Jonathan Davey tipped to take charge of software firm’s Keychoice distribution network.
Jonathan Davey, the former chief executive of PBS Holdings, will spearhead SSP’s UK business following his appointment by the software giant last week.
Davey, who has joined SSP as a director, has been tasked with boosting its presence in the UK following the imminent completion of the sale to private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, a deal that values the company at £198m. He will report directly to SSP chief executive Laurence Walker.
Speaking exclusively to Insurance Times, Davey said it was the perfect time to be joining the company.
“It was the right time to join this business because of where the business is now, where it is in terms of its propositions with insurers and where it is corporately,” he said.
“There are some tremendous opportunities for the business to grow going forward and I am looking forward to being part of that, and also instrumental in allowing it to achieve some of its aspirations.”
It is believed that Davey had turned down a number of roles in the industry since stepping down from PBS last November.
He said he would call on his previous experience to be successful in the new role. “I will hopefully be able to demonstrate where the business fits in, what the opportunities are and ensure that all parties get some real value out of it,” he said.
“There are some tremendous opportunities for the business to grow going forward.
Senior market sources have tipped Davey to take charge of SSP’s distribution network Keychoice, in an attempt to increase distribution and widen the scope of the business. This will bring it into tough competition with closest rival Open GI, which is also looking to expand its business. The source said Davey was set to build the Keychoice network to rival Open GI’s Countrywide equivalent.
Meanwhile, Open GI, which is owned by Towergate, is in talks with Broker Network, another Towergate-owned firm, about becoming a preferred supplier.
Before joining Primary in 2002, Davey spent seven years at Sirius, where he was managing director and founder of MasterPlan, the insurance schemes marketing business, and director of insurance distribution.
The Keychoice network currently has a panel of eight insurers, including AXA, RSA and Zurich. It offers its members access to enhanced terms across personal and commercial lines.
A source close to SSP said the company wanted to move away from its industry perception of being just a software house.
“The truth is that if you just take Keychoice alone, those brokers control over £1.2bn worth of premium income, and that is a significant amount of the UK general GWP,” the source said.
“Therefore SSP should be seen more as a distribution channel than as just a software house.”.
Analysis: a heavy hitter to boost a sleeping giant
By Danny Walkinshaw
The return of industry heavy-hitter Jonathan Davey has been a long time in the making, but his decision to join SSP should come as no surprise.
The former chief executive of Primary Broker Services Holdings shocked the market when he decided to step down last November after more than five years at the helm, during which time he grew the business in to one of the UKs biggest underwriting companies.
His new role will now see him attempt to raise the software giants profile in the UK, a move which coincides with the companys decision to sell to buy-out firm Hellman & Friedman just over two weeks ago.
Davey will face the challenge of establishing SSP as a key player in the UK software market, which already boasts a number of recognised players such as Open GI, Acturis and CDL. The private equity backing will undoubtedly play a huge part in the development of the business, with the firm believed to have ambitious plans in an attempt to add value to its current model.
However, Davey is no stranger to this area. Before joining Primary, he spent seven years at Sirius, where he was managing director and founder of MasterPlan, the insurance schemes marketing business, and director of insurance distribution.
He will now call on his previous experience to drive the business forward. And there is plenty of opportunity: it recently unveiled record results that saw revenues increase by 67% to 64.4m pounds, compared to 38.6m pounds in 2007, with organic revenue growth of 12%.
Davey may have been out of the headlines in recent months, but if his influence at PBS is anything to go by, he could soon be making them again.