History of Ellipse
John Ritchie, now CEO of Ellipse, has seen the group risk market from all angles throughout his career – as an adviser, an insurer and a reinsurer. During all those years, he had collected ideas on how group risk related processes could be improved on to create a fully automated group risk insurer.
In April 2008 John left his position as head of group risk in Munich Re UKLB and teamed up with Eva Schwandner, now COO of Ellipse, to turn his vision into a concrete business plan. The initial feasibility study showed that the best way of setting up a group risk insurance venture within the Munich Re Group would be by setting up a branch of Munich Re’s insurance arm, ERGO, so this became part of the proposal.
The complete business plan was approved by the Munich Re board in October 2008, and in November 2008 we formally started to build the venture, and the first employee (Louise Donovan, Head of product development) joined the team. She was soon joined by other colleagues, who as a team concentrated on product, process and systems design and build as well as the regulatory approval process with BaFin and the FSA for setting up the branch.
The philosophy of the new venture, which hinges around more accurate life by life data allowing more accurate pricing, was detailed and we chose the name Ellipse and its distinct brand features in May 2009.
In June 2009 a team of now 17 employees moved into our Ellipse office on the 5th floor in 15 Bermondsey Square, SE1 3UN London.
Regulatory approval was obtained on September 29th 2009 and the first policy went on risk on November 1st 2009. Since Ellipse’s launch to the market, we have been unveiling our automated approach step by step:
all communications in an electronic format to a secure online document store
medical underwriting as an integrated automated 20 minute process
Online self service quotes system for advisors launched
The online system is currently being expanded to cover the full policy lifecycle (going on risk, data refreshes, renewal) and a data link to Thomsons Online Benefits' technology platform, Darwin™, is in development.