Jun 16, 2021

Insurance People Moves: Abacai, Saga, and Vindati

2 min
We conduct a roundup of some prominent insurance industry executive hires, including Abacai, Saga, and Vindati


Next-gen insurance distributor and underwriter Abacai has totally reshuffled its executive board, with CEO Mark Wilson apparently seeking a new dynamic following the FCA’s announcements regarding insurance pricing.

Based on Abacai’s AI-based platform, the company’s drive for cheaper and better delivery of insurance products will be realised by the following new hires:

  • James Ockenden, Chief Actuary
  • Jonathan Hill, VP of Pricing
  • Matt Fothergill, Deputy CEO
  • Chris Payne, Chief Technology Officer
  • Pierre du Toit, Chief AI Officer
  • Will Faulkner, Chief Product Officer

“We have assembled a first-rate team with a wealth of expertise in insurance and the foresight to understand the opportunity AI and contextual technology has to play in transforming the customer's experience,” said Wilson. “Our industry has lagged other sectors. That is about to change.”


Over-50s insurance specialist Saga’s quest for a new CEO has reached its denouement with the hiring of Steve Kingshott.

Previously the CEO of Tesco Underwriting, he will join Saga in the autumn of 2021. Holding both a BA and MA from the University of Liverpool and an MBA from Lancaster University, Kingshott supplements his qualifications with executive positions at RBS and RSA. 

“Saga is a great brand, with a fantastic heritage, loyal customers, and great people, and I look forward to working with the rest of the team to deliver all the opportunities we see ahead,” he commented.


Saga isn’t the only company changing its chief executive; insurtech Vindati has announced the appointment of John Przedpelski as its new CEO.

Since 2018, the New York-based startup has strived to empower insurance brokers through specialty products and solutions. Przedpelski will replace Tyler Van Spanje, who also co-founded the company. Przedpelski’s diverse career has included executive roles at RSA, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, and Innovisk Capital Partners. 

Innovisk is one of Vindati’s key investors, creating a direct link between Przedpelski’s departure and position. David Thomas, CEO of Innovisk, called him “one of Vindati’s key architects from the start.” It is, therefore, reasonable to conclude that Przedpelski desired a more direct role in the insurtech’s future.

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Aug 1, 2021

CB Insights: US Insurtechs Are Competing In A Global Market

2 min
Tech market intelligence platform CB Insights highlights that 2021 insurtech funding is less dominated by US firms and more geographically diverse

In the first half of the year, insurtech companies around the world have raised US$7.4bn, nearly doubling their funding in Q2. According to Digital Insurance, insurtechs have raised US$4.8bn in Q2—an 89% increase in funding from Q1. But US firms are no longer the sole beneficiaries. 

What Are the Stats? 

Out of the 15 Q2 mega-rounds—those that top US$100mn—only eight included American firms. Pretty good, you might say. That’s over half! But US companies only made up 38% of the deals, which marks a 10% drop from Q1 and a 12% drop from 2020. Technically, therefore, US insurtechs are less influential than they’ve been in the past. But who says this is a bad development? 


Despite my American citizenship, I’d argue that a more globally diverse insurance market is only for the best. Many of the world’s citizens who could most benefit from improved insurance services live outside of the States—and deserve local, tech-savvy services. 

Why Does This Matter? 

You’re always going to see the typical insurtech contenders from Western countries. For instance: 



But it’s critical that we address risk across the world. American insurtechs might be some of the most technologically skilled firms in the industry, but it’s not their first goal to address floods in Southeast Asia, crop destruction in China, and COVID complications in South Africa. That’s why we should celebrate that the recent Q2 round included insurtechs from 35 different countries


According to CB Insights’ Q2 2021 Quarterly InsurTech Briefing, this was the first time that they’d observed insurtech activity in Botswana, Mali, Romania, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. And ‘from a product, service, distribution, and underlying risk perspective, we—as a society and as an industry—are moving at an unprecedented speed’, says Dr. Andrew Johnston, Global Head of Willis Re InsurTech


Just ask CB Insights. InsurTech value propositions have resonated with the world. 


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