Insurtech ripe for growth as new chair announced

Ripe Thinking today announces fintech heavyweight Laurel Powers-Freeling as new chair of the board – as the digital insurance MGA scales its operations further and continues to make game-changing investments in proprietary technology. 

With a powerful track record in financial services, business growth and tech, Laurel led the development of M&S Money as CEO, and has held a series of senior executive, board or non-executive positions for major organisations including the Prudential, ACE/Chubb, Lloyds Bank Group, the Bank of England, but also significant fintech platforms including the UK’s first digital only bank Atom Bank, Uber UK (chair since October 2017) and personal finance platform Moneybox (chair since October 2021). 

Having attracted major investment from global investment management firm Aquiline Capital Partners at the end of 20211 - the first external investment into the business - Ripe is now gearing up for its next phase of growth. 

The Aquiline investment is a springboard for the acceleration of Ripe’s innovative cloud-based underwriting and insurance distribution platform – known as Juice. A major new piece of proprietary technology is in progress, giving Juice new capabilities to create dynamic and hyper-targeted digital journeys for customers. It will enable ultra-fast launch of products to specific segments, using an intelligent platform to digitally outpace the market. Ripe’s proprietary tech has always played an integral role in its growth – with an average time to purchase a policy of just 3 minutes and 19 seconds and 90% of Ripe’s customers now purchasing their policies completely online. 

Laurel Powers-Freeling, new chair of Ripe Thinking said: “The Ripe team have an aptitude for innovation, the ability to digitally outpace the market and the tech infrastructure needed to change the future of insurance. Ripe’s developed a platform that can reach insurance customers in a hyper-targeted, efficient, and appealing way. For me, what is truly compelling about the business is that, while currently a bit modest in its footprint, it now has the formula - and the backing - needed to transform the sector - it’s a fintech primed to scale and win.” 

Paul Williams ACII, CEO of Ripe Thinking, said: “We’re accelerating towards an exciting phase – with the opportunity to explore new markets and the ambition to become a household name. We welcome our new chair at a pivotal time for Ripe. Laurel has unrivalled tech and financial industry expertise, and a track record of leading companies that are digitally transforming their sector. With Aquiline and Laurel’s strong belief in our potential, alongside significant investment now being deployed to scale up the business, we are on a path to redefine how insurance is done.” 

The appointment of the new chair comes as former chair of Ripe Thinking, Colin Whitehead steps down from the role to start his retirement. John Woosey, Ripe’s founder and managing director, said: “Colin has played an important part in the success, growth and unfaltering ambitions of the business over the past 14 years – and I’m sure he will continue to support Ripe from the side lines.”