EP 29 – Andrew Johnston – Global Head of InsurTech at Gallagher Re – From Alpacas to Algorithms: The InsurTech Evolution and the Future of Insurance

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Michael Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.  Michael lived and worked in Tokyo from February 1990 until December 2011.  Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, building one of the biggest and fastest-growing podcast listener bases in the region.  His AsiaTechPodcast.com show has listeners in more than 130 countries and his company, Michael Waitze Media produces some of Asia’s most popular podcasts.

Dr. Andrew Johnston is global head of InsurTech for Gallagher Re, based in Nashville. He heads a practice of about 30 people from various backgrounds charged with vetting hundreds of technology candidates on behalf of Gallagher Re clients, traditional insurers, or incumbents. Andrew and his team then support (re)insurance company clients select appropriate technological solutions for their businesses, in addition to providing insurance technology related consulting and advisory services. He also represents a growing number of InsurTech clients who themselves originate risk (for whom he and his team provide reinsurance broking services). Andrew is also the author and editor of the Gallagher Re Global InsurTech Report (formerly WTW Quarterly InsurTech briefing).

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“So much has changed that I think first and foremost, there has been just a reality check on both sides of the equation in as much as I think insurers and reinsurers are far better equipped now to understand the value of technology, particularly as it relates to their own businesses…because they haven’t seen disruption at large, I think that there’s less fear.” – Andrew Johnston

In this episode, Andrew Johnston, the Global Head of InsurTech at Gallagher Re⁠ discusses InsurTech’s evolving landscape and his eclectic journey from studying abroad in Japan to shearing alpacas and eventually gravitating towards the insurance sector.

Andrew notes the transformative trajectory of InsurTech, from initial apprehensions about technological disruption to a more nuanced understanding of technology as an integral enabler within the insurance industry.

Andrew discusses the recent dynamics of InsurTech funding, noting a shift from large, speculative investments to more strategic, value-driven funding approaches by insurers and reinsurers. The conversation emphasizes the critical role of founder mindset, highlighting the success of those who approach the industry with humility and a willingness to integrate into the complex insurance landscape. It also touches on the challenges and opportunities in expanding InsurTech’s role beyond traditional frameworks to include value-added services, aiming to more deeply embed technology in enhancing customer experiences and outcomes.

Parts of this discussion were based on Gallagher Re’s Global InsurTech Report for Q4 2023.

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