Synechron launches Accelerator Program for InsurTech solutions

22 November 2017 Consultancy.uk

Months after launching accelerator programmes for Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence, Synechron has rolled out a similar programme for InsurTech solutions. The firm’s so-called ‘InsurTech Accelerator Program’ combines Synechron’s expertise with business consulting, digital innovation and technological capabilities to provide its insurance clients with an end-to-end approach for embracing technology and innovation.

The global financial services consulting and technology firm has built a suite of InsurTech Accelerators applications (each based on a unique business case), which allow insurers to leverage innovative technologies to enhance business operations, reduce operating costs, and create better client experiences. The accelerators are based on techniques like Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Mobile Solutions, Digital Strategy/Customer Experience Design, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

With the move, Synechron is tapping into a fast growing market. According to data from a research firm, investments into InsurTechs are surging to record levels – in the second quarter of 2017 total investment globally totalled a staggering $985 million, up from $283 million in the first quarter, and nearly double the amount invested in the second half of 2016 ($501 million). For insurance companies, InsurTechs are posing a serious and growing threat, according to McKinsey & Company, with the researchers warning that the industry can see a significant share of its profits eroded by fast growing insurance technology startups.InsurTech - AcceleratorsCommenting on the launch of the InsurTech Accelerator Program, Synechron’s CEO Faisal Husain said, “Insurers are looking to implement the latest technology to address real-world problems and avoid being disrupted by start-ups entering the industry. Our programme will assist in helping insurers, brokers and underwriters clients be at the forefront of technological advancement and expedite digital transformation, while providing tools to ease and streamline business processes.” 

An overview of the main accelerators within Synechron’s InsurTech Accelerator Program: 

Blockchain

The Blockchain InsurTech Accelerator focuses on two use cases:

  • Insurance Claims Processing, which leverages Blockchain’s Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), smart contracts and digital capabilities combined with the IoT to assist with asset provenance, reduction of fraud, and a straight-through process around high volume, low value insurance claims;
  • Trade Finance, bringing banks and corporates like insurance companies together on a single distributed ledger to minimize fraud and increase transparency around the supply chain;

Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning

The Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Accelerator applies machine learning to analyse data sources and provide predictive risk analytics with detailed visualisations and simple risk queues to equip the underwriter with easy access to critical information, automating up to 80% of applications, leaving just the most complex ones for manual review. The accelerator also includes use-cases for Intelligent Underwriter Scoring, utilising historical policy data, real-time policy data, and predictive modelling to help underwriters prioritise based on work-to-reward ratio, and Automated Natural Language Processing (NLP) for account on-boarding. 

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Synechron’s most functionally rich and advanced InsurTech Accelerator is RPA focused and addresses a wide variety of automated process orchestration. From front-end forms capture to OCR technologies for claims processing, the accelerator allows disparate systems to be tied together with a light footprint, working seamlessly with other automation tools.Six InsurTech Accelerator Programs

Mobile Solutions

The accelerator focused on Mobile Solutions allows insurers to tap into the functionalities built into mobile phones, whether it is geolocation, the camera, or simply the App Store to create 1:1 customer experiences. 

Customer Experience Design

The Customer Experience Design accelerator allows insurance companies to transform their business to create a new and transformed customer experience through effective user experience design related to their direct to customer, or insurance broker channel strategy. 

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT provides insurers with the capability to collect vast amounts of data that can be combined with other technologies to create powerful solutions. Examples include using drones to access real-time damage assessment related to natural catastrophes, or using insights drawn from a device network to better anticipate future claims, enabling them to better understand customer needs and align their strategies with risks and demands.

Related: Investments in FinTech and InsurTech remain high.

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RSM sells controversial UK wealth manager out of administration

26 March 2019 Consultancy.uk

RSM has overseen the sale of UK financial advisory firm Mount Sterling Wealth out of administration. The company had fallen into insolvency earlier in March, but has been purchased by Quilter Private Client Advisers for an undisclosed fee.

Mount Sterling Wealth is a York-based financial advisory firm, offering financial planning and wealth management services to clients from offices in Mayfair and North Yorkshire. Founded in 2010, the firm has endured an acrimonious relationship with the UK’s businesses community, having been formed by Scott Robinson to move his clients from an old firm, after being sued for advising on investments which failed and were not covered by professional indemnity insurance.

Robinson was allowed to continue working as a financial adviser by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), despite being ruled against in court and avoiding further legal action after liquidating his company. The controversial decision of the regulator caused Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake to state the FCA needed "to take a long, hard look at itself" for allowing Robinson to continue trading.

RSM sells controversial UK wealth manager out of administration

That comment was prompted by the case of Hollinkrake’s Thirsk and Malton constituent, Andy Mohun-Smith, who according to the Yorkshire Post, lost £2 million after trusting Robinson (one of Mount Sterling Wealth’s two Directors alongside David McLaughlin). Mohun-Smith also claimed the saga had a “devastating” impact on his life and health, with the stress involved “undoubtedly a major factor” in the break-up of his marriage.

As a result of the chequered history of one of its Directors, there was little sympathy expressed for Robinson’s firm when it fell into administration in March 2019. Mount Sterling Wealth was placed into administration following historic financing issues, appointing Jamie Miller and Gareth Harris of RSM as joint administrators to oversee the sale of its assets. The York-based firm had around £100 million in assets under administration.

Mount Sterling Wealth has since been sold out of administration, in a deal that preserves both jobs and the continuity of service for its clients. The financial planning and wealth management practice was sold to Quilter Private Client Advisers for an undisclosed fee.

Jamie Miller, RSM restructuring advisory partner and joint administrator, said: "I’m pleased to confirm that the deal preserves all jobs, ensures continuity of service for the company’s large portfolio of private clients and business owners and should result in significant returns for both secured and unsecured creditors which is an excellent result in the circumstances."

Commenting on the acquisition, Dominic Rose, Strategy and Acquisitions Director at Quilter PCA, said, “Mount Sterling Wealth was placed into administration following some historic financing issues. RSM was appointed joint administrators and the business was then sold to Quilter Private Client Advisers. Mount Sterling Wealth’s portfolio of clients will now be serviced by Quilter PCA’s by London, Chester and Shipley offices ensuring continuity of service. In addition, one adviser will join Quilter PCA.”