Two co-founders of Supercede tell Insurance Times their plans after recently receiving a £2m investment and how training for a marathon led to the creation of a global all-in-one reinsurance platform 

It all started when two former Aon bosses – Ben Rose and Jerad Leigh – banded together to save brokers time when deal making by trying to place large reinsurance treaties more efficiently.  

In 2016, the Dive-In Festival ran a competition, Rose submitted a proposition called Riskbook which was based on creating digital profiles for risks. Leigh who was also working at Aon Inpoint at the time loved the idea and wanted to build it.  

Speaking exclusively to Insurance Times, Rose says: “The side story to this was that Leigh was also coaching me on my first marathon around the same time, Leigh had run nine marathons at that point. Through hours and hours of running we refined this idea, and every time I said, ‘it won’t work because of x or y’ eventually we got through all of the reasons why it wouldn’t work including the most important one which was finding someone who could do the coding.” 

The duo set out interviewing more than 50 potential co-founders and eventually appointed former CompareStack’s Jezen Thomas who Rose says was ”an instant fit” for co-founder and chief technology officer.  

And long story short, as the business expanded beyond reinsurers following many discussions with Markel US, Riskbook rebranded as Supercede with the launch of its global all-in-one reinsurance platform after a £2m investment in February.  

Recently, the firm introduced an analytics tool which brings in the cedant to make the process easier to make the whole experience digital, it plans to use the funding to build out its features, as well as expanding its staff force.   

Reimagining insurance  

Speaking about the firm’s name, Rose adds: “The term used to describe buying insurance is ‘to cede’ and we wanted to make that ‘super’ instead of being painful and so the name ‘Supercede’ came about and it also has the advantage of meaning ’to go beyond what was there before,’ and therefore making it super to cede.”  

Both Rose and Leigh also recognised that there was a big opportunity to do something for cedants and how they used data.   

The cedant is the person or company that cedes business to another person or company. A reinsurer may agree to deposit a proportion of the reinsurance premium as a reserve for unearned premiums, which is then set aside by the cedant for future liabilities. 

Rose continues: “In any reinsurance deal you have the cedant who wants to get the reinsurance, who hands off their requirement to the brokers, the brokers have the job of rounding up all the reinsurers and convincing them to take a share of the risk each.  

“We had initially focused on the last two parts, so that the broker was able to manage all of that digitally and the reinsurers were able to receive these opportunities digitally.” 

He likens this to being similar to property website, Rightmove but for reinsurers.  

Leigh says: “Our industry is enormously personal and very relationship driven.” For that reason, the firm aimed to tap technology to maintain stronger relationships with parties.  

He explains that it was about reimagining how the industry itself goes forward, and how to keep brokers involved, by building a tool that make their lives and the lives of their clients much better.  

Solving a pain point  

While Rose started his career at Lloyd’s of London and trained as a treaty underwriter before joining a consultancy Aon Inpoint advising reinsurers on challenges in strategy, distribution and technology. He deems himself “the voice of the underwriter” for this reason.  

Leigh’s broking background saw him spend several years at Aon Benfield in a variety of roles including Japanese broking, before he moved over to Aon Inpoint and met Rose. Leigh also worked at Tiger Risk leading the firm’s unit in the UK.  

Speaking about his experience in insurance of the aforementioned pain point, Leigh says: “The business that I would place, would have upwards of 60 or 65 reinsurers on any given deal, but everything is managed by a spreadsheet and emails. It’s just this enormously messy process, whereby a deal takes six to eight weeks to finish, it’s a huge amount of running back and forth.” 

These spreadsheets are very large and therefore it is difficult to compare data manually.  Rose and Leigh realised that reinsurers were equally burdened as they would get data in various formats.  

When asked why this issue has not been previously addressed, Leigh says: “In some ways on its face, it seems hard to do. Internally [for an organisation] to agree on a way to approach it, they struggle because they are so large. Also, it is remarkably expensive to build a solution but for us it works as we can build it and sell it to lots of different companies to solve the same pain point. Another reason is it’s an industry that no-one sees, very few people know this problem exists, unlike consumer problems.” 

Leigh describes Supercede’s proposition as “incredibly broker centric” as brokers sit at the core of the solution, and the analytics is designed for both cedants and brokers to collaborate around data.