Willis Towers Watson - Igloo and Igloo Cloud
Type of System
- Asset/liability management
- Business planning
- Capital modelling
- Data management
- Economic capital aggregation
- End-to-end ERM
- Governance, risk, compliance (GRC)
- Internal/external reporting
- Portfolio analysis/hedging
- Risk management
- Solvency II solution
Type of platform
Other features - does your offering facilitate
- NAIC RMORSA
- Solvency II internal model
- Solvency II standard formula
What are the typical implementation costs?
This varies with the scope of the implementation; businesses licensing Igloo range from the very largest global multi-nationals through to single line specialist domestic insurers. However, our flagship Igloo application, the “Igloo Capital Model” enables most businesses to implement full capital models at very low cost and little, if any, need for bespoke model adjustments.
Implementation of Igloo Cloud is simply a matter of opening appropriate connections in the corporate network. This removes the need to prepare and maintain high performance IT infrastructure and provides a means to materially reduce the capex typically associated with model implementations.
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.
Igloo Cloud significantly reduces the time required to implement enterprise level compute – no need to budget for, provision and configure processing servers – Igloo Cloud can be up and running in minutes.We would also note that it requires very little training for our users to become productive with Igloo Cloud – again we typically note our users deploying real models in minutes after implementation.
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 most developed insurance markets.
We value the privacy of our clients and do not in general publish our client’s names.
Most recent significant update:
The release of Igloo Cloud in April 2021 ushered in a new era of capability. Igloo Cloud reduces end-to-end costs, increases robustness and flexibility and provides supercomputing performance.
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 customization. WTW is 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.
Also released in April 2021, the latest version of the Igloo Capital Model continues to allow modellers to focus on insights rather than model maintenance and coding.The key new feature of this release introduces automated sensitivities – this supports the application of past sensitivities on new models or else the streamlined and efficient creation of new scenarios and sensitivity tests.
Planned future enhancements:
Our key plans now are to bring the wider benefits of capital and business models to our users. Igloo clients will be able to take advantage of tools that place models at the centre of risk-based decision making, with applications ranging from reinsurance pricing through business planning to underwriting support,
Additionally, we will shortly be addressing 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 release our integration with the WTW 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 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.
We have focused on ensuring that our users get the most from their modelling teams. We believe that it is important for modelling teams to be able to add real value to the business rather than focusing on maintaining and developing code.
Igloo has many 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 authorized 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 Cloud offers affordable and easy access to power, robustness and flexibility of the Cloud with no need for 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 businesses to be productive with no need for customization 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.
- Powerful, easy to learn. The Igloo Manager provides a highly intuitive and easy to use user interface to the Igloo Capital Model. This tool allows users to govern models, data and parameters with little or no need for Igloo expertise.
- 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 several 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 can 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 support our clients with these growing demands through the Igloo Capital Model to relieve the model management issue and then more broadly to support the full end-to-end capital process by optimizing and automating the many steps in the process through integration of our “Unify” process orchestration. Igloo 6 and Igloo Cloud massively reduce run-times whilst Unify and the 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 recognize that modelling places different strains on infrastructure relative to most 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 massive interest in the Igloo Cloud following its release in April 2021 from almost all our existing and prospective clients who recognize the potential to get more from your model and team more quickly, with lower complexity and at less cost.
Igloo 6 and Igloo Cloud brings deep quantitative insight directly into risk-based decision. 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.