Every once in a while, some navel-gazing and celebration are apropos, and on this, our fifth birthday, we at AgentSync have decided it’s the perfect time. Join us, pull up a comfy seat, and pop some bubbly as we take a look at the last year.
The last year brought market turbulence, P&C shenanigans, life and health growth, insurtech foibles, post-COVID recovery, and a general atmosphere of uncertainty in the broader economy. These challenges have taught us invaluable lessons of resiliency, and how to embrace opportunity when it comes. After all, according to the great Stoic philosopher, Seneca (probably), luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
Following, we’ll unpack our “five for five,” the top lessons (among many!) we’ve learned as we continue to mature as a company.
1. Leadership and experience are assets that never go out of fashion.
This year, AgentSync added to its board, incorporating names like Rick McCathron, CEO of Hippo (as a board advisor), and Mike Rosenbaum, CEO of Guidewire. We’re proud of the vote of confidence from two industry leaders who themselves are tackling different beefy pieces of the insurtech space. But more than that, we’ve been grateful for the wisdom and guidance we’ve received as people who’ve navigated tough markets before share their perspectives.
It’s no secret that, while life and annuity insurers are enjoying a moment of high sales, property and casualty businesses are having to retool their businesses to meet increasing challenges from climate-change-linked events. As insurance infrastructure, having firsthand, candid input in what we can do to help our P&C customers as they rightsize distribution and tighten internal operations helps our business and many of our customers, even as we continue to partner with life and health insurers looking to grow.
“For businesses that work across the industry, economic fluctuations and a hard P&C insurance market drive home that, in insurance, the gas pedal can’t always be pushed to the floor. Wisdom, experience, and varied perspectives matter. As we start in on those birthday cupcakes, we’re fortunate that McCathron and Rosenbaum have joined us for the ride.” ~Jay Gaines, Chief Marketing Officer
2. There are always new challenges and new problems to solve for our insurance carriers, agencies, MGAs, and MGUs
We’re proud of where we started and how we’ve expanded our products to take on different pieces of the compliance and producer management puzzle. But, like pulling on a thread from a very knobbly sweater, untangling one process of state regulations, procedures, and distribution relationships often uncovers more areas in which to build and grow our software and roadmap.
This year we expanded our comprehensive data views to include a layer of FINRA data to help our life and annuity carriers, agencies, MGAs, and MGUs better manage compliance for their variable lines brokers. Your insurance agents who also have Central Registration Depository numbers and have passed a Series exam have extra levels of compliance and maintaining their securities requirements on top of their insurance requirements is an adventure unto itself, one that we’re happy to help support.
Even as these new areas expand, we’re raising a glass to our customer partners that join us in the adventure, patiