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This summer, One Inc (Folsom, Calif.) announced the appointment of Ian Drysdale as CEO, taking over that role from Chris Ewing, founder of the company and now Chief Strategy Officer. IIR had the opportunity to meet Drysdale at InsureTech Connect (ITC) 2021 and talk about the company’s direction. Drysdale is a veteran of the payments industry, with experience as a senior executive at payments technology companies and, more recently, as an investor and advisor to that industry.
Drysdale’s appointment comes in the wake of several important developments, including One Inc’s Feb. 2020 acquisition by Great Hill Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm with expertise in payments software and SaaS. One Inc’s recapitalization through the Great Hills relationship enabled it to acquire Invenger-InsurPay in Sept. 2020, which brought One Inc—which had been focused on premium payments—into the claims payments space as well. Drysdale’s August appointment as CEO was followed by other important executive appointments, including Elizabeth Hoemeke, CIO, and David Thayer, CFO.
One Inc’s current focus is on being the payments network for life and property/casualty insurance, with some emphasis on workers’ compensation in particular, according to Drysdale.
“There’s $1 trillion of paper payments reducing the performance of insurers and the satisfaction of everybody involved,” Drysdale told IIR. “We’re the only company doing premium and claim payments at scale. We view it as a network, so that when a vendor makes a choice on how they’re going to be paid, we can enable that for dozens or hundreds of carriers, who all benefit from being members of the network.”
100 Percent Focused on Insurance
One Inc is 100 percent focused on the insurance industry and its sometimes complex needs, but the company’s ambition is to provide something beautiful in its simplicity, according to Drysdale. “We want to be able to give carriers and consumers the ability to be paid instantly—and I literally mean instantly,” he said. “We are pushing the envelope in terms of capability for insurers.”
One Inc seeks to provide payment services on a par with online retailers and streaming services, offering a variety of options for all users, including demanding younger-generation consumers. “Almost every carrier understands that insurance and nature of consumers are changing and they need ability to receive payments quickly easily in way consumer prefers,” Drysdale commented.
Drysdale believes that One Inc has the opportunity to transform the insurance industry from digital ecommerce follower to a leader in consumer care and customer experience. “We have chance with our partners and feedback to look after consumers in times of need quickly and with incredible user experience,” he said. “We have ability to remove paper from process and pay vendors digitally. We have the opportunity to help carriers strategically become more digital and or increase their margins by taking cost out of their processes.”
During the last decade, One Inc looked to expand its technology into core system offerings, but the Great Hill Partners acquisition, along with the appointment of Drysdale and others from the payments industry, has been directed at the company’s original mission. “We’re sticking to our knitting, steering through a significant growth process and helping our carrier partners to go more and more digital every day,” he said. “With the impact of COVID and the preferences of the younger generation it’s crucial to go from the paper-bound legacy of the 1980s to instant payment capabilities.”
Creative Direction: Chris Ewing and Krishna Mohan Pai
At the beginning of our conversation with Drysdale, he stressed the accomplishments and continued contribution of former CEO Christopher Ewing. “Chris Ewing has to be one of the most creative people in P&C insurance,” he said. “Chris is a font of ideas—every single day he comes up with additional business models to benefit carriers and other members of the ecosystem, such as agents and consumers, etc. He’s taken the company and grown it, and now he wants to focus on idea generation and execution to grow the company more quickly.”
“We’re fortunate to have entrepreneurs like Chris and Krishna [Krishna Mohan Pai, founder of Invenger] guiding us, and also the introduction of newer leaders who know how to build scale payments infrastructure and remove risk from payments to benefit our carrier clients,” Drysdale added.