By: 23 June 2021
Abacai strengthens senior team with key leadership hires

Abacai Group, the next-generation insurtech disruptor, has made six new appointments to its senior leadership team.

Hand-picked from across the insurance sector, the new leadership team joins Abacai chief executive officer Mark Wilson as the insurtech eyes the significant opportunity to better serve customers created by the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) general insurance pricing practices market study.

Abacai’s AI-based solution intends to deliver a better, cheaper and fairer insurance experience to customers. The new leadership team, who will lead Abacai Technologies, will help deliver these objectives by bringing industry-leading expertise across pricing, technology, artificial intelligence, and product design:

  • James Ockendenwill join as chief actuary. He was previously chief actuary at Sabre Insurance, and prior to that head of motor pricing at AXA Insurance. At Sabre, Ockendenwill was instrumental in delivering a net loss ratio that has averaged 48.8% since the business was listed in 2017.
  • Jonathan Hill joins as vice president of pricing. He was previously head of pricing at Covéa Insurance where he was responsible for technical and retail pricing across both personal and commercial lines.
  • Matt Fothergill will join as deputy chief executive officer of Abacai Capital. He was previously pricing and underwriting area lead for all motor brands at Direct Line Group. Prior to that, he held senior leadership roles within insurtech businesses Darwin Insurance and Stabilis MGA, as head of pricing and underwriting and pricing director, respectively. Fothergill started his career in actuarial consultancy and brings more than 15 years of personal lines insurance experience.
  • Chris Payne joins as chief technology officer. He was previously Aviva’s UK digital chief information officer and digital engineering director, and has 24 years of experience in key IT and change management positions, working across global markets. He was responsible for delivering the UK digital and Quotemehappy IT platforms while at Aviva.
  • Pierre du Toit joins as chief AI officer. He was previously chief analytics officer at Vitality, and prior to that head of analytics for business banking at First National Bank. At Vitality, he built the data science function and helped pioneer the application of behavioural economics and machine learning models to attract, retain and incentivise customers to live healthier and longer lives.
  • Will Faulkner will join as chief product officer. He was previously digital product and design director at Aviva, where he helped pioneer the design of MyAviva, a digital customer proposition.

Commenting on the new appointments at Abacai, Wilson said:“We have assembled a first-rate team with a wealth of expertise in insurance and the foresight to understand the opportunity AI and contextual technology has to play in transforming the customer’s experience. Our industry has lagged other sectors. That is about to change.”

“The FCA’s announcement last month emphasises just how much the industry has taken the customer for granted and how loyalty to your insurer is penalised. We believe that is fundamentally unfair. Our intention is to drive product driven disruption in this industry, on behalf of both our B2B and B2C customers.”

Abacai is a vertically-integrated, next-generation insurance distribution and underwriting group, operating across the non-standard, short term, and prime segments of the UK motor market. 

The insurtech aims to disrupt the sector for the benefit of the customer, through providing cheaper, fairer and better insurance products, built using an entirely new AI-based solution.

Abacai Capital, formerly Mulsanne, is the group’s business-to-business service offering, providing a range of underwriting, claims management, and capital provision services to many of the UK’s leading insurtechs.

The group benefits from the support of Munich Re as a long-term strategic partner for data analytics, underwriting and reinsurance.