RSA UK’s counter-fraud manager has grown the insurer’s fraud team to more than 200 from a handful 11 years ago. He steered the Insurance Fraud Bureau from concept to launch within two years and chaired it for four years. He balances investment in technology with gut instinct

Q. Can you describe the work that led to RSA winning Fraud Initiative of the Year 2010 at the Insurance Times Awards?

A. In 2008 we took a strategic decision to look for a technological solution that would help us identify suspected fraud. We chose Detica NetReveal, which the Insurance Fraud Bureau uses. We did a root-and-branch restructuring of the way we deal with fraud. Detica was the fulcrum for change.

I think all the insurers were slightly caught out by the very quick switch in route to market from conventional means to web-based business, which lends itself an awful lot more to fraud and manipulation. There is a danger that you just focus too much on the tech end of it. We are still heavily reliant on the human instinct of our handling and loss adjusting community.

Q. What has been the biggest shift you’ve seen in technological inititatives at RSA over the past five years?

A. To buy the type of technology we have is not cheap. By the time you integrate it with your systems, it’s a substantial capital cost. It pays itself back in the end, but nevertheless it’s quite a brave step on the part of our chief executive.

Q. How would you improve on what you’ve developed?

A. Application fraud is still a risk. We’re much more competent and confident about tackling claim fraud than we currently are about application fraud.

Q. What is the highlight of your career?

A. Launching the Insurance Fraud Bureau and, with my colleagues from other insurers, persuading the industry to invest £8.6m in it.

Q. What would be your Mastermind subject outside insurance?

A. Chelsea FC. I’ve been a supporter since I was a kid and went to school near the ground.