Kitsune Associates Ltd (Kitsune), part of Brightside Group, has begun trading. Trevor Bowers, Kitsune MD said that the MGA has started writing policies in private car and commercial vehicle, through Brightside, and will roll out to selected wholesale brokers during the first quarter of 2019.
“Kitsune is backed by programme management specialist capacity provider Randall and Quilter Investment Holdings Ltd. (R&Q), through its wholly-owned A-Rated European subsidiary Accredited Insurance (Europe) Limited (AIEL), and a panel of high-quality reinsurers and excess of loss providers.”
Kitsune partners include RDT for Policy Administration and Rating Engine (on the Atlas Platform), Willis Towers Watson (Actuarial and Reserving Support), and CDL (policy fulfilment). WNS Assistance is responsible for claims handling.
Trevor Bowers, MD of Kitsune, said: “We have assembled a team of A list partners to deliver our vision of creating a virtual insurer. The Kitsune model combines high quality systems and hugely experienced people, with a heavy emphasis on new technology for data and analytics. Our aim is to deliver £20-25m of GWP within the next 12months.”
Besides Trevor Bowers, the executive team includes Bruce Coxwell (ex Ageas and Axa) as underwriting and pricing director, Martin Cornwall (ex Ageas) for systems development, and Chris Louch (ex-Slater & Gordon and Kennedy’s Solicitors) for claims management.
Trevor said: “In previous roles, we created a good reputation for building authentic relationships and portfolios with our brokers. We have built Kitsune on the basis of listening acutely to what our brokers need, and providing the service and attention they require.”
“Reaching out to brokers and making them feel special is not rocket science, but combining our TLC ethos with A-list partners, state of the art technology and an experienced team makes Kitsune a compelling proposition, especially in the personal lines market, where brokers will always need quality support for their panels to help them compete and thrive.”
Looking ahead, Trevor said that private car and commercial vehicle products will be rolled out to additional brokers on the CDL platform during Q1 2019, with commercial vehicle going onto Open GI before the summer.
“Diversification has been built into our operating model, both in servicing capability for more brokers and bringing new products onstream. A diversified, well managed portfolio is good for our partners and also good for capacity providers because it enables us to better manage profitability through the cycle.”
He added: “We will explore the addition of other lines, such as SME, Taxi, Minibus and Fleet, where we will look to support Brightside’s insurer panels, through the Group’s successful One Insurance brand.”
He stressed that while there are clear plans to scale up the business and add significant value to the Group, “we are not going to chase volume for the sake of it, and will adopt a cautious approach. Neither do we want to prejudice the excellent relationships the Group currently enjoys with insurers on its panels.”
Brendan McCafferty comment
Brendan McCafferty, Brightside Group CEO, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Kitsune has launched. The MGA is a critical component in the future success of Brightside Group and will help fulfil our key strategic aims of building scale, exploiting digital technology and focusing on niches.”
“I am confident that, under Trevor’s leadership, Kitsune will significantly enhance the value and reputation of Brightside Group, for the benefit of all our stakeholders.”
About Kitsune – what’s in a name?
Trevor said that Kitsune was chosen after the team were struggling to think of a name for the MGA and decided to ask Brightside colleagues to submit their ideas.
One member of staff proposed Kitsune, which is the Japanese word for Fox. Foxes are a common subject in Japanese stories and folklore and are often portrayed as intelligent beings, possessing paranormal abilities that increase with their age and wisdom.