What is Amwins DNA?

Paul Lucas [00:00:07] Hello everyone and welcome to a special edition of Insurance Business TV brought to you in association with Amwins. With more than 580 dedicated casualty professionals across the country. You could say that collaboration is an Amwins DNA. But when the specialty insurance distributor uses the term Amwins DNA, is it just a catchy slogan? Or is the real meaning behind it? On this edition, we welcome Chris Gill, Executive Vice President of Amwins to discover more about the philosophy the capabilities it provides, and its links to Amwin’s program and product developments. Chris, welcome to Insurance Business TV. 

Chris Gill [00:00:47] Thank you very much, Paul. It’s great to see you. 

Paul Lucas [00:00:49] So Chris, let’s start from the top then what exactly is Amwins DNA? And how does it benefit your clients and partners. 

Chris Gill [00:00:59] Amwins DNA is is really the way that we’re branding our overall data and analytics strategy. And it describes a number of capabilities and services that we’re offering, you know, it’s not a product per se. It’s really about a capability and services. And it’s all designed with the intent of providing unmatched analytics to our internal placement teams, as well as our retail clients and our market partners. And what we mean by that is for our retail clients that ranges from data driven analytic capabilities that we can offer to better partner with them at the time of a placement. And that could be benchmarking capabilities focused on average and median limit rate deductable premium, and all around a specific attribute of the client that we’re working with our retail partner on at the time. So think of whether that’s TIV, or employee band or number of autos, whatever it might be, the benchmarking capabilities help us better leverage our data to show what’s going on in the marketplace for clients that have attributes that look like that. Additionally, we’re using it to see trends in the marketplace. And we’ll talk I suspect at some point about the timeliness of the data. But we’re able to see what’s changing in the market and relative real time based on the volume of the data that we have, as well as our ability to see trends moving in relative real time.   

Paul Lucas [00:04:25] So just take us back a little bit, Chris as well, if you don’t mind, give us a little insight into why you created Amwins DNA in the first place. And then of course, what purpose it serves.  

Chris Gill [00:04:36] There are so you know it’s funny DNA is certainly a new brand that you’re going to see coming out from Amwins. I talked about it momentarily about, you know, being a service capability. But it’s really something that we’ve been committed to from our earliest days and I’ve been fortunate I’ve been with Amwins for over 20 years now. And I can tell you, from the very early days of the firm, data and analytics were a key part of what we wanted to focus on a key part of our overall strategy. So whether that be in the way that we develop our technology, the way that we integrate companies who become part of the Amwins organization, we’ve always cared deeply about data and analytics. So in fact, there’s a bit of a double meaning in the DNA moniker, right? It’s meant to be a bit of a play on words with describing our data and analytic strategy. But it’s also very much a nod to the fact that we’ve been focused on data and analytics from the early days of the organization. It’s part of the fabric of who we are,  

Paul Lucas [00:06:57] Well, speaking of leveraging the data, tell us how Amwins DNA ties into your overall product and program development? 

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Chris Gill [00:07:04] Absolutely. With certainly bringing a new element to our product and program development efforts. We’ve always cared about how we can develop new capabilities as a firm. And obviously, that’s one of the benefits that we offer to our clients. But being able to see data at a portfolio level rather than perhaps just focused on submission analytics and things that nature gives us a much deeper ability to understand what’s flowing through the organization. So it makes our conversations with our carrier partners and capital providers much richer. And I can tell you, I’ve sat in several meetings through the 20 years that I’ve been with the firm, where we have great conversations with carriers who are looking to enter into a new space. And the question line might say, you know, how much business do you have in XYZ segment? And we’re proudly pulling up our data and say, Oh, we write, you know, X million dollars of that segment. Great, how much do you write in this state, where we can slice and dice it and show how much we write the particular state? Then they might get into an exposure question, or a loss experience question. And that’s where the questions got more difficult. Now, with our sort of rounded view of portfolio analytics, focused on exposure focused on claims data focused on placement data, we’ve got a much greater ability to have those conversations. 

Paul Lucas [00:09:36] And then, of course, I’m mentioning that another advantage comes from this and wins DNA benchmarking reports. Tell us a little bit more about those and what lines of business are currently available.  

Chris Gill [00:09:48] Absolutely. Well when we started our DNA strategy, one of the one of the pillars of the strategy, if you will was a commitment to make it about driving real business value. This wasn’t about building management reports. It wasn’t a project, it really was doubling down on our strategy and, and a commitment to develop a team and a commitment to continue to invest in it. So benchmarking is certainly one component of that. And it’s one that that we hear a lot about in the marketplace. And again, the market over the last several months, as you know, has been extremely difficult. And we we get questions from our retail partners all the time asking about benchmarking insights. So for each product that we’ve been capturing data on, we’ve made a commitment to make benchmarking one component of that we talked a moment ago about building new product or new capacity. So it’s not just about benchmarking, but that’s a very valuable tool, especially at the point of the sale, which are at the point of sale with our retail partners. So currently, we have the ability to provide benchmarking capabilities across our entire property portfolio across our entire professional lines portfolio. So whether it’s cyber liability, D&O, E&O employment practices, etc. And now we’re methodically moving through our casualty book of business. We’re on the cusp of launching benchmarking capabilities within casualty for excess auto, and products recall. And then we’re going to be launching over the next two months, the data capture around construction business and healthcare business. So we’ll continue to round out that casualty portfolio so that we have a holistic view of our entire brokerage portfolio. Today, I would say that that benchmarking represents north of $10 billion of premium. And by the time will we finish this within the casualty book of business will have nearly $20 billion of premium.  

