S4 EP62: Having a myopic focus on solving a real reinsurance problem – Ben Rose and Jerad Leigh, Co-Founders, Supercede – the Reinsurance Platform

“In our experience, a reinsurance deal was being profiled in a physical binder full of paper. I thought, ‘How good would it be if we could take risk or bundles of risk and make a profile for it’”, says Ben.

“Think of all the information that you could attach to that profile. That was a very early concept. For a long time we debated, how this would work in the reinsurance world where we’ve got all these different parties with vested interests, and deals they like doing in a very particular way, with a very particular workflow.

We just iterated and iterated on how you could create a system whereby these buyers, brokers, reinsurers could exchange profiles of the deals that they wanted to do.”

On the Insurance Coffee House Podcast, two of Supercede’s co-founders, Ben Rose and Jerad Leigh, talk about their early career journeys and realisation of the breadth of opportunity within the insurance industry.

They discuss the inspiration for launching Supercede, the mountain of iteration and calibrating constantly around the different elements, features and parts of the work flows within reinsurance deals.

“We have a very mission driven culture. There such an obvious problem we’re trying to solve. We’re not inventing something for the sake of inventing it. We’re not pursuing something, because it sounded nice.

We’ve got a thing that everybody in reinsurance universally hates and wishes was better.”

5x growth over the past 12 months, has put Supercede on track to triple again this year, with new clients, investors and top talent joining the team.

Ben and Jerad explain the benefits and efficiencies Supercede offers to all stakeholders within reinsurance deals and their desire to create modern tools to free people up to do what they’re good at.

“People want technology. It’s really important to have modern tools to free up the talent at a broker or underwriter so they can do the jobs they’re actually meant to be doing and not the sort of janitorial work instead”, says Ben

Attracting the right talent is critical for business growth and Jerad explains what they look for when hiring.

“Testing for culture is obviously really important. People who are familiar and comfortable working at a company of this size.

But I think it’s really important to test for people who are principled thinkers. You have to have people who are willing and able to look at the variety of challenges that are being brought to the business and the factors that are involved and make decisions based on principles of what is best and most important and most thoughtful at that time.

Certainly, a don’t hire assholes rule should apply, because when you’re sub 50-100 people, bad individuals or people who don’t really fit can bleed across the organisation.

You have to be very thoughtful in those first 25-50 hires, making sure you’re retaining a quality of character.

You have to be intentional, to phrase and present questions that are trying to root out what you’re looking to solve for.

Over the last half dozen years or so, there’s a real belief that people can thrive in an environment that’s a start-up.

Some people can, and some people can’t. You have to identify what you’re trying to test for and present questions and case studies through your hiring process that will allow you to distil down to the individuals that actually can thrive.”

Highlighting which other insurtech businesses inspire them, Jerad cites hyperexponential as a prime example. 

“I think their team does a great job. I really rate how they hire and how they set roles for the things that they’re trying to solve for.

Like us, they’re taking a core problem that sits within the underwriting units of businesses and giving tools to help those underwriters do that work more effectively.

There’s this concept or fallacy of, ‘If you build it, they will come’. A lot of software companies can get overly focused on building something that’s cool rather than something that’s impactful”

One lesson Jerad’s career has taught him is that people often overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in five.

“When you start a business, you’re obviously incredibly ambitious, and you’re going to accomplish every goal you could ever conceive of in the first six months.

You have to take a longer term, patient approach, knowing you’re on the right path, so when you get to the four or five year time horizon, you’re actually really impressed by how far you’ve come.”

As for the future of Supercede, Ben says,

“We’ve got a really healthy number of large customers, depending on us. We want to do a brilliant job for them.

But of course, we’d like to expand to more customers in the process as well. Every new customer we bring on brings new ideas for the product, helps us improve it for everybody.

We’re at a stage where we can double down on what we’ve got and make it truly the best offering for reinsurance people from a technology standpoint.”

Connect with Ben Rose and Jerad Leigh on LinkedIn or find out more about Supercede 

The Insurance Coffee House Podcast is hosted by Nick Hoadley, CEO of Insurance Search.

We are a global Insurance Executive Search Consultancy, supporting Insurance and Insurtech businesses to attract and retain the very best insurance talent.

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