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Hyperion CEO on plans following huge investment, and the world’s “changing buying habits” | Insurance Business


The buying habits of the world are changing, says the CEO of international insurance group Hyperion, which revealed last week it had a “milestone year” in 2017, surpassing the £500 million mark in revenues.

Following a US$400 million (£296 million) cash injection from investor Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), announced in December – Hyperion has big plans for 2018, which include a continued thirst for strategic partnerships and acquisitions, and a focus on modernisation.

“We are very interested in the MGA market,” chief executive David Howden told Insurance Business. “You’ll see us investing across the board, in MGAs and in retail broking. On the specialty side, the focus is more about talent.”

Following its investment from CDPQ, which saw the firm acquire a significant minority stake, Hyperion is entering 2018 “pretty well placed,” said the group’s CFO, Oliver Corbett.

“When the CDPQ deal closes in the Spring, that will give us over $300 million to invest, so it gives us some real firepower and optionality over the next year or two, as we look at how we’re going to keep the momentum going in the business going forward,” he said.

Hyperion will also have a continued focus on utilising technology within its businesses in 2018, Howden said.
“By embracing technology, we are making it easier for both our brokers and our clients to buy products and that is allowing us to really deliver growth,” he commented.

Thus far, the industry has not been very cost-effective, and largely spends too much money on the delivery of its products, according to the CEO. In fact, the industry as a whole has work to do in adapting to the new, digital world, he went on to say.

“I think we should recognise that the whole buying habits of the world are changing with the new generation,” he noted.
The recent news that Amazon looks to be planning to enter the insurance market has caused a stir in the insurance world, and the industry is right to sit up and take note, the CEO said.

“We should recognise that that is a potential threat,” he said. “But to me, it’s not a threat – it’s a massive opportunity.”

There are two crucial things that businesses need to get right: making an easier, simpler, better experience for clients, and ensuring that things are processed more efficiently, he continued.

“If we do those two things well, and have the expertise in the middle, we will thrive and survive,” he concluded.

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