Paul Lucas [00:12:41] Yeah, I love that phrase that you use that are about the special sauce, because it brings me quite neatly to my next question, because I was going to ask you, quite simply, I’m sure there are other companies out there perhaps watching this and thinking, well, we’re pretty good at data as well. So how does Amwins DNA differentiate you from your competitors? What is that special sauce?  

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Chris Gill [00:12:59] Great question. And I feel very certain that almost every other wholesale broker or carrier or even retail broker is thinking about data and analytics, I don’t think there’s anything unique about that. I think what differentiates Amwins, I’ll, you know, a handful of items come to mind in terms of ways that we are differentiating ourselves with the DNA offering, I would say first and foremost, it’s the breadth and depth of data that we’re able to capture. Our stated objective, when we started this three years ago, was to build the deepest and richest data source for specialty insurance worldwide. So we’re not aiming low. Right, we’re we’re, we’re sitting on a treasure trove of data, as I told you. So the foundation of the model is to be able to conduct portfolio analytics across our entire firm. So whether that’s our open brokerage division, or whether within our delegated authority programs, our MGA and program management division, our London market, or even our benefits business, we’re looking to build the deepest and richest data models anywhere in the world. We receive over 2 million submissions a year. So that gives us an amazing amount of data flowing through but also the perspective of where we sit in the flow. Right? Well, first off, we’re part of the flow. So we’re not aggregating third party data. Although we certainly can enrich our data with third party data. We’re part of the flow. So the data is flowing through our organization as part of the process. And we worked with over 17,[000 retail brokers, and we play business with hundreds of markets. So we have a very unique perspective of getting to see a representative portfolio of thousands of retailers and what their portfolio looks like not just an individual portfolio, and we understand the underwriting appetite of hundreds of markets. So I think that unique position coupled with the volume of data gives us kind of an unparalleled unmatched breadth and depth of data. Other things that I think stand out, the timeliness of our data. So we’re collecting the data as accounts are bound. We’re not going back through old placements and trying to mass upload data or aggregate data, it’s part of the process. So there’s virtually no lag in the data. And I mentioned a moment ago, the ability to see emerging markets or changes in market trends, I think that timeliness of data, and the ability to report in real time and see data is as it’s moving, is another advantage of the way that we’re doing this. I would say a third thing is our approach to aggregating data. We’re not asking our placement teams to type more data into a system. Our teams are busy enough day in and day out in a very complicated market focused on their customers. So we’ve taken an approach to centralizing the aggregation of the data. And I think by doing that we’re taking a burden off of our teams, it yields much deeper accuracy in the data. And we’re leveraging automation, and training and oversight of the process to make sure that the data is timely and accurate. Lastly, I would say governance, data is amazing. But it’s only good if it’s accurate. And so we’ve employed a governance strategy to make sure that for every model that we’re building, that we’re focused on, what are the possible outliers, what could be driving the data that might make us make bad conclusions or draw bad insights. So we’re looking at the quality of the data as it’s coming in. And then as the models grow, we start to look at the outliers to make sure that we’re calling those out of the data, understanding them and changing the models accordingly, that also ranges or involves data stewardship campaigns, right. So it’s not just about a centralized effort to capture the data. We’re talking to our employees every single day about the importance of this, this is one of the top strategies of our firm. And we remind our, our co workers that everybody inside the organization is a steward of our data. 

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Paul Lucas [00:17:53] So it’s real, it’s tangible, who actually has access to Amwins DNA, and indeed, how that ensures get access to the data and analytics. 

Chris Gill [00:18:03] Well, right now, we’re sharing the DNA data with every single Amwins employee. So it’s, it’s in the hands of every one of our production teams. And that was another critical pillar, when we were building this, this is not about a centralized effort to aggregate data or some sort of management strategy to hold data, we’re putting it in the hands of every one of our production teams at the point of sale. So we say that every one of our clients has access to the data by partnering with their Amwins production team. And we find that as a more effective way to share the data with our clients, rather than putting it out on a portal or an extranet, or something like that. We had a lot of conversations with our partners, before we launched this, asking if they wanted to have the data presented to them if they wanted to log into a site to spin the data themselves. And frankly, most of them said, they find it far more useful to have it as a collaborative discussion at the time of placement or a strategic conversation. So right now we’re keeping it on the production teams, but they certainly can share it with their retail clients or their market partners on any given placement or at any given time. As part of their strategy. at a leadership level. We’re also bringing a concierge model to the way that we share the data. So we have a team of relationship managers who focus on our retail clients and our market partners. They’ve all been deeply trained in how to leverage and use the Amwins DNA resources. And so as I mentioned before, you know, data driven analytics and bringing data to the forefront of conversations, that’s very much the way that they’re approaching their meetings with their partners. They’re starting the meetings with what did the data insights tell us? They’re having conversations around strategies and bringing the data to those conversations to help execute on those strategies and find opportunities to employ those strategies. And again, we I found that model to be far more preferable than just giving data over where some partner has to learn how to spin the data, access the data log in and see the data. We very much like the collaborative approach of working with our partners in real time answering questions they have in real time around specific strategies that they want to employ related to data.  

Paul Lucas [00:20:24] Really great insights Chris, I’m sure there’s gonna be a lot of viewers eager to learn more, and many, many thanks for your time today. 

Chris Gill [00:20:30] It’s been a pleasure, Paul, I really appreciate your time. I appreciate the interest and we’re excited about this. It’s it’s not just a project. As I said, this is something that’s very much going to be part of our firm for the next 150 years. So thank you. 

Paul Lucas [00:20:46] Because if there’s one thing in our DNA, it’s great guests like Chris. So for more stay tuned right here and Insurance Business TV.