InsuranceERM Annual Awards 2024 - UK & Europe

Cutting-edge technology designed to manage ever-changing risks

Richard Tyler, chief executive of finance automation software provider, Phinsys, and the vendor's commercial director Stuart Conibear, explain how the Phinsys platform can enable re/insurers to enhance efficiency, make informed decisions and drive sustained growth

What do you put this award down to? How do you set yourself apart from competitors in the field?

Richard TylerRichard Tyler: We provide a much broader finance automation solution for the global insurance industry in terms of data management and processing capabilities. Our competitors tend to focus on point solutions for areas such as data reconciliation, data warehousing/modelling, specific accounting standards, regulatory/statutory reporting or financial forecasting.

The executive and wider team at Phinsys all have many years of experience and specialist domain knowledge in the insurance industry, with many having worked client side for part of their careers. This gives us unique insights to the issues faced by insurers and a deeper understanding of the technical accounting and finance problems that need to be solved.

Our platform isn't just about resolving data issues within legacy systems – technology-led start-up insurers like Inigo illustrate how Phinsys are delivering a digital finance transformation that seamlessly integrates with new systems used by the modern insurer.

The Phinsys solution can be configured "out of the box" to adapt to new finance and accounting challenges triggered by changes to regulation, accounting rules or reporting requirements – whether in the UK, US, Bermuda or further afield.

This futureproofing of the platform through continual research and development into the latest regulatory regimes and data engineering technologies is what really sets us apart. (Examples include: IFRS 17, ASC 606 revenue recognition rules, and the ability to manage fund data for ILS managers such as Pillar Capital).

It's not just about improving processes and greater automation: our projects ensure clients have access to accurate real-time data that delivers actionable insights to inform strategy and enable more agile decision-making.

What have insurers been seeking from you in the last 12 months?

Stuart ConibearStuart Conibear: IFRS 17 has been a focus for insurers as it came into effect in January last year. For our clients, meeting the requirements of IFRS 17 was made possible by the flexibility of our platform to be configured to accommodate these new accounting principles and provide a complete look through from IFRS 4 and local GAAP rules.

Having the IFRS results in the same solution, at the same grain of detail as our clients' existing financial reporting, has been a considerable help when carrying out reviews and analytics. Conduit Re was a prime example of this and the key factor for them choosing Phinsys. Complying with ASC 606 rules have posed new problems for broker businesses in the US – again, the Phinsys platform has been configured to address these new requirements. As an example, we have worked with NFP Partners on this solution.

We also find demands are not confined to insurers – MGAs, ILS managers, legacy portfolio managers, brokers and Lloyd's syndicates, to name just a few of our recent projects, all face time, accuracy and cost pressures. Our platform has automated many previously manual processes and enabled better data governance to drive their businesses' strategies and growth.

The insurance industry is already facing evolving demands of environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting requirements and disclosures. As stakeholders increasingly prioritise sustainability and ethical considerations, insurers are expected to adapt by integrating ESG-focused key performance indicators (KPIs), with financial insights provided by advanced technology, such as the Phinsys platform, to ensure compliance, transparency and sustainability.

This shift will not only satisfy regulatory, investor and consumer demands, but also positions insurers for growth, while also managing risk, staying competitive through innovation and contributing positively to society and the environment.

How do you expect insurance technology risk offerings to evolve in the future?

Stuart Conibear: It's inevitable that insurers will look to adopt new technologies to make better decisions, adapt to shifting client demands and do more with less resources.

Before this happens, however, the challenge of integrating new systems with existing legacy systems, ensuring compliance with regulatory standards, and safeguarding sensitive financial data against cyber threats becomes critical.

Insurers must invest in secure, compliant technologies and robust cybersecurity while also focusing on training and upskilling their employees to effectively manage and leverage new automated systems.

We believe these are the foundations for future enabling technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic process automation, which all promise enhanced efficiency and strategic decision-making capabilities.

However, their effectiveness depends on the value of algorithms that are intrinsically linked to the quality of data and effective governance. Without these critical components it will be very challenging to implement and unlock the full potential of these new technologies.