’The goal is to start to become the go to insurer for small schemes, which is a big ambition for a company of our size,’ says chief executive
Since recently taking over as the chief executive of schemes-focused insurer Peach Pi, Russell White has already set out his ambitions and made a “big change” to the firm as part of plans to make it the “go to” firm for small schemes.
White was promoted to Peach Pi’s top boss earlier this year (9 May 2023) after joining the business as its commercial distribution and trading director in August 2022.
Speaking to Insurance Times, White says his ambition for the business is to start building a community of brokers who “really value what we bring to the table”.
“The goal is to start to become the go to insurer for small schemes, which is a big ambition for a company of our size,” he says.
“Where we add value is where there’s groups of customers who perhaps have insurance that’s a bit of a funny shape – it could be a bit different, a bit awkward and may need some thought.
“That’s where we work with brokers to create schemes aimed at targeting groups of individuals”.
However, he adds that one of the challenges the insurer faces as it looks to achieve its goals is growing the business with the “right opportunities”.
“Brokers like the message that we give, [but] the skill is growing our business with the right business that’s going to have long term profitability and sustainability to it,” he says.
“It will be very easy for us to fill the hopper up with business that actually is not something we can add value to.
“So, it’s about risk selection and really having honest conversations with brokers about how we can best work together.”
White says he also wants to scale up the business so the firm can further support the pharmacy sector – he aims to do this through “really engaging with brokers”.
Peach Pi is a trading name of NPA Insurance, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Pharmacy Association.
White says that part of his plans to further support the pharmacy sector is widening Peach Pi’s reinsurance treaty.
“The whole purpose of Peach is to take the experience that we have built up in insuring pharmacies and bring some of our expertise to a broader broker market,” he says.
“One of the things that I have done since taking over is actually alter our reinsurance with support from our reinsurance brokers to broaden out the treaty way beyond what it was previously, which was just businesses aligned and adjacent to pharmacy.”
As a result, White says that the “big change” he has made is that the firm “can now write any kind of business that we want”.
“Within reason [and] within the SME space, we can absolutely write anything that we want to,” he says.
“So, the big vision is to grow Peach Pi through really engaging with brokers and offering them a service and an experience that other insurers can’t match.
“Quite unusually in this market, we’re in a mode of writing more and more and growing, particularly through delegated authority schemes.”
White has held senior roles at various insurance firms over the years, including strategic account manager at Allianz, SME development director at RSA and director of distribution at Ageas.
White says his career in insurance began by “stumbling into it”, with his father having worked in the industry.
“What kept me [in the industry] was that I actually really enjoyed working in it,” he says.
“It’s always been about following jobs that look like a great logical step, but look like roles I would really enjoy doing.
“I got a particular buzz out of helping brokers create better schemes, better solutions and better things for their business.”
White adds that what drew him to Peach Pi was the idea of “testing myself in a smaller environment”.
He reveals that he also knew that he was joining the firm as part of a succession plan.
“I knew when I joined the company that I was in line to be the successor when the former managing director chose to move on,” he says.
“I haven’t looked back. I have a fantastic executive team around me and some absolutely brilliant, committed and passionate people in the business.”