(Skyline of Denver, home to Valen Analytics. Photo credit: Hogs555.)
Bret Shroyer, former senior vice president of reinsurance for Willis Re, has joined Valen Analytics, a provider of proprietary data, analytics and predictive modeling to help insurers manage and drive underwriting profitability as the firm’s solutions architect.
Shroyer’s more than 20 years of actuarial experience in the P&C industry, along with extensive experience with predictive modeling, will strengthen Valen Analytics’ executive team, according to the company’s CEO Dax Craig. “He will use his expertise to design solutions that leverage the collective effort of statistical modelers, actuaries and underwriting managers in order to drive measurable results,” Craig comments.
In his most recent role, Shroyer led Willis Re’s predictive modeling practice and performed quantitative analysis and actuarial modeling in support of P&C reinsurance placements. Before joining Willis Re in 2009, Shroyer served in a variety of insurance management roles, including actuarial and underwriting director positions at Travelers, and as an actuarial consultant with Deloitte.
Traditional P&C Actuarial Upbringing
Shroyer describes the first decade of his career as a “traditional P&C actuarial upbringing.” After his consulting experience with Deloitte he joined Willis Re’s predictive modeling practice. “It was an interesting angle in as much as Willis had decided not to be a predictive modeling company, but rather to strike up relationships with best-in-class providers and then introduce them to Willis Re clients,” he relates. “In the course of that work I met with Valen in 2010 and liked the company’s approach – very open, applying best practices, dealing with integrity and treating Willis Re’s clients very well. I considered them a bright spot in the industry.”
When asked to join Valen in 2014, Shroyer found the company’s style analogous to that of Willis. “Willis had a solution mindset with a lot of value add – its revenue came from reinsurance brokerage, but analytics was considered a value-add,” he explains. “That married up very well with what Valen does: it’s not a predictive modeling vendor but a solution vendor; it’s not selling a model or theory but matching solutions to the problems a carrier is experiencing, along with the kind of change management necessary for success.”
Shroyer sees the value of his work in helping insurance companies to embrace the value of data-driven decision making. “Carriers can’t continue to manage their business the way they always have or they’ll begin to experience adverse selection,” he advises. “Insurers are beginning to see predictive analytics not as a kind of ‘shiny object’ but as a table-stakes tool that will take them into a more competitive future driven by more available data and a more analytical approach to underwriting.”