RMI MBA students had a wonderful opportunity to visit PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in London and interact with Jim Bichard, PwC UK Insurance Leader, and Khayala Eylazova, Senior Manager, Financial Services. We also had fun interacting with Pepper, their AI robot office assistant, at the end of the day.
It was a unique opportunity to discuss insurtech with PwC and Startupbootcamp in the same meeting.
Jim started off by sharing about the 10-year mandatory firm rotation EU regulation and the new accounting standard IFRS 17 introduced in 2017. He discussed the current trends in the insurance industry, and then presented PwC’s views on insurtech and their involvement with startups. It was interesting to hear what big firms like PwC think of insurtech and the actions they are taking to advocate for disruptive innovation. Jim mentioned that more and more insurance is being sold virtually, and that price comparison websites have a huge influence on the behavior of insurers. Many incumbents in the insurance industry are willing to integrate insurtech and are focusing on sustaining innovation, not just disrupting.
A representative from Startupbootcamp then shared with us the firm’s mission to help startups by collaborating with corporate sponsors like PwC. Startupbootcamp has programs including Colab and Nextgen where startups work on a specific theme or a problem/opportunity, and develop proof of concepts to test their ideas. The combination of fresh perspective from startups and industry expertise from big corporate firms is beneficial to both parties; while the corporate firms get access to fresh talent and investment opportunities, the startups can get strategic and legal advice for sustaining innovation in the long run.
Getting to know these insights from the industry experts in their offices was a remarkable learning experience.