Martha Notaras: The “Outsider” with an Amazing Inside View
Bill Sinn | April 04, 2019
Editor's Note: Martha Notaras is a partner with venture capital fund, XL Innovate. She is one of three keynote speakers at ITA LIVE 2019. Her presentation, titled "Insurtech: Past, Present and Future,” is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. on Sunday, May 5, 2019. This is an excerpt from an article that appears in the March/April edition of ITA PRO magazine, which comes out the week of April 8th.
From an insurance perspective, Martha Notaras considers herself the ultimate “outsider.” Her background is not in personal lines insurance, commercial lines insurance, any insurance at all.
It’s her investment acumen and expertise – acquired over 25 years of investing in tech-driven companies -- that gives her insight on what is truly happening in the business world. And it offers a unique viewpoint on the whole insurtech revolution.
Her early career included investment banking at Merrill Lynch and commercial banking at Credit Suisse. Her “insurance” career started at the Daily Mail and General Trust PLC, where she was involved with business data and analytics. She invested in 20 companies during her time there; two of those investments achieved valuations over $1 billion. The portfolio was so small that “it looked like a rounding error on the income statement.” That small portfolio grew to represent 20 percent of the top line at the Daily Mail and even more of the bottom line.
She also led the acquisition of insurtech pioneer Risk Management Solutions (RMS), and served on the company’s board for 10 years. That’s where she met Tom Hutton, who happened to be on the other side of the negotiating table. It was the same Tom Hutton who became managing partner of XL Innovate and convinced her to join that fund in 2015.
The Lure of Insurtech
Depending on what you read today, the number of insurtech companies seems to fluctuate between 1,200 and 1,500 – “a very big number, which have started up in the market in a very short time period,” according to Notaras.
“Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a number of companies at different stages of development. The good news today is that insurtech is going global,” she says. “The even better news is that total funding continues to go up, with U.S. insurtechs garnering the largest investments.”
Notaras says that there are big changes happening in the insurance sector. “And it’s not just the era of the insurtechs,” she says. “There has also been a change in the thinking – and the energy – of insurance carriers. Insurance has always been fighting against its legacy systems. But the promise of insurtech is the ability to give insurers the insights and agility they have long wanted but had given up on achieving years ago.”
She cited DataCubes – a data science company – as an example. “Here’s a company that takes an insurer’s unstructured data and then structures it so it is usable, easily consumable data, and combines it with third-party data. Unstructured data has always been difficult to extract information from. Commercial underwriters now have a technology and objective third-party data that can provide new insights into the risks of their business.
“Another area of change is around machine learning,” she adds. “Bots are becoming highly acceptable – and more of the norm – in personal lines. Machine learning provides greater accuracy to understand the meaning of data, which was not possible with the manual analytics used before.”
Learn more from Martha when she keynotes at ITA LIVE 2019 next month in Ft. Lauderdale. Register here: ITA LIVE 2019
- ITA Pro Magazine May/June 2019
- Spotlight on the 2019 IASA Conference
- ValueMomentum Selects Erie as Site of Regional Development Center
- Capgemini and Majesco Become Alliance Partners
- Electronic Chat with Dr. Dan Shoham
- Electronic Chat with Todd Greenbaum
- Martha Notaras: The “Outsider” with an Amazing Inside View
- ProSight Direct Offers “Effortless Insurance for Today’s Professional”
- Electronic Chat with Larissa Tosch
- Martha Notaras Will Join ITA LIVE 2019 as a Keynote Speaker
- Five Things to Consider When Evaluating Your Cyber Risk
- ITA Pro Magazine, January/February 2019
- Major Ransomware Attack Could Hit U.S. with $89B In Economic Damages
- ITA Announces 1st of Three Keynote Speakers at ITA LIVE 2019
- Electronic Chat with Jeroen Morrenhof
- Legacy Systems Are Dead. Really? Don't Count On It.
- Now Accepting Nominations for the 2019 ITA Bridge Awards
- It's time to register for ITA LIVE!
- Registration is Now Open for ITA LIVE 2019!
- What to Expect from a Digital Experience Platform Implementation
- ITA Pro Magazine September Edition is Now Available
- It's National IT Professionals Day
- Save the Date for ITA-LIVE 2019
- OneShield Software and UrbanStat Work Together to Improve Real-Time Analytics and Risk Decision-Making
- ITA LIVE 2019 - SAVE THE DATE!
- Insurance Technology Association Announces New Editor-in-Chief
- August 2018 Edition ITA Pro Magazine is Now Available
- Enterprise Architecture in an Agile World
- Top 10 Tips for Securing Your Mobile Devices and Sensitive Client Data
- Industry Insight: 4 Global Insurance Trends in Digital, Data, Content Services and Security
- Diving Deeper into Prioritizing Your Strategic Digital investments
- Why Content Rules
- How Mass Personalization Will Open the Small Business Benefits Market
- At Year End 2017, Will Your Organization Be Protected from Cyber Risks?
