Brokerage Ops Technosavvy the September 2013 issue

Q&A with Janet Pane

Janet Pane, managing director of Global Placement, Willis North America
Willis North America has traditionally relied on personal relationships and knowledge. How is technology changing that?
There’s no doubt that trusted relationships are critical to gaining and retaining our clients. However, our clients are increasingly asking for new tools and more analytics to help guide them through the decision-making process. As the nature of risk evolves, we’re seeing a shift in the types of tools and insights our clients are requiring. Technology can assist in raising everyone’s game and helping move us from a more reactive, prevention mindset to a more predictive, focused industry.
How has Willis applied technology to broking?
As global brokers, Willis has access to thousands of markets. When you look at the placement process, it becomes a major challenge to track the changes in appetites and underwriters’ capacities across all the geographies we represent, segments we support, and classes of business we write. Willis created some groundbreaking tools, which we call WillPLACE and Market Match, to help us analyze those dynamic shifts that occur on a daily basis.
What advantages do those tools offer?

They allow us to spot trends and predict the best market for a client’s risk in real time. Not what happened in the past, but what’s happening right now in the market. We can start to provide very timely peer reviews:

  1. how other clients with your risk profile compare with your needs;
  2. who looks and feels a lot like you in your industry;
  3. what they are purchasing;
  4. what the types of limits are; and
  5. what rates they’re paying.

The ability to track real-time trends and shifts in the marketplace and then integrate that into an insurance buyer’s decision-making process is key to changing the way information is utilized to inform our decisions.

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