Back

12 Questions with Matthew Grant, Partner at InsTech London

12 Questions with Matthew Grant, Partner at InsTech London

Matthew Grant

Partner, InsTech London

Matthew Grant

Partner, InsTech London


12 Questions with Matthew Grant, Partner at InsTech London

About the author

Matthew Grant spent 25 years introducing catastrophe modeling to the world. Matthew has spent the last four years as Co-Managing Partner of InsTech London, growing it into a leading global networks and research company connecting builders and buyers of innovative technology, analytics, and data around the world. He also hosts regular, lively discussions on the weekly InsTech London podcast.

See how leaders like you are using the Archipelago Risk Data Platform to drive better outcomes:
Get Diagnostic Assessment or Request Software Demo

Welcome to 12 Questions, a Q&A series where we pose the same set of 12 questions to intriguing folks at the intersection of insurance, risk management, commercial real estate, and digital innovation.

Suggest someone we should feature next.

This week, we chat with Matthew Grant, Partner at InsTech London.

He also hosts regular, lively discussions on the weekly InsTech London podcast.

1. What is the most interesting idea you’ve encountered in your world lately?

I’m intrigued by the concept of digital twins for property – that it’s possible to create a complete digital representation of a building and its core elements and present them in the form of data that can be used to understand risk and performance. There are a few companies in the UK and the US providing unique property identities, which is a starting point. I think we do still have a long way to go to create a comprehensive and trusted database of digital twins and it’s harder than people think, but it’s an intriguing goal (and one that Archipelago looks like it will be a major part of).

2. Where do you think no one is looking right now?

I think the insurance industry is missing out on offering preferential insurance rates to people that are prepared to share their personal data about their life and how they look after their possessions, who are not trying to defraud anyone and generally just want to get paid when things go wrong. USAA has built a $36 billion insurance business by focusing on customers with this type of demographic (military and ex-services), but the industry generally still spreads its risk too widely across its customer base and there are issues with trust from the insurance buyers. A few insurtech companies are testing this out, but it needs a lot of funding to break into the personal lines market.

3. If you had a magic wand, what would you change about your industry?

Despite the efforts by many insurers creating innovation teams, there are still far too few insurance organizations willing to deploy real underwriting capacity against new opportunities to develop and learn new ideas. However, I’d call out Swiss Re, Munich Re, and Liberty Mutual on the one hand as companies putting in innovation efforts at scale, and Atrium, Chaucer, Ascot, and Aegis doing it in a small but important way through Lloyd’s.

4. What’s the most rewarding part of what you do?

It’s seeing the founders of start-ups and scale-ups we’ve had on stage or interviewed in the last few years becoming credible providers of data and analytics to the insurance industry, bringing in real clients, and generating real revenue. And also seeing them contribute back by supporting us to give the next generation of start-ups some visibility and help.

5. What do you envision the next 12 months will bring?

2021 is the year when regulators, investors, and customers are dramatically stepping up expectations in how companies – and that includes insurers – measure and manage future climate change risk. We are going to see a massive surge in the need for new and enhanced analytical tools in this area. I explain more in this article I recently published.

6. What’s your favorite building?

The Ca's Xorc hotel in Mallorca in the Mediterranean. It’s a converted olive mill in the hills looking out over the sea. When I’m there, everything else makes sense.

7. Please dispel a myth or misconception about your work.

At InsTech London, we have expanded into a lot more than both London and insurtech. We are spending time with data and technology companies from the brand new to the very well established and from all around the world. Innovation didn’t just start 10 years ago and there are a lot of great established companies offering tools to insurers and helping the newer arrivals through partnerships. London’s an excellent hub, but over 50% of the people that watch, listen, read, and follow us are based outside of the UK.

8. What are the tools, apps, or gadgets that you just can’t live without?

I’m a big fan of Otter.ai for automating transcripts and making the job of marking up podcast interviews easier – and we’re now (with permission!) recording our Zoom meetings.

For personal life, I’ve picked up my camera again and become rather obsessed with getting pictures of ruins, landscapes, and birds. Not sure what a psychologist would make of that.

9. What’s your biggest pleasant surprise related to remote work?

It’s been the ease of getting to know old friends again (Hello, Hemant) and meeting so many new people around the world. But we also value face-to-face contact, so we have a shared workspace for our expanding team, and we are starting up our evening events again in London in July, and California in November.

10. What’s your favorite productivity tip for staying motivated and getting work done?

First thing every day, create a handwritten list of things to do. Then refer to the list – and start to cross things off.

Check emails in the middle of the day and end of the day. Don’t get too focused on answering emails first thing in the morning.

11. What or who do you read/watch to keep informed?

I’ve just started re-reading the Economist again – readable and insightful on current topics. My go-to source for breaking insurance news is Insurance Insider. Henry Gale writes our bi-weekly newsletter on parametric insurance that ensures I don’t miss any of the most recent developments. Steve Evans’ Reinsurancene.ws is the best free source of news and insights.

12. Please nominate folks who should answer this next.

Martha Notaras, Managing Partner at Brewer Lane Partners:

  • Martha has an incredible knowledge of the people and companies driving new innovations in insurance around the world, and she is very honest, open, and comfortable sharing her views.

Robert Muir-Wood, Chief Research Officer at RMS and my longstanding colleague and friend:

Listen or read along as Matthew talks to Hemant Shah, CEO of Archipelago, about digitizing customer data on InsTech’s podcast episode 145.

Thank you to Mark Cravens, Principal at Cravens Consulting, for nominating Matthew in his 12 Questions.

Suggest someone we should feature next.


12 Questions with Matthew Grant, Partner at InsTech London

About the author

Matthew Grant spent 25 years introducing catastrophe modeling to the world. Matthew has spent the last four years as Co-Managing Partner of InsTech London, growing it into a leading global networks and research company connecting builders and buyers of innovative technology, analytics, and data around the world. He also hosts regular, lively discussions on the weekly InsTech London podcast.

See how leaders like you are using the Archipelago Risk Data Platform to drive better outcomes:
Get Diagnostic Assessment or Request Software Demo

In this Q&A, Matthew shares his thoughts on the concept of digital twins for property, insurance innovation teams, and an upcoming need for climate change risk analytical tools.

More from Thought Leaders

In this Q&A, Jack shares his thoughts on virtual learning in small bites, the dimensions of cyber risk, and scheduling quiet time.

Jack Gibson

President & CEO, International Risk Management Institute (IRMI) & CEO, WebCE

Read more
This is some text inside of a div block.
In this Q&A, Tim discusses his trick for writing To-Do lists, how to translate great ideas into new businesses, and why the industry is anything but boring.

Tim Wright

Senior Advisor & Director, Archipelago

Read more
This is some text inside of a div block.
"Does this sound familiar - an enormous undertaking annually to collect property information from disparate reports and asset managers dodging your emails? Being limited to the cells on a spreadsheet for the information used by underwriters to price your risk? Meanwhile vast amounts of new data is available for risk managers..."

Jeff Bray

SVP, Global Risk Management, Prologis

Read more
This is some text inside of a div block.