IN THE NEWS: OneAdvent: Launching scaleable MGAs

Tara Allsopp at Instech recently interviewed OneAdvent’s MD, Tim Quayle. See the full article below.

OneAdvent has built a global MGA services business, which accelerates the development of MGAs by providing them with compliance support and back office services. These MGA “accelerators” are emerging as an increasingly important driver of innovation in insurance. InsTech’s Tara Allsopp spoke with Tim Quayle, Managing Director of OneAdvent, to discuss the most important drivers in launching and scaling an MGA business and what capacity providers are looking for in their partners.

Can you provide an introduction to OneAdvent?

OneAdvent helps MGAs launch their businesses in a way that meets the insurance industry’s regulatory requirements. The team seeks to do this by demystifying compliance, helping MGAs create new business models and providing advice, support and expertise. As Managing Director, I am tasked with delivering OneAdvent’s strategic plan to support MGAs to both launch and scale their businesses. I work to ensure that all employees across the business have access to the resources needed to execute that plan.

What services does OneAdvent offer to MGAs?

Many MGAs working with OneAdvent know what they want to achieve but do not have experience bringing an MGA to market. We discuss clients’ business plans and current capabilities at the point of onboarding. Our staff are experienced in traditional insurance, as well as niche products, like parametric and embedded insurance. This in-house expertise is available to MGAs to support them in developing and launching their businesses. OneAdvent is connected to capacity providers and brokers, so MGAs without distribution, investment capital or capacity can tap into this network.

OneAdvent can also provide customised business support services to MGAs looking to scale their businesses. We supplement capability gaps by providing flexible back office support for MGAs, depending on their needs. This includes access to premium processing, insurer reporting and transactional processing capabilities. Other MGAs might require outsourced business support so OneAdvent has built a preferred partner network for company secretary services, IT and HR. OneAdvent can also provide technical support to MGAs to incorporate core insurance processes within their technology platform. 

What types of MGAs does OneAdvent work with?

The broad range of experience of OneAdvent staff means the team can work with a wide variety of MGAs, including generalist, traditional and tech-enabled MGAs, as well as those offering niche products. The company chooses to work with MGAs which align with OneAdvent’s fast-paced and hands-on approach to conducting insurance business. Many of our clients have less than ten employees and are using OneAdvent’s support services to enhance their existing capabilities and free their core team to build their business. 

What is the biggest challenge facing MGAs in launching or scaling their businesses?

The biggest challenge for MGAs is the initial sourcing of quality insurance capacity; this has become even more challenging recently. A few years ago capacity providers had placed significant capital behind tech-enabled MGAs. However, some of these MGAs did not deliver meaningful premium volumes and insurers felt they had wasted time, money and resources. Capacity providers now assess MGAs more rigorously and some will only consider businesses with an existing track record.  

Today, there is a lot of investment capital available for MGAs, from increasingly diverse sources, to invest in building technology, software and people scaling. However, without a capacity provider willing to provide insurance paper, MGAs are unlikely to secure meaningful investment. This explains why more capacity providers are looking to invest alongside providing paper. Their internal opportunity assessment processes are often very similar and, having done the hard yards with a start-up MGA they want to make sure they have the option to be around for the long term.

How does OneAdvent help MGAs find capacity? 

OneAdvent will work with its early-stage businesses to help them identify their unique benefit to capacity providers, including developing a compelling business case. This benefit could be a new distribution channel, enhanced underwriting data or expertise in a niche subject area.

What types of capacity providers are you working with?

The team works with a wide range of providers as no one type of capacity provider will suit all of OneAdvent’s MGAs. OneAdvent’s capacity provider partners include Lloyd’s and non-Lloyd’s insurers and insurers both in and outside the UK. OneAdvent also works with specialist binder brokers to source capacity for its clients. Part of the service provided to MGAs includes working with them to understand what type of capacity provider is a good fit. 

What recent successes can you disclose?

Two MGA businesses on the OneAdvent platform, who are also members of InsTech, have gone through Cohort 9 of the Lloyd’s Lab. Following the Lab, OTT Risk, one of the MGAs, partnered with Apollo ibott Syndicate 1971. The other MGA, ARMD, now has agreements in principle with MIC Global’s Syndicate-in-a-box and Greenlight Re. Our recent blog post provides more details on the successes of ARMD and OTT Risk here. Another of OneAdvent’s clients, Vento, will launch a specialist MGA in the micro event sector in the coming weeks.

What approach should MGAs take to embracing emerging technologies?

MGAs must be cautious when investigating new technologies. Technologies should only be embraced when they solve an existing problem, rather than for the sake of it. The insurtech world, and many others, are guilty of chasing emerging technologies without knowing what to do with them. We have seen the negative fallout of this with the blockchain businesses that have spun out and dissolved within a matter of years. 

What types of companies do you want to connect with?

Some of OneAdvent’s existing MGA clients are also members of InsTech. As such, the team is keen to connect with similar start-ups and spin-offs looking for support to build out their idea and turn this into an MGA business. The company is also eager to connect with capacity providers who are interested in supporting MGAs or brokers placing delegated authority agreements for MGAs.

How should these companies get in touch?

Those interested in connecting with OneAdvent should email me at [email protected]

Source: InsTech

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