Willis Towers Watson - Igloo
Type of System
- Capital modelling
- Economic capital aggregation
- Risk management
- Asset/liability management
- Data management
- End-to-end ERM
- Solvency II solution
- Internal/external reporting
- Portfolio analysis/hedging
- Governance, risk, compliance (GRC)
- Business planning
Type of platform
Other features - the offering facilitates:
- NAIC RMORSA
- Solvency II standard formula
- Solvency II internal model
What are the typical implementation costs?
This varies with the scope of the implementation; businesses licensing Igloo range from the very largest multinationals through to single line specialist domestic insurers. However, we typically find that our standard libraries enable most businesses to implement at very low cost and little need for bespoke modelling adjustments.
How long does your software take to implement on site?
Igloo is ready to go immediately upon installation. The new Igloo Capital Model offers a best in class, highly flexible modelling framework allowing users familiar with capital modelling to be productive from day one without any prior knowledge of Igloo.
Please name companies that use the system/solution
Igloo is the long-time market leader. We count more than 110 groups as our clients with more than 1,000 users overall. We are the leading provider in the majority of developed insurance markets.
We value the privacy of our clients and do not in general publish our client lists.
December 2019 sees Igloo leap ahead. What once took hours now takes minutes, Igloo Capital Model frees modellers from routine to add insight and value whilst the Cloud changes everything for both performance and costs. Do more for less with the new Igloo.
Most recent significant update:
We released Igloo 6, together with the flagship companion application the Igloo Capital Model (ICM) at the end of December 2019. Igloo 6 represents a complete re-engineering of Igloo to reflect ongoing technology trends. Recognisably Igloo and materially backwards compatible, Igloo 6 takes modelling platforms to a new level of performance – models than may previously have taken hours now take a small number of minutes to complete.
The ICM is our highly general stochastic capital model. It is designed to be flexible enough so that the great majority of firms can represent the behaviour of their business with no need for customisation. WTW are responsible for the maintenance and update of the ICM to reflect technology, regulatory and modelling trends. This means that modelling teams are no longer required to engage in low value model maintenance but can instead focus on generating insights and communicating findings around the business.
The latest release of ICM includes the first release of ICM Manager, our new tool for organizing and managing the many model runs that companies now undertake. With its powerful user interface, it takes now only a few clicks to set up a new model run, link in new data and set the model running, all the while being able to clearly track and visualize the evolution between model runs.
Planned future enhancements:
Too many to list! Our key plans in the short term bring Igloo fully into the cloud with a managed SaaS product – allowing businesses to get all the benefits of a leading modelling system but without the overhead, distraction and expense of managing it internally. Igloo in the cloud offer a wide range of features – including auto-scaling of compute resources to support highly cost-effective use most of the time and supercomputing capability when you need it.
We’re also focusing hard on those pain points that come before and after running the capital model. In our experience preparation and reporting account for more than 60% of the end to end time taken to run capital models. Igloo is shortly to integrate with our process orchestration system “Unify” to bring the benefits of workflow, automation and governance to the full process from data preparation and calibration through to reporting.
How does your solution integrate with third-party systems or in-house systems?
Igloo 6 has a range of API and data integration capabilities. The APIs allow Igloo to be controlled by a range of appropriate third-party applications from workflow systems through to data repositories ranging from Excel through SQL Server to Azure “Blobs”.
What is the key attribute of your product(s) that differentiates it from your competitors?
Igloo 6 has taken us to the forefront of the recent model performance “arms race” so that models that once took hours now take minutes to complete. However, whilst runtime is important it is not everything and we seek to differentiate in ways that recognise what is important to our users every day.
Igloo has many such differentiating features having supported the capital models of businesses ranging from the very largest multi-nationals through to single line niche writers for many years. Our key differences include:
- Transparency: There’s no such thing as a black box in Igloo – all formulae and intermediate calculations are open to inspection to all authorised users. This means that the full chain of calculation can always be understood even when not included in the formal model output.
- Cloud Ready: We’ll always support our “on premise” clients, but Igloo is ready for the Cloud now with a significant number of our clients are already on a mixture of Azure and AWS with no material on site Igloo infrastructure. We ourselves develop Igloo and our models in Microsoft Azure.
- Ready to go, no coding model. The Igloo Capital Model is more flexible than any model we have seen in the market and enables almost all business to be productive with no need for customisation and coding. This is a key differentiator for Igloo and is intended to support modelling teams to add real value and insight rather than getting bogged down in model administration.
- Workflow management. ICM Manager brings the ability to repeatedly run the model in a clear organized fashion, with clarity on the changes between successive or parallel model runs. Our workflow and process orchestration tool “Unify” integrates with Igloo to support automation and management of the full end-to-end workflow across multiple teams and data sources. What once distracted the team, now uses a robot instead!
What trends are you seeing in terms of customer demand?
We are seeing a number of developing trends in our markets and as always these strongly influence our roadmap. Key trends include:
More insight and lower costs:
Our clients have shown an increasing requirement for the modelling team to move out of the “engine room” and to take the benefits and insights of the model around the business to wider risk based decisions around the business, ranging from underwriting, through business planning to the more traditional reinsurance management support. This is only possible if the teams are able to free themselves from the model maintenance treadmill which, together with the regulatory reporting schedules are causing many teams to “run to stand still”.
As discussed above we are seeking to support our clients with these growing demands through the introduction of the Igloo Capital Model to relieve the model management issue and then more broadly to support the full end to end capital process by optimising and automating the many steps in the process through integration of our “Unify” process orchestration. Igloo 6 has massively reduced run-times whilst Unify and ICM similarly reduce human-effort, the combined result being that clients are running their models many times more than they did previously as well as introducing more simulations to reduce the impact of sample error.
Lower IT overheads
Additionally, we note that IT functions recognise that modelling places different strains on infrastructure relative to the majority of business needs. This is potentially adding costs and complexity to the overall IT. This is leading to a trend beginning where capital modelling processing is increasingly taking place on the cloud which offers the opportunity for lower costs, increased flexibility and performance lower risk.
We see interest in the Igloo Cloud from almost all of our existing and prospective clients who recognise the potential to get more from your model and team more quickly, with lower complexity and at less cost.