Insurtech weekly news roundup: Aug. 19

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Barney Pierce was named senior vice president of partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region. Previously, he worked in several leadership positions at Google, handling go-to-market, sales and partnerships for Google’s Media and Marketing Technology business in New York, Sydney and Mountain View, CA.

David Schaede signed on for the company’s growing US team as vice president of strategic partnerships, property. He’ll oversee and expand partnerships in proptech and real estate. Previously, he helped found the insurtech firm Matic.

Zinovia Wendlandt, who is based in Germany, joined the team as vice president of strategic partnerships – business services. She’ll oversee partnerships in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) with software and other B2B companies. Previously, she led partnerships at Munich Re Digital Partners in New York.

Angus McDonald, the Cover Genius co-founder and CEO, said in prepared remarks that the global executive hires are key toward helping the company scale its operations.

Pie Insurance

Pie Insurance, an insurtech that provides workers’ compensation insurance to small businesses, expanded its leadership team with two new appointments.

Ekta Aggarwal, a veteran executive from Microsoft and Amazon, is the company’s new chief product officer. Erin Mesick, formerly with was named vice president of finance.

In her new job, Aggarwal will focus on scaling the product team and driving innovation across Pie Insurance’s broader strategy. Previously, she was head of product for Microsoft’s Employee Experience Cloud. Before that, she served as general manager of collaborative shopping at Amazon.

Mesick, in her new role, oversees the financial planning and analysis team, and she leads the company’s strategic finance functions, including financial planning, budgeting, forecasting and KPI reporting. Before Pie, Mesick held vice president roles in finance, strategy and operations at Previously, she held financial leadership roles at hyper-growth, venture-backed companies.

“Both are deeply connected to serving our customers and are passionate about Pie’s mission of enabling small businesses to thrive,” John Swigart, Pie’s co-founder and CEO, said in prepared remarks.


Life insurance companies are struggling to support manual processes in their policy administration infrastructure despite significant investment in their digital transformation, according to a new research study from Forrester Consulting and Equisoft, a provider of insurance and investment digital products and services.

Among the findings:

  • 64% of respondents said manual data collection is still decreasing the speed of processes and reducing profit.
  • 52% agreed their company’s legacy technology is restrictive and blocks employees from working efficiently.
  • 71% said their company’s insurance platform would not easily integrate with other IT systems.

“Digital transformation of an insurer’s CX cannot be accomplished just by implementing an eApp solution or self-service portal,” Brian Carey, Equisoft’’s senior director and insurance industry principal, said in prepared remarks. “It’s critical that old core systems that don’t support APIs and struggle to deliver data in real time are replaced with more modern platforms.”

Origami Risk/CLARA Analytics

Origami Risk and CLARA Analytics are linking up to offer AI-driven casualty claims products and services on Origami’s digital platform.

Origami Risk provides integrated SaaS products and services designed to simplify insurance, risk and safety for insurance, MGAs, program administrators, third-party claims administrators, risk pools, brokers and more. CLARA Analytics produces AI-driven software and services designed to improve casualty claims outcomes for commercial insurance carriers and self-insured organizations.

As part of their partnership, insurers, MGAs, risk pools and self-insured organizations will be able to use Origami’s automation capabilities along with CLARA’s AI-driven claims optimization functionality to improve decision-making across their casualty claim portfolio. This includes assigning appropriate adjusters and speeding the resolution of claims without any significant complicating factors.


Boston-based insurtech MGA Ledgebrook raised $4.2 million in seed financing designed to help build out its operations and start writing policies by Q4 2022.

Brand Foundry Ventures led the round, though American Family Ventures and 15 angel investors also participated. The money raised will fuel hiring, technology development and the building of operational infrastructure.

Ledgebrook is an E&S MGA envisioned with providing a fast, easy quoting experience for wholesale brokers at the best price, due to its next-generation technology stack. With the funding in hand, plans call for the launch of an E&S GL product (with supported excess) by year-end. More product launches are planned in 2023, and the company’s founders ultimately hope to make Ledgebrook into a globally diversified insurer/reinsurer built from the ground up with modern technology.

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