Enterprise Risk Management Technology Guide 2023/24

Zenith Actuarial: Delivering governed analytics rapidly into the hands of users

Could you give us some background on Zenith Actuarial? 

Dan WainwrightZenith Actuarial is a fast-growing actuarial and technology consultancy, predominantly working in the life insurance market, and more recently offering a range of services to general insurers. Our business started in 2016 and we now have over 40 actuaries and consultants. We have three core offerings:

  • Actuarial consulting covering projects like M&A, capital and risk management, reinsurance work, regulatory reporting and consumer duty compliance, etc
  • Outsourcing, where we take on the responsibilities of the actuarial function, including performing the regulatory roles of insurers
  • Our technology platform, evo-insight, that we’ve been using to service our clients and we’ve recently launched to the market

Could you tell us about some of the challenges you see in the market? 

In this dynamic and increasingly complex market, management need a constant flow of analytics from their actuarial departments to support decision making. Speed of delivery and responsiveness to new analytics and insights is critical, as is confidence in the information’s accuracy.

However, insurers can be hampered by legacy technology, bespoke models and resource intensive processes that incorporate a range of ungoverned spreadsheets. Against this backdrop, we have developed our evo-insight platform to support actuarial and finance departments to “deliver governed analytics rapidly into the hands of users”. 

Can you outline what evo-insight is and its benefits for insurers?

evo-insight is our cloud-based integrated platform that has three core offerings. Firstly, it provides a suite of no-code actuarial applications that are pre-built and can be rapidly configured and calibrated to an insurer’s requirements in a fraction of the time it takes for traditional “build and maintain” modelling approaches.  

The suite includes liability cash-flow, asset cash flow, and capital models, with embedded workflow, governance, and pre-built reports and dashboards. They leverage Azure’s scalable and on-demand computing and storage capabilities.

Secondly, evo-insight offers the ability to embed spreadsheets in secure web applications. Spreadsheets contain significant business intellectual property and are often critical components of the reporting process, but this must be within a governed, performant, work environment.

evo-insight solves this problem by embedding spreadsheets, including VBA macros, within a secure web application. It includes the capability to link multiple spreadsheets together and distribute processing across a scalable compute infrastructure, thereby significantly reducing runtimes for complex spreadsheets such as stochastic models. 

Thirdly, we embed advanced insightful analytics within all the evo-insight applications. This includes reports and interactive dashboards custom designed for a range of users, such as actuaries, CFOs and CROs. 

How does evo-insight leverage cloud computing, and how do you support customers?

From the outset, evo-insight was conceived and developed as an enterprise hosted cloud solution optimised to leverage the scalable Microsoft Azure infrastructure. It is browser based with an integrated suite of services including data warehouse, distributed processing, results storage, authorisation, notifications, pdf generation, etc. 

Our support is flexible, we can manage all aspects of evo-insight, and offer a range of advisory and configuration services in respect of the applications. This is delivered by our team of consultants who really understand the insurance domain and cloud technology. In addition, the team can develop custom applications and analytics for clients. 

How will innovations change the way your customers engage with technology over the next decade?  

Evo InsightWe continue to see insurers moving away from IT departments, and developing and owning technology solutions, to no and low-code solutions.

The move into the cloud has already happened and the next trend is best-of-breed components deployed in a componentised architecture accessed by application programming interfaces (APIs). evo-insight embraces this approach, generating, and then utilising APIs in the business applications provided to end users in a no-code interface. 

In summary, evo-insight provides a powerful, secure, governed, and automated platform to "get governed analytics rapidly into the hands of users".

It does this in numerous ways including rich and mature pre-built actuarial applications that are fully documented and can be implemented quickly, as well as built-in insightful analytics for business decision making.