Head of Digital
A leading insurance and technology expert for the past 20 years, Tom Parsons, Head of Digital at Amwins, is passionate about innovation in insurtech. He is currently responsible for the company’s internal and external digital strategies – a role, he describes as infinitely satisfying.
With a global footprint across more than 150 counties, Amwins is the largest independent wholesale distributor of specialty insurance products in the United States and one of the largest and most successful Lloyd’s broking operations in the specialty market sector.
Based in Charlotte, N.C., Amwins handles premium placements in excess of $26bn and has a reputation for delivering specialized placement solutions through its deep resources and experience across five main business verticals: Brokerage; Small Accounts; Underwriting; Global Risks; and Group Benefits.
Long term goals
Parsons has an impressive background, having served in a number of roles that have prepped him for his current position, including working with regulators to get approval for a complex new Solvency II financial model, raising over $1bn of Insurance-Linked Security (ILS) capital from institutional investors and designing and building a new retail agent-facing portal, among others.
“Most people in this industry say they fell into an insurance career,” he says. “Perhaps my story was a little more deliberate.”
As chance would have it, a stroll through the university careers center cemented the decision, as Parsons stumbled upon the Lloyd’s of London market. “A few interviews later and I was struck by the differences with banking,” enthuses Parsons. “Not only did Lloyd’s seem full of larger-than-life characters, but it was also full of an incredible variety and complexity of insurance risks. I was instantly hooked and there was no looking back.”
Amwins digital strategy
Today, Parsons is a long way from the hallowed halls of Lloyds of London. In fact, he has been based in the U.S. for the past four years - unable to travel in the past two due to the pandemic restrictions. But it is here that he has found himself at the heart of insurance innovation, managing the internal and external digital strategies for Amwins.
He explains, “My current position has two main focuses. Internally we are focused on building and maintaining the Amwins digital strategy and ensuring we are executing this strategy effectively.
“The more external focus is working with the Amwins Ventures Fund which gives us the opportunity to look closely at and invest in technology companies that have the potential to enable and enhance how we solve retail agent problems and become easier to do business with.”
“I have had the unique opportunity to closely observe the problems and needs of individual participants through the insurance value chain from the retail agent, to MGA, to MGU, to the carrier, to the regulator, to the reinsurer, to the institutional investor,” he says. “I think experiencing these different perspectives helps me prioritize and focus on the aspects that matter most within my role.”
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“Whether it's a threat intelligence platform or an analytics platform – using that to strengthen one of the key principles and ultimately accelerating response detection and mitigation – it is key.”