibly active in encouraging innovation, so I spend a lot of time engaging both with InsurTech start-ups and innovation and data leaders within our established member companies to understand and, where I can, help out with the challenges they are facing.

I have spent some time making sure the ABI is as supportive to the start-up community as possible, whether that’s through establishing a Start-up Associate Membership package providing affordable access to industry data and insights, hosting events bringing start-ups together with our members, general mentoring, and through engaging in cross-industry and Government policy fora.

Finally, I also make sure that digital innovation and tech are part of the ABI’s events programme, in particular our Digital Conference taking place next week.

What’s the theme of the conference, and which discussions are you most excited about?

The theme is ‘from hype to reality’, which reflects an environment where a lot of talking about insurance in a connected, data-rich society has happened, and observers are rightly expecting to see the reality on the ground shift to reflect those ideas and discussions.

All of the sessions will be insightful, I’m sure, but I’ll pick out two in particular. First, we have the Digital Minister, Matt Hancock MP giving a keynote speech – and a Ministerial speech can always be relied on to provide talking points about the ecosystem we’re operating in. And second, with the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation only six months away, I’m expecting a lively discussion on the unresolved issues, and what it will all mean when it’s in place.

More broadly, it’s great to see start-ups such as Luther Systems and Digital Fineprint represented on panel discussions and contributing to the debates.

I don’t want this to feel like a plug, but there are still some tickets available. So if you haven’t got your ticket yet, it’s not too late!

Looking back on the interviews that have already featured in InsurTech Spotlight, what have we learnt so far about the UK InsurTech environment?

We have certainly seen that there is a vibrant community looking to improve the ways in which the industry operates, in a wide range of different ways. As I’ve written in the past, there’s been a noticeable shift in the last year towards partnership between entities as opposed to a more antagonistic narrative; I think this comes through in the interviews. 

We’ve largely focussed on general insurance so far, but I don’t want to neglect life insurance and long-term savings. So look out for a few interviews focussed in those directions on the horizon.

Finally, what about life outside work. Could you tell our audience something interesting or surprising about you?

I spend an awful lot of my time outside work playing pool. This year I qualified for the European Championships Singles for the first time (before losing in the first round to a Moroccan, which reminded me of when Australia were invited into Eurovision!). The picture shows my local team having just won the Battersea Pool League title last year – a great moment!  

Last updated 12/10/2017