Electronic Chat with Greg Williams, Co-Founder, President & CEO, Acrisure
Staff Writer | September 15, 2020
Acrisure, based in Caledonia, Mich., is one of the top 10 largest brokers in the world, with much of its growth spurred by robust mergers and acquisitions. Its recent purchase of Tulco LLC’s insurance practice positions Acrisure to deliver advanced data science, AI, and machine learning capabilities to its agency partners.
Can you tell us about the company?
As an insurance intermediary, Acrisure provides a broad array of insurance-related solutions, including commercial property and casualty, personal insurance and employee benefits through our global network of agency partners. Notably, we’re the fastest growing insurance broker in history over the past several years – from $40 million in revenue in 2013 to over $2 billion today. Our model is unique in that we are more than 91% employee-owned and our Agency Partners maintain a significant degree of autonomy to operate their businesses, localizing key decisions and relationships.
For years, many independent agents and brokers have expressed concern that apps and online platforms (and AI) will replace them. Is this a legitimate concern?
It’s not a concern at Acrisure, where we view a digital capability as the best of “man and machine.” Specifically, a digital platform allows us to be nimble, data-rich and durable, while innovative technology and machine learning enhance the productivity of our teammates.
Our objective is to be the most tech enabled broker in the world, which will benefit our clients and our more than 8,500 employees. The world is becoming more digital so our efforts to deploy artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic processing is simply meeting the world where it wants to go. It’s about continuously improving for the benefit of all constituents, including employees.
In general, what tech tools are carriers and agents using to improve the relationship and make transactions easier for all parties?
So far, we have generally seen insurtech occur on the underwriting side to try to reduce expense or improve the underwriting result through better understanding and use of big data. On the broker side, the prevailing trend of the last several years has been to try to ease the transaction for customers by digitizing the process, accelerating enrollment and the like. Our approach is “all the above” plus enhancing our marketing and sales capabilities to accelerate the pace in which we win new clients.
How will Acrisure leverage these tools?
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotic processing will touch every aspect of our business. We’ll add robustness and depth to our front office (sales) while transforming our back-office and operational productivity. We’ll also underwrite our book of business to better understand our entire portfolio, ensuring we’re placing premium in the best markets -- all for the benefit of our clients.
How has the insurtech phenomenon changed the way agents and brokers operate?
I would turn that question around and ask, has insurtech responded to the way brokers are operating or want to operate? It is an increasingly digital world in which brokers and agents want to work digitally and clients want their brokers to be modern and responsive. So, how do we define insurtech around that opportunity? Investment in technology and technology enablement should solve an existing problem or meet an existing challenge. For us, that is exactly what infusing our company with AI will do -- at a scale that simply hasn’t been reached in the brokerage industry until now.
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The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.
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