Karen Green joins Cytora’s advisory board

By Max Pepe, CMO, Cytora

Karen Green is a well-respected figure in the commercial insurance industry, and today, we are delighted to be welcoming her as the newest member of our advisory board.

Having held various senior executive positions in insurance, and currently holding a number of NED positions across the sector, including as a Council Member at Lloyd’s of London, Karen brings valuable experience and insight to the table.

I had the pleasure of speaking to Karen about the challenges facing commercial insurers today, opportunities for transformation, and the importance of women in leadership across the sector.

Here’s what she told us…

What are some of the biggest challenges facing commercial insurers in today’s market?

One of the biggest tasks for many firms is still tackling the expense ratio issue. The market has not typically focused on the operational side of the business as an opportunity to improve profitability with the same intensity as underwriting returns. But that’s changing: with many years of rating pressure negatively impacting underwriting performance, firms have been increasingly looking towards their operating models and technology to save costs. It’s all about getting smarter and more efficient with the way in which business is done. Climate change and sustainability in the broadest sense have also become a permanent fixture on the C-Suite agenda, which poses a number of questions for the industry.

How can commercial insurance position itself at the forefront of a modern tech enabled economy?

The world looks very different now than it did just a year ago. Much remains uncertain, but one thing is clear: business will not return to the old normal. Insurers have adapted their IT processes to cope with working from home environments, and should now be realising the potential of digital transformation strategies across other areas of their business, too. The Covid-19 pandemic has also given rise to a number of new and emerging risks, and the industry has a key role to play as a partner in helping clients to navigate through a fast-changing risk landscape.

What areas of the insurance value chain have the biggest potential for insurers to transform today?

Whilst we are seeing digital transformation at a document level, there is still a long way to go to truly digitise the way in which risks are processed. Why spend time manually reviewing submissions when technology can digitise, evaluate and send the risk to the right destination for you? Getting digital risk processing right allows underwriters to better identify submissions that are aligned to their risk appetite and business strategy, and ultimately, spend more time on building and strengthening broker and client relationships.

How are you seeing insurers today supporting women on their journey to leadership positions in insurance?

The industry is taking steps in the right direction and seeking to drive diversity and inclusion in the workplace. These issues are getting a lot more attention than they used to, in part due to increased focus from boards and regulators alike

However, the industry still has a long way to go. The importance and value of making female role models more visible cannot be understated; to make the sector more accessible to women, those entering the industry need to see people they can identify with. This requires a collective, cross-industry effort. Where there are success stories they need to be more visible, and bespoke leadership programmes at the top must be supported by creative and non-traditional recruitment processes at the root. If we wish to reflect our customer base and the businesses we are trying to insure, we need to make a lot of changes to bring more diversity into the industry.

What excites you about Cytora?

At its core, Cytora is a group of forward-thinking individuals working together to create change in a traditionally unyielding industry. As a fast-growing business deploying cutting-edge technology to digitise insurance at the risk level, it’s not only making commercial insurance businesses more efficient, strategic, and profitable, but doing so in a new way. What’s not exciting about that?!