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The Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA, Des Moines), founded in 2014 as the first business accelerator focused solely on innovation and technology for the insurance industry, has announced a recent investment by Global Atlantic Financial Group Limited (Hamilton, Bermuda/Des Moines).
Global Atlantic offers a broad range of retirement, life, and reinsurance products designed to help customers address financial challenges with confidence and customize a strategy to fulfill protection, accumulation, income, wealth transfer, and end-of-life needs. Global Atlantic’s investment will help fund the GIA’s annual, mentor-driven program, while offering the opportunity for six of the company’s staff members to participate as program mentors who can, in turn, bring some of the innovation and ideas surfaced through interactions at the GIA back into Global Atlantic, according to the GIA’s announcement. (IIR’s coverage of the GIA’s 2019 cohort can be found here.)
“We have been aware of the GIA for a number of years now and have been very impressed with their ability to foster innovation in the insurance sector,” comments Kathleen Redgate, chief operating officer, Global Atlantic. “We believe we are in a position to influence how innovation in the insurance sector evolves and we believe the GIA to be a great conduit to nurture the evolution of the InsurTech ecosystem. We’re also focused on supporting and growing the startup ecosystem in Des Moines, a core market for Global Atlantic.”
The GIA’s annual 100-day program brings eight to ten InsurTech startups to Des Moines for an immersive insurance experience complete with business coaching by program mentors, exposure to insurance company operations, focused line of business (LOB) insight, and access to potential additional investors. GIA cohort companies graduate by pitching live to Global Insurance Symposium attendees each April.
“Global Atlantic is joining the GIA as an investor at a very critical time,” comments Brian Hemesath, managing director, GIA. “Interest in InsurTech is still quite high, but insurers know more now in terms of what to ask for around features and functionality, potential partnership, co-development opportunities, and more. I know this year’s cohort will find great value in the mentors and advice the Global Atlantic team brings to the table.”
Influence on Cohort Companies
As a member of the GIA Board, Global Atlantic will have a limited financial stake in some of the InsurTech startups in the GIA’s program, as well as influence into the business and product development of cohort companies. The GIA’s insurer investors get early access to the latest industry-specific technology trends, and, are better prepared to compete against counterparts in the same market segments.
Global Atlantic joins the GIA’s existing investor group, which includes Allstate, American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, Delta Dental of Iowa, EMC Insurance, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance of Iowa, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, IMT Insurance Company, Markel Corporation, Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company, Principal Financial Group, and SFM.