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Further Thoughts on Quindell’s iter8 Bet

The U.K.-based vendor's acquisition of a distribution technology leader gives it a strong foothold, but succeeding in both geographies won't be easy.

Quindell Portfolio Plc’s gambit to enter the North American P&C market through the acquisition of Toronto-based iter8 reflects both the British vendor’s expansion and the pace of insurance systems M&A overall. The question that remains is whether Quindell’s bet on leveraging iter8 to break into the North American market will pan out.

The combination of Quindell and iter8 has

Donald Light
Donald Light, Celent
some real promise in building presence in both the U.K./European and North American markets, but it won’t be easy to do, according to Donald Light, director of Celent's Americas property/casualty practice. “Right now there are two halves existing independently in very different geographies — can they put those together successfully in one or both of those geographies?” Light queries.

Under CEO and founder Rob Terry, U.K.-based Quindell Portfolio PLC has been on an acquisition tear this past 18 months, with iter8 being its first in North America, notes Stephen Applebaum, a senior analyst with Aite Group. “Given iter8’s impressive Canadian P&C insurance industry pedigree, innovative insurance distribution technology and impressive Canadian client list – where almost 75% of P&C insurance is either direct or agent/broker written – Quindell gains an effective foothold in Canada that also includes an existing U.S. presence,” he comments.

[For more on the acquisition news, see UK Vendor Quindell Acquires iter8 to Gain North American Foothold.]

Applebaum thinks Quindell’s chances for establishing itself in the region are strong. He adds: “Considering Rob Terry’s original direction in founding Innovation Group in the early '90s, and the eclectic collection of P&C claims, accident management, legal,

Stephen Applebaum
Stephen Applebaum, Aite Group
medical and telematics technology assets that Quindell has acquired since 2011, it is not hard to imagine them creating a highly innovative P&C claims, distribution and telematics platform around the iter8 base business for deployment in the North American market.”

While Quindell is hardly a household name in the US, the vendor has made a big splash in Europe with numerous acquisitions and rapid growth, observes Chad Hersh, managing director of Novarica’s insurance practice. The iter8 acquisition could pay big dividends in being able to bring Quindell’s claims products to the North American market or it could end up producing little interest — as in the case of Sword’s acquisition of AgencyPort and subsequent attempts to leverage Sword’s policy administration system in the U.S., Hersh says.

“In general, this strategy is better than the alternatives, and it will be interesting to have a major claims player from outside the US bring its product in to compete with the likes of Guidewire,” Hersh says.

Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio

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