Laurel Powers-Freeling joins UK's Ripe Thinking as new Chair

Laurel Powers-Freeling joins UK insurtech Ripe Thinking as the digital MGA’s new Chairman as the company embarks on an expansion drive

UK digital MGA, Ripe Thinking, has announced the appointment of its new Chairman, Laurel Powers-Freeling. 

The news comes as the UK-based insurtech scales its operations further and continues to make game-changing investments in proprietary technology.

The appointment of the new chair comes as former chair of Ripe Thinking, Colin Whitehead steps down from the role to start his retirement. 

According to reports, Ripe Thinking is on track for future growth and is looking to expand into new markets as well as gearing up for its next phase.

Powers-Freeling, who has a robust background in fintech,  led the development of M&S Money as CEO and has held a series of senior executive, board, or non-executive positions for major organisations including the Prudential, ACE/Chubb, Lloyds Bank Group, the Bank of England, but also significant fintech platforms including the UK’s first digital-only bank Atom Bank, Uber UK (chair since October 2017) and personal finance platform Moneybox (chair since October 2021).

New investment and growth for Ripe Thinking

Ripe Thinking, which was launched in 1997, has an established reputation in the leisure and business insurance sectors. The insurtech has also attracted major investment from global investment management firm Aquiline Capital Partners at the end of 2021.. Company leaders say the Aquiline investment is a springboard for the acceleration of Ripe’s innovative cloud-based underwriting and insurance distribution platform – known as Juice

Juice is also using innovative, proprietary technology, which provides new capabilities to create dynamic and hyper-targeted digital journeys for customers. The solution facilitates ultra-fast launches of products to specific segments, using an intelligent platform to digitally outpace the market. Ripe’s technology plays an integral role in its growth – with an average time to purchase a policy of just three minutes and 19 seconds. Data shows that an estimated  90% of Ripe’s customers currently buy their policies completely online.

Speaking about her new role as Chairman, Powers-Freeling said, “The Ripe team has an aptitude for innovation, the ability to digitally outpace the market, and the tech infrastructure needed to change the future of insurance. Ripe’s developed a platform that can reach insurance customers in a hyper-targeted, efficient, and appealing way. For me, what is truly compelling about the business is that, while currently a bit modest in its footprint, it now has the formula - and the backing - needed to transform the sector - it’s a fintech primed to scale and win.”

Paul Williams ACII, CEO of Ripe Thinking, added, “We’re accelerating towards an exciting phase – with the opportunity to explore new markets and the ambition to become a household name. We welcome our new chair at a pivotal time for Ripe. Laurel has the unrivaled tech and financial industry expertise, and a track record of leading companies that are digitally transforming their sector. With Aquiline and Laurel’s strong belief in our potential, alongside significant investment now being deployed to scale up the business, we are on a path to redefine how insurance is done.”

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