It wasn’t the most conventional way to interview INSTANDA’s new Head of Accounts, Andrew Simmons (over Zoom), but what a fantastic impression he is already having on the INSTANDA team.
One of the things we are acutely aware of at INSTANDA is our responsibility as a technology vendor to make sure we add value to every client’s business. As Head of Accounts, Andrew’s role is to take our client service proposition to the next level across the UK and EMEA.
Naturally, we were keen to learn more about Andrew, his client-centric philosophy, and his aspirations for INSTANDA.
Andrew, could you summarise your experience and how you arrived at INSTANDA?
“No problem. I was only reflecting on my experience the other day. Over the past 35 years, I’ve always worked within client-facing roles. It’s where I am most content. I am client-centric, for want of a better phrase. Making sure the client is at the heart of every decision is part of my personal value proposition.
“My interest and involvement in technology and data analytics dates to the 80s when I worked for Leslie & Godwin Ltd (later Aon). As a Risk Management Consultant, I used loss and claims data captured in a DOS spreadsheet to identify problem areas to support a loss prevention strategy. This gave me a real appetite for technology and led me to the Aon Japanese Practice Group in Europe, where I oversaw the implementation of sophisticated Risk Management Information Systems (RMIS) for blue-chip multinational Japanese-owned companies.
“From Aon, I joined Willis Group, where I set up and ran an International region Client-Facing Technology Group. The Group's purpose was to bring an enhanced technology and data-led insights philosophy into a joined-up value proposition as part of the broker pitch.
“From Willis, I was invited to join Marsh, where I led their SAAS RMIS platform, delivering advanced technology directly to blue-chip multinational businesses.
“After several years, I was keen to amass everything I had learned and decided to set up my own consultancy. My focus was on helping companies build a strategic methodology for optimising risk intelligence to support informed decision-making to meet business objectives. These activities led me to INSTANDA’s door, and upon meeting Tim Hardcastle and Derek Hill, founders of INSTANDA, I was impressed by the vision of a no-code insurance platform and their clear mission and vision of being one of the premier digital insurance platforms. As such, I felt compelled to join.”
Tell us about your new role; what are your priorities for the next 3, 6, 9 months?
“As Head of Accounts, my role is to lead the client service proposition across the UK and EMEA regions and to strengthen INSTANDA’s client success philosophy.
“In the short-term, my focus is to make sure that clients are at the heart of everything INSTANDA does, so as a business, we are always delivering on our promises.
“For my team, I want them to feel empowered to take the lead in driving client success strategies; to recognise the impact their contribution makes to the client and be rewarded for their efforts.
“For myself, I want to draw on my extensive experience to inspire those around me – to give others the vision and direction to help them grow as individuals and as a team.”
How will your appointment positively impact INSTANDA’S clients?
“For our clients, I want them to know they have direct access to the team and me and that INSTANDA is as committed as they are to making their business a success.
“Every client will understand that they have a strong team of professionals who have their best interests at heart.
“I want to end 2021 with all clients benefitting from an enhanced level of customer service, where INSTANDA is recognised as having played a pivotal role in their business growth plans.”
What does ‘exceptional service’ look like at INSTANDA?
“Exceptional service is where the client feels, as a business, INSTANDA has their back at all times. As a team, we take the time to listen, advocate on their behalf, communicate, and deliver on our promises. This is what we aspire to at INSTANDA - I call this our Client Success Principals.”
In your opinion, what do no-code platforms like INSTANDA offer the client?
“INSTANDA allows insurers, brokers and MGAs to bring sophisticated products to market quickly and at a marginal cost. In the P&C and L&H spaces, companies are confidently breaking out of their legacy shell with no-code to meet the customer need for personalised products. INSTANDA’s no-code platform enables new products to be easily configured within days, and existing books of business migrated in a matter of weeks. Complete with full underwriting capabilities, all classes of insurance are covered on the platform.
“However, it’s not the platform alone that helps clients to break out of their legacy shell. They have got to know how to slice and dice their business and lean on their technology partner for support. This, I believe, is what differentiates INSTANDA from the competition.”
What do you do to switch off from work?
“I live and breathe my work, but I also appreciate the importance of spending time with family and friends. I live in a 15th Century moated thatched farmhouse in the middle of the Suffolk countryside.
“My wife and I have two teenage children, three Black Labradors, and an assortment of wildfowl and quite a few fish!
“As a family, we are all keen on sport, with myself and my two children playing for a local Hockey club and for various representative teams. My son and I are also keen cricketers. We have a gym in an outbuilding, which is regularly used by all and has been especially useful during the lock-down periods.
“One of our biggest passions is gardening, landscaping and building projects, and just being outside with the dogs! Roll on another beautiful Spring and hot Summer.”