Former Transactor Global Solutions (TGSL) founder and chief, Ray Vincent is to focus exclusively on the onward development of specialist insurance price comparison technology provider i-Wonder. This follows the acquisition of TGSL by Open International Group in August 2017.
i-Wonder operates in four general insurance market sectors, namely niche partnership services with major UK aggregators (i-PAS), The Quote Portal solution for scheme brokers, owner operated aggregation solutions for panel based scheme brokers, and software house integration for UK standard personal liners with the main four UK aggregators.
‘All of our market offerings are doing well and we are currently in our fifth consecutive year of more than 30 per cent growth,’ says Executive Chairman Ray Vincent. ‘We see the market for back office solutions as well serviced at both corporate and SME level, but there is massive scope to add significant “satellite value” using emergent technology for clients ranging from the very largest insurer to the specialist scheme broker. Our solutions can benefit everybody in the chain, and that’s our focus going forward. We are making a significant investment to ensure we continue our current successes into the future.’
As part of this process the business is currently undergoing a restructure, and whilst the trading entities in the group will continue to operate under their current names, there is a name change for the holding company to i-Wonder Solutions Group Holdings. This will take place alongside changes to accommodate equity opportunities for new directors and staff.
Another significant change is that the hosted aggregation and portal solutions are migrating to Microsoft Azure and this process is already underway. All its current portal integrations are deployed in Azure which gives i-Wonder and its partners straightforward scalability, cost, and technology wins out of the box.
There is also a move to new premises in Micheldever in January 2018, as well as the establishment of a “near-shore” development centre in Chisinau, Moldova in the first quarter of next year. The move to new premises coincides with some additional UK recruitment, which is now underway in the technical and administration areas.
Steve Young, CEO of i-Wonder says, ‘We will retain the core research and development functions in our UK office, but we need the ability to scale up our portal and aggregation solutions delivery to meet the strong demand we are currently experiencing. Our quarter three run rate on Quote Portal volume niche portals was running particularly high, with five new solutions ordered in September alone. As we expand The Quote Portal into SME Commercial over the coming months and we open additional routes to market, we can only see demand increasing.’
To maintain momentum on core business growth, i-Wonder Business Development Director Scott Kelly continues to play a leading role. Kelly says, ‘First, we need to consolidate our position as partner of choice for the UK’s four main aggregators in niche general insurance markets. That means continuing to deliver high income growth, quality MI, and great customer journeys for all our business classes. Second, as we commoditise more and more products through our Quote Portal technology, we need to identify new opportunities to expand our current range of business classes and aggregator partnerships, and work hard at the detail to deliver quality and profit.’
Former TGSL Finance Director, Mark Ryder also takes up the role of Finance Director for the i-Wonder group, with a focus on regulatory compliance, managing the businesses external relationships, due diligence for major orders, and an oversight role in financial management, legal, and HR.
Vincent concludes, ‘There are some all new developments underway too. With the current success around our existing offerings on a sharply rising line, the time is also right to invest in new satellite value technology to ensure the momentum stays with us. For that reason, we are making a move in voice technology which we believe is underutilised by the industry at present. There are some early wins on the cards for generic contact centre application, and down the track we see some exciting possibilities for voice in aggregation. We will get on with that in the background with a view to some initial product launches in Q3-4 2018.’