We were delighted to announce that Adrian Brown joined SSP as Non-Executive Director in 2019, bringing more than 30 years’ senior experience with leading insurance businesses. Read on to find out more about his new role and the priorities he has for SSP in the future.
How did you get started in the insurance industry?
Well my journey began in 1989, so gosh that’s more than 30 years ago. I started with personal lines business and set ‘MoreThan’ up in the year 2000, which was probably one of the highlights of my career. I was CEO at RSA for six years in the UK and Western Europe and then wanted to view the industry from a different perspective and moved into the broker space. The last four years have been spent with Towergate, which then became Ardonagh. Following this, we then bought Swinton and various other business which has been a very exciting time.
How did this SSP Non-Executive role come about?
Well, Steve (Stephen Lathrope, SSP’s CEO) first talked to me about SSP and asked me if I’d be interested in coming onto the board to bring an industry perspective. I then met the private equity investors and liked the role which they wanted me to play - in helping to take the business to its next level.
I was particularly excited by the point in the software development that the business has reached and I was really looking forward to helping the management team bring this to market. Obviously, I’ve been working in private equity for the last four years, so I understand how they think and hopefully, I understand a lot about the industry.
I’m looking forward to stepping back, to use my experience, counsel and contacts to help support new businesses.
What were your first impressions of SSP?
I have spent some time with each part of the business and it’s clear to me that SSP has been investing in the right areas. It has some really exciting new products, like its new broker system, and its Intelligent Quotes Hub (IQH), and the data lake provides a real opportunity for businesses to get a far better insight into how they trade. I was also really impressed with the operational centre in Solihull, which looks a little bit like NASA control and where they really do monitor live service on a minute by minute basis.
What I particularly liked about SSP was the products that we have been investing in, such as SSP Broking. Its modern architecture and everyone who has seen it has loved it. So now we must make sure we deliver and execute on it.
This is an exciting time to join the business and to put SSP ahead of the pack.
As I see it, we are primed to talk about the future, rather than the past and really help benefit our insurer and broker customers to be more efficient and effective in what they do. We’re at a point where all the investment over the last few years in modern architecture and new services is really starting to make a difference.
I’m also excited by the global territory positions we have in Africa, Australia, and Asia. I’m looking forward to talking to the SSP global team to see how we really become market leading there. Many of the UK competitors can’t offer what we do.
How will your expertise help SSP going forward?
One of the things that I can help with is the customer focus – questioning how I would perceive this as a customer. I’m looking forward to working with the exec team, the board and management team to make sure that SSP is positioning itself in a way that provides innovative new digital capabilities that the industry needs.
We have an exciting time for SSP with the Intelligent Quotes Hub (IQH) platform – it’s ahead of the market – so we need to get as many sales as we can in that area before people catch up.
What are the big challenges facing SSP?
Particularly in the UK market, it is highly competitive. It’s tough to get customers to move from one platform to another. So our challenge is to make sure we are crystal clear on the benefits for our customers. Also, like any business, your competitors are developing as well so we need to be right on the front foot in selling our propositions whilst we are ahead.
What are the priorities for SSP in the future?
You have to look at it from the customer perspective and hopefully what I am bringing to the board is that customer lens. I believe our customers will want a platform that works day in and day out - so one they can rely on. Further to this, they will want a solution that gives them that competitive edge - which is what we’re building, to give them that advantage.
Our priorities are to make sure that we explain that crystal clear, so it’s a no-brainer for them to move to us or upgrade. Customers want to feel like they are working with a company that is in partnership with them. So, we need to build those relationships and the priorities begin and end with the customer.
Tell us something that not many people know about you…
Gosh. I’m pretty open and honest. However, I did once play the trumpet in a marching band in a concert hall in Bristol – and I wasn’t very good! So, it’s something I have tried to hide over all these years!
This article is an extract from SSP eye issue 13
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