Jun 10, 2021

Five Minutes With: Jeffery Skelton, MD of LexisNexis

2 min
We talk inspiration, post-pandemic plans and proudest moments with LexisNexis Risk Solutions MD, UK and Ireland, Jeffrey Skelton

Jeffery Skelton is the MD of LexisNexis Risk Solutions, a global data and analytics company that provides data and technology services, analytics, predictive insights and fraud prevention for a wide range of industries.

A seasoned executive with 25 years of experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors, Skelton is a leading figure in analytics and data technology for businesses. We caught up with the man himself for an 'out of hours' chat.

Who was your childhood hero and why?  

My grandfather. He fostered my love of self-directed learning.  His extensive library of thousands of books facilitated my exploration of science, history, literature and philosophy.  His home was my classroom.  In my early teens he experienced a sharp decline in his health and my experience as his primary care giver in his final years taught me a great deal about life and love and certainly helped shape me as a person. 

What's the best piece of advice you ever received?  

You own how you react to events and how you react directly impacts your happiness.

Which activity are you most looking forward to doing when the pandemic is over?  

I moved to England just before the pandemic and was not able to travel the country.  I’m particularly eager to see the Scottish Highlands. 

Is there a personal achievement from the past 12 months of which you are particularly proud?

Every business needed to adapt fast in response to the pandemic. I am particularly proud of the speed and agility with which we helped many of our insurance provider customers become more digitised and automated to ensure they could keep serving their own customers. 

It says much that in a year in which the main edict was ‘stay at home’ we achieved all of our financial metrics and increased our customer Net Promoter Score by 60%.  But perhaps the best personal achievement is that, as part of a global company with 30,000 employees, our Nottingham business achieved the highest employee engagement score of any of our global business units. 

What inspires you in insurtech today?  

The appetite for change appears to be stronger now than in the recent past.  Everyone is mentally in a place where they know change is upon us on many fronts.  What better time than now to experiment with new ideas?  I see good things on the horizon for consumers and the SME market.

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Jun 18, 2021

Akur8’s US$30mn Series B to fuel US and APAC expansion

2 min
Parisian insurtech Akur8 has raised $30mn in a Series B round, capital which will be used as it expands out of the EU and into the US and APAC markets

Still a relatively new company in the sector, Akur8’s progress since it was founded in 2018 has been characterised by cutting-edge tech, strategic growth, and a highly personable approach that clearly demonstrates the youthful innovation of insurtech itself.

The company strives to embody four key values:

  • Challenging a status quo that doesn’t benefit customers
  • “Disrupt the known, organise the unknown”
  • Provide artificial intelligence (AI) tech with a distinctly human edge
  • Create solutions that will endure the test of time

At the heart of Akur8’s business is its Transparent AI solution. Capable of empowering actuaries and pricing teams through better, faster decision making, the insurtech touts it as “the only solution that automates rate modeling while keeping full transparency and control.”



Transforming insurance pricing

In just two years, Akur8 has acquired over 30 customers in 10 countries - including high-profile insurers like Munich Re, Tokio Marine Kiln, AXA, and Generali - and established additional offices in London and New York. Now, the company is keen to develop its business in the US’ verdant insurance market and build its presence in APAC.

The Series B round, which comes just over a year after Akur8’s $12mn Series A, was co-led by returning investors BlackFin Capital Partners and MTech Capital.

“The BlackFin team is thrilled to see Akur8 continue to spread its wings and deploy its next generation pricing platform across insurance carriers worldwide,” said Julien Creuzé, Partner. “We have built a great relationship with the Akur8 management team and it’s a pleasure to welcome new investors and continue this journey with them.”

Guillaume Beraud-Sudreau, Co-Founder and Chief Actuary at Akur8, added, “We are humbled by the trust that our clients and investors have placed in Akur8. Building the future of insurance pricing powered by Transparent AI has been our goal since the first day of R&D. Now this vision has become reality and we can’t wait to accelerate our growth to become the global reference in insurance pricing.”

Cover image source: Akur8

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