Organising B3i for Success

In my role as CEO, this is my first in a series of blog posts to share my perspective on themes related to the work we do at B3i and the exciting journey we are on.

With the recent announcement of our first reinsurance application being deployed to our community of shareholders, customers and contributors, I have had cause to reflect on the path that B3i is on, the journey that lies ahead, and how we organise ourselves for success including our leadership team.

B3i started as a consortium of 5 insurance companies in May 2016 experimenting with Ethereum.  You might say that we were an organism of a few cells in a well-nourished petri dish – nourished by the capital, expertise, and excitement of our founding companies and their technical teams toward using new technology to address some of the insurance industry’s stubbornest problems.  The core DNA was (and remains) “by the market, for the market.”

By October 2017, we were a group of 15 delivering a proof of concept on Hyperledger Fabric.  With a successful PoC behind us, the shareholding insurers decided in early 2018 to form B3i Services AG – and B3i was truly born. 

The company’s “parents” today are 19 insurers and reinsurers from 5 continents, with more in the process of joining.  Over 40 insurers, brokers, and reinsurers are involved in the company today.  The board of directors of B3i, appointed after the closing of a successful funding round in late February of this year, has brought a breadth and depth of experience and perspectives to direct the strategy of B3i.

Having started my career in Insurance, I’ve long explored opportunities to improve the insurance model. Having personally begun exploring how DLT might change insurance in early 2016, I joined B3i because of the unique opportunity it allowed me to join a team passionate about improving insurance, pursue my keen interest in technology and leverage my experience of growing young businesses. I initially joined as CFO and was excited to be asked by the Board earlier this year to take on the CEO role. 

With an intense focus on execution driven by a customer centric mindset, I have strived as CEO to develop a culture that focuses on teamwork, agility, speed, rigor, resourcefulness, resilience and accountability.

Today, thanks to our dedicated employees, contributors, customers and suppliers, B3i operates a business network within the global Corda Network.  We have deployed the first enterprise grade application built on the B3i Fluidity platform. Having deployed our application to our customers production environments, we are conducting a live parallel run during the yearend reinsurance renewal season.

Now, with a live product deployed, we will need constantly to delight an increasing number of enterprise customers. These demanding customers have incredibly sophisticated risk transfer programs that require us to match or exceed their sophistication. 

I believe that the parallel run will show the power of what we have built.  It will also increase the opportunities for B3i such that we will have to prioritise and focus to maximise our scalability, resilience and ability to deliver at speed on multiple products simultaneously.

Start-up organisations are known for being more fluid than large incumbent organisations.  This year we have hired more than 30 people and have seen a handful of departures too.  Many of our people are in different roles than when they started, and I expect this to continue as we grow.

B3i is still an infant, but as we learn to walk and eventually to run, we are energised by the prospect of solving some of the most difficult problems in a major global industry.  It’s not often that people can say they were present at the start of a massive improvement that defines the way a whole industry operates.  Thank you for joining me as we set about this journey.