- Do Insurance Bots Dream of Mitigating Risk?
- Conditioned to Respond
- Managing & Mobilizing Insurance Data in a Connected World
- Race to the Finish Line
- New Tools, New Opportunities in Claims
- ITA LIVE: Reaching Insurance Industry Crossroads
- Advice to Insurance IT Leaders: Keep Your Eye on the Ball
- New Date, Venue for ITA LIVE 2017
- Guidewire Makes Major Push to Small and Midtier Market by Acquiring ISCS
- Insurance Disruption is Happening Right Now
- Insurity Adds Strategic Investment Partner, General Atlantic
- Beyond Transformation: The Convergence of Finance, Risk, and Actuarial Functions
- The Rapid Evolution of Consumer Protection Regulation
- Talent Hunt: Finding, Attracting, Retaining Top People
- Insurers Flexing Their Distribution Models
- Technology Driving Disruption in Insurance
- Fear of ‘Next Bubble’ Challenges Life, Annuity Carriers
- Technology Allows Commercial Lines Insurers to Stand Out
- Single Sign-on Viewed as Biggest Tech Challenge for Agencies
- ISCS Observes 20th Anniversary; Scurto Predicts Major Changes Ahead
- Policyholders and Their First Impressions
- Progressive Making Progress on the UBI Front
- High and Dry: Insurers Search for Disaster Recovery Plans
- Insurers Sign The (Un)Dotted Line
- Reflections of a Retired Insurance CIO
- Mobile Device Management Just One Answer to BYOD Issue
- Lessons from GEICO and Progressive on Winning the Critical Buying Stage
- You Are a Target for a Cyber Attack
- Web-based Systems are the Next Evolution in Claims Technology
- Gaining a “Wow” Experience from Web Users
- Time to Shift from Business/IT Alignment to Business/IT Alliance
- Healthcare Insurers Changing to Consumer Model
- Organization is the Key for Selecting Software Vendors
- Analysts Expound on the Needs of the Mid-tier Insurance Market
- Finding the Cure for Obamacare’s Website
- New Software Solutions Benefit Insurers on the Inside and Outside
- Products, Market Impede Investment in Systems for Life Insurers
- Combatting Cyber Threats: Predict, Prevent, Persist
- The Future of Telematics Heads Beyond Insurance
- The Shame in Cyber Security Lapses
- Building Policy Administration Systems for the Future
- Insurers Look Into The Eyes of Their Policyholders
- It’s a New Dawn for the ITA
INSURANCE IT NEWS
- Aspire Names Hyland a Leader in Customer Communications Management for Business Automation
- ValueMomentum Joins the MuleSoft Partner Program
- Crawford Technologies Partners with BlueCrest to Combine Market-leading Mail Processing and Workflow Technology
- Zywave Achieves Major Milestone in Small Group Quoting through Acquisition of RateFactory
- Unicorn Underwriting Successfully Implements ClarionDoor Rating and Quoting
- Greek insurance company Eurolife ERB Wins at IMPACT Bite Awards 2019 with FRISS for Automated Fraud Prevention
- Allstate Designates Official “Day for Play” in 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup™ Tournament Cities
- FRISS and omni:us supercharging insurance with AI
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.
ITA LIVE 2019
The tide is up! It's time to register for ITA LIVE 2019, our annual educational and networking conference! Our theme is "The InsurTech Revolution: Cutting Through the Hype." and we'll be bringing in a torrent of industry thought leaders, amazing insight and wonderful perspectives on the world of insurtech and its impact on the insurance landscape.
ITA LIVE 2019 will present real-life examples of true startup technologies that are helping insurers gain real advantage -- and a competitive edge -- in the marketplace. We’ll highlight the more successful InsurTech partnerships, while offering case studies that demonstrate exciting innovation and cutting-edge techniques impacting all aspects of the insurance ecosystem.
Ride the wave to LIVE 2019. Sign up today! We look forward to seeing you in May, 2019!
BLOGS AND COLUMNS
You have surely heard it said that small businesses are the growth engine for America. Today, the phrase has a special ring to it for benefits... READ MORE
With stagnant growth and lingering low interest rates, the life insurance industry faces a challenging future... READ MORE
Finding insurance carriers willing to write commercial lines risks has always been a challenge for producers... READ MORE
As Guidewire Software prepares for the start of Connections, its 11th annual user conference that begins on Nov. 2, Brian Desmond, chief marketing... READ MORE