Pen Underwriting unveils ‘bold’ new £1bn vision

Pen Underwriting has marked its first five years of trading as a single, cohesive business by unveiling a “bold new strategy” of accelerated growth and a vision to become an underwriting and distribution business generating £1bn in gross written premium.

Pen CEO Tom Downey has set out his vision and long-term strategy for the business against the backdrop of what Pen describes as a “maturing MGA sector, key insurance market trends and macroeconomic challenges”.

Downey praised how that “in just five years” the business has built a “trusted, well-known brand” that has grown into a £600m GWP underwriting and distribution platform.

He said: “We’ve integrated 14 businesses, transformed our operational capabilities and significantly increased our profit margin by investing in the creation of a multi-class, multi-territory virtual insurer that controls not just its sales and distribution, but pricing, product innovation, underwriting appetite, analytics, governance and claims management.

“Our scale, reputation and capabilities now draw more comparisons to a UK ‘top 20’ insurance company than to any MGA peer. But the journey doesn’t end there.”

He added: “Pen was always designed to be greater than the sum of its parts. Now more than ever, with a hardening market, changing distribution landscape and the pre-eminence of data, MGAs must prove their worth in the insurance value chain. And with a more restricted delegated authority capacity pool, that demonstration of value needs to be constant as capacity providers go ‘back-to-basics’ in selecting their MGA partners.

“That means we want to roll out more specialist niche practices, more market-leading teams, more technology-driven efficiencies and more economies of scale.Hence the focus on accelerating our growth as we look to the next milestone of Pen at 10. Our vision is to become a £1bn GWP underwriting and distribution business. This is our new ‘North Star’. Clear, inspiring and intentionally ambitious.”

Pen said that driving the plan for accelerated growth will be Nick Wright, appointed into the newly created role of chief business development officer (CDO).

Wright will assume executive level responsibility for business development across Pen’s portfolio while focusing on three core strategic elements: mergers and acquisitions, the hiring of talent and expertise in new niche sector or product areas, and investing in innovation to underpin the expansion of Pen’s e-trade capabilities.

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