Insurtech UK appoints first CEO

Insurtech trade association Insurtech UK has today announced Melissa Collett as its first CEO. 

Collett has been appointed by Insurtech UK to take the helm of the organisation from 8 September to drive forward its mission of transforming the insurance industry through the use of technology and making the UK the global leader for insurance innovation. 

Insurtech UK is the largest formal insurtech alliance in the world, with a membership base of over 130 companies with 100 insurtech businesses and 30 partners both from the traditional insurance space and industries which serve the insurance market. 

Collett's remit will include maintaining and expanding Insutech UK’s relationships with key stakeholders within both Government and regulators to improve outcomes for its members, as well as forging partnerships with insurtech hubs around the globe, creating opportunities for UK insurtechs to grow and expand their reach. 

Her plans will also consist of increasing Insurtech UK's membership base further and strengthen the existing network and collaboration between insurers and insurtechs, to support the drive in embedding the UK as a global insurtech hub. Her role will also lead to more opportunities in enhancing the voice and profile of insurtechs as a key sector in its own right, rather than as a subset of fintech. 

She will work with the Insurtech UK Council and Secretariat to build on its previous successes, which includes signing a joint statement of intent with the Department of Business and Trade to support the sector, developing a UK-Connecticut insurtech corridor to aid member expansion to the US, as well as building out a £26.5 million pot of funding support for members via Innovate UK to help sector growth. This is on top of the other day-to-day activity of the association including its regular networking events, the popular member pitching sessions, working groups on specific sector challenges issues as well as reports and insights from the community.  

"This is a crucial time for the sector," commented Collett, who most recently served as Executive Director for Professional Standards at the Chartered Insurance Institute, where she spearheaded the Digital Ethics Companion. "AI and tech innovation is firmly on the government agenda and the UK ecosystem is uniquely placed to transform the way insurance works."  

"I have seen the exponential growth of the insurtech sector firsthand and how it can make a real difference to consumers and businesses. The recent report that our partners McKinsey & Co produced around the sector, outlines that growth opportunity. I am very excited about leading an organisation that truly represents the future of insurance." 

In her previous role, Collett chaired the Digital Ethics Forum and represented the CII at insurtech conferences and panels. She was invited to contribute to papers by the UK's Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation and the World Economic Forum. She also served on Innovate UK's advisory board for investing in the next generation of insurance, financial and professional services. Collett's credentials also include previous leadership roles at Fairer Finance and the Financial Ombudsman Service, and spent her early career as an insurance lawyer at Hogan Lovells. 

Commenting on the appointment, John Warburton, Insurtech UK Co-Chair and CEO of Konsileo, said "Alongside a proven track record in the industry, Melissa's previous role at the CII means she understands the challenges and opportunities facing a membership organisation. Insurtech UK has gone a long way in just five years, and we want to take it to the next level. With Melissa's energy, network, and strategic vision, she is well-placed to do just that." 

Co-Chair Luise Barile, CFO of Many Pets said, "Melissa has the profile and experience to help us navigate the challenges ahead and help promote our sector further to its broad and diverse stakeholder groups, ensuring we provide a robust voice for our sector."