Jan 18, 2021

Israeli insurance group launches next-generation fintech arm

Migdal Insurance
Joanna England
3 min
Israeli insurance group launches next-generation fintech arm
Migdal Insurance to invest up to US$2bn in fintech enterprises over the next two years...

A leading Israeli insurance company has announced plans to launch a new fintech investment arm which will concentrate on start-ups, funds, and established companies.

The opportunistic move will mean Migdal Insurance stays ahead of the rapidly increasing fintech growth curve. According to recent forecasts, the global fintech market was valued at $127.66bn in 2018. The fintech industry will also grow to $309.98bn (at an annual growth rate of 24.8%) by 2022.

Another study by CBInsights showed that from September 2019 to April 2020, the number of fintech unicorns increased by 76%, and their estimated value rose by 74%, from US$ 144.9bn to US$ 252.6bn. Investment transactions in fintech companies also surpassed 3,280, aggregating more than US$ 150bn, as reported by KPMG. 

The digital transformation of businesses, especially during the coronavirus crisis, has significantly accelerated the development of fintech, which now has a significant foothold in the financial industry and is commonly believed to have reached maturity.

The uptake of fintech has been most notable in developing countries, with China and India leading the way followed by APAC nations. This demographic makes up an estimated 87% of customers implementing fintech technologies. 

Adoption rates in the West are also rising, hitting 73% in the Netherlands, and 71% in Ireland and the UK, the latest data suggests.

Expert analysis

Migdal released a statement saying it had created a broad platform for fintech investments which includes examining new opportunities with global enterprises. A specialised team of fintech analysts has also been established to examine the latest data. 

Ran Oz, CEO of Migdal Insurance, explained, “The growing fintech sector has recently gained substantial momentum and maturity. We are high achievers, aiming to position ourselves as a leading financial investor not only locally, but also globally.”

Alongside the investment arm launch, Migdal recently announced it will invest $100mn in consumer loans in the US. The investment will be carried out through Pagaya, a fintech company that handles investments in US consumer loans via a technology-based decision-making process. A soft commitment agreed on by the companies, will also see further investments of $150mn.

Oz believes the key to success in fintech investment lies in knowing the market trends. He said, “Maintaining an edge in this innovative field will allow us to generate high yields for savers and enrich our investment portfolio with the new generation of finance. This is yet another step in our investment strategy of a strong shift from traditional finance to innovative financial sectors that we deem as the future leaders of the finance industry.”

As well as targeting fintech enterprises, Migdal will pursue opportunities in all fields currently affected by the fintech industry. These will include insurtech, capital market trading, lending (in place of bank credit), personal finance (day-to-day money management tools), payments and debits, money transfers, blockchain, risk management and more.

Migdal’s positioning as a dominant institutional investor with the largest investment portfolio in the sector will enable it to identify diverse opportunities and focus on advanced financing rounds, continued Oz, who said Migdal may also consider some first-round investments.

He added, “Having honed our expertise in this field over the recent months, accumulating extensive knowhow, we are now ready to launch an extensive investment operation."

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Jun 9, 2021

Startup spotlight: SIMON adds Nationwide to its platform

2 min
InsurTech Digital takes a closer look at SIMON Markets, an award-winning fintech that has recently added Nationwide as its latest insurance carrier

Headquartered in New York, SIMON has a singular goal: transforming the digital experience for financial advisors and unlocking greater levels of service for their clients. It achieves this through:

  • A comprehensive platform featuring a full suite of digital tools
  • On-demand education
  • An “intuitive” marketplace
  • Real-time analytics
  • Lifecycle management

The company’s fusion of cutting-edge tech with leading expertise is resulting in a new industry standard, one that is simplified, codified, and consolidated within a single ecosystem.

Creating value for financial advisors

At the time of writing, SIMON works with over 85,000 finance professionals who collectively manage more than US$3tn in assets. 

The startup’s solutions include: 

  • Spectrum: A multi-dimensional framework that quantifies the risk profile of investments using five metrics - protection, upside, liquidity, simplicity, and history
  • An investment platform: Featuring risk management tools, over 90 educational videos, inclusive product training, a compliance tracker, and more.
  • Analysis tools

Furthermore, SIMON’s quality as an organisation is attested by both its awards (such as being listed among the NYC Annual Awards’ ‘Best Places to Work’ category) and the status of its investors. So far, these include Barclays, JPMorgan, Prudential, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and others.

Another high-profile name has now been added to SIMON’s list of associations: Nationwide. The Fortune 100 US insurance firm has been added as a carrier to SIMON’s marketplace. Nationwide, which is almost a century old, is an ideal fit for an insurtech focused on delivering broad solutions and expertise in a rapidly evolving sector.

Protecting peoples’ financial futures

Regarding this latest partnership, Scott Beshany, Chief Distribution Officer at SIMON, said, “Nationwide has an incredible history of innovation and advocacy and we couldn’t be more thrilled to collaborate with their team and make their products available in our Marketplace. 

“Both firms are strongly aligned in the value we seek to create for financial professionals. SIMON’s dedication to delivering intuitive technology that builds simplicity and transparency around annuity offerings supports Nationwide in its mission of helping people prepare for and protect their financial future.”

Craig Hawley, Head of Annuity Distribution at Nationwide, expressed similarly positive sentiments about the collaboration:

“Nationwide has a decades-long track record of incorporating smart technology into the financial professional’s day-to-day workflow. This is another big step forward in that effort, with a proven, innovative partner at our side. 

“With SIMON’s platform, financial professionals can seamlessly integrate a range of annuities into their holistic planning process, creating greater efficiencies for their practice and a more comprehensive wealth management experience for their clients.”

Images sourced from respective companies

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