Private Equity Investments Fueling The Demand for Automation and Increased Efficiency - Inforia

"Sending checks to PO boxes in Nebraska is no longer a preferred option"

Inforia - In the evolving landscape of retail agencies and brokerages, the surge in automation technology and efficiency solutions is notable. However, private equity investment emerges as a major catalyst driving the quest for efficiency, especially in the prevailing rate environment.

Andrew Wynn, the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Ascend, a software provider specializing in financial operations automation for the insurance sector, sheds light on this trend. Contrary to expectations, customer experience isn't the primary motivation for larger top-100 and mid-market brokerages adopting Ascend's technology, especially those backed by private equity. Instead, the focal point is on enhancing operational efficiency.

The increasing cost of capital for these firms has heightened the need for streamlined operations. Wynn anticipates sustained demand for automation and efficiency-boosting software, particularly on the front end. He envisions this trend persisting over the next 12 to 24 months, driven by the consistent macro environment and the realization of efficiency potentials.

Ascend, founded in 2021 by Andrew Wynn and Praveen Chekuri, operates as an insurance payments platform, offering complete automation of the insurance payment lifecycle. Its services cover premium collection, disbursement, reconciliation, and accounting for brokers, agencies, and MGAs. The insurtech has strategically partnered with industry leaders like NFP, PCF Insurance, Acrisure, and Embroker in 2023.

Wynn sees a significant opportunity to streamline and automate the entire insurance transaction chain. Ascend aims to automate the loop, addressing how an insured pays a retailer, how a retailer pays a wholesale brokerage, how a wholesale brokerage pays a carrier, and how a carrier pays a claim. The goal is to eliminate inefficiencies and breakages associated with disparate systems in the industry.

While private equity investment drives short-term efficiency pressure, Wynn emphasizes the long-term importance of creating a seamless insurance experience to stay relevant. Despite the complexities in insurance coverages, a modern customer experience is crucial for competitiveness. Wynn highlights the shift in customer expectations, emphasizing the reluctance to mail checks to PO boxes in Nebraska.

Looking ahead, Ascend aims to capitalize on its natural connection points within the industry. The focus for the next 12 to 24 months involves expanding connections and collaborations with wholesalers, MGAs, and carriers to further enhance seamless integration in insurance transactions."

Company Ascend
Founders Andrew Wynn and Praveen Chekuri (2021)
Industry Insurance Technology (Insurtech)
Focus Financial operations automation for insurance
Services Insurance payments platform, premium collection, disbursement, reconciliation, accounting
Strategic Partnerships NFP, PCF Insurance, Acrisure, Embroker (2023)
Future Focus Expansion with wholesalers, MGAs, and carriers for seamless integration


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