Former journalist talks about his plans for his premium finance company PremFina and why he thinks its time has come
From journalism to premium finance – Bundeep Rangar
As a journalist with media giant Bloomberg interviewing some of the most famous and powerful businessmen in the world, a realisation began to dawn on the young Bundeep Rangar.
The TV journalist had interviewed the rock stars of the business world such as Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer and Google co-founder Sergey Brin. Rangar was inspired.
Although he loved the buzz of journalism, Rangar realised his destiny was elsewhere.
“It was great interviewing those people, but I knew I wanted to be the person to go and do it,” he says.
It was this realisation that led Rangar on a rich and colourful journey across the world, successfully building and selling businesses, while advising thelikes of Tata, T-Mobile and Skype, arriving at his current position as founder of premium finance company PremFina.
Rangar is a relentless ball of energy. His qualifications include speaking several languages, business degrees and coding skills. He’s equally at home having a pint with brokers as he is talking high money with City financiers.
So how did such a colourful character end up in premium financing, a steady if a little staid part of UK insurance? Even by the standards of the insurance industry, premium financing is considered a dry area.
It’s been dominated by Close Brothers and Premium Credit for decades, with a number of smaller players nibbling at the edges. Premium financing is an important source of income for brokers, being a high-margin activity during a period of soft market prices. All this is not lost on Rangar.
The finance challenge
He says: “I was buying a car in Canada one day, and the buyer said ‘do you want to pay in monthly instalments?’ I had never really heard of it before, but I began to check it out.”
As a man who had spent a large part of his business life on financing and loans, an idea started to form in Rangar’s mind.
“It was a great opportunity. One of the big challenges in loans and financing is when it goes wrong and there are the asset calls.
“Premium financing has decimal losses on loans, comparatively small to other areas. Even if it does go wrong, there’s an email to the underwriter and the loan is cancelled. It’s very easy.”
Rangar is quite frank in admitting he wants to take market share off Premium Credit and Close Brothers.
Brokers will use PremFina because it is the most customer friendly proposition on the market, he believes. PremFina’s strength is that it can tailor its product to fit a broker’s demands.
If a broker wants premium financing, PremFina can put up the money. Alternatively, brokers can part-finance alongside PremFina. Brokers can also use PremFina’s policy administration system to service customers, and because it is white label, the broker’s brand can be clothed onto the technology.
Depending on what the broker sees fit, data and information can be shared with customers.
“This is a big market that needs to be disrupted. For 30 or 40 years this industry has been unchallenged, with two big incumbent players. All the people who started those two came from a bank.”
Now Rangar is eyeing overseas markets.
“We want to go international. Post-Brexit we should look to export the best models from the UK,” he says.
“We used to have one person working in broker support, two people in IT and eight to 10 people in the office. Today we have four times as many. We’ve got IT development in blockchain. Twenty brokers signed up in the last quarter and we are moving to a new office. It’s a classic hypergrowth company.”
From journalist to businessman, Rangar has succeeded in making the news instead of writing it. The UK insurance industry will watch with interest to see how big his headlines get.