Aon’s formal launch of its Strategy and Technology Group (STG) ahead of this year’s Rendez-Vous in Monte Carlo marked a milestone in the broker’s drive to increase its capabilities in this space.
The broker drafted in seasoned insurance consulting executive Colin Forrest earlier this year to lead the new team.
Forrest told The Insurer the move was driven by a desire to “elevate client experience to the next level”.
“We have taken various teams from across Aon and put them together in one tech suite. By bringing these people together we have created a culture that will develop new solutions that simply did not exist before, helping to address underserved markets and augment existing areas of focus.”
Forrest said Aon’s acquisition of actuarial software platform Tyche, announced in March this year, had further complemented the build-out of the new STG unit.
He said the launch of STG comes amid “the most challenging environment any of us have ever seen”.
For many companies, adapting to current macro and market conditions has prompted a need to refocus their activities and seek assistance to navigate volatility.
“STG has formed at the right time to work in partnership with our clients, rather than simply taking a suite of products to sell them.
“The market wants that partnership feel – we need to be in the tent with them – and in doing so we believe we can help take clients to the next level and help them to make better business decisions.”
Forrest said the group was already holding conversations with clients around how to deploy capital in the most effective manner, as well as around challenges such as claims volatility and climate change, which will ultimately help them to build business resilience.
“There is an increased focus on the role we can play in making society a better place. The rise of ESG has refocused the C-suite of companies around purpose, and raised the question as to how to do good while running a commercial enterprise.
“We have a lot of capacity within the components of STG to generate more innovative solutions and underpin that with a technology offering,” Forrest added.
He said this could be achieved by “unleashing the creative capacity of our people and giving them space to think differently around client problems”.
“The wide range of components we have at Aon is a differentiator – no one else can compete with that. We are focused on bringing the full power of our resources to our clients in a joined up, collaborative way.
“Having our consulting and technology arms integrated together and absolutely focused on the client experience – I also see that as a differentiator. I don’t see any other firm working in partnership in the way we want to work with clients.”
While the STG team will initially be mainly focused on Europe, it also has a significant presence in the Americas – one Forrest hopes to further expand – and has also targeted growth in the Asia Pacific region.
“We are operating as a truly global enterprise,” Forrest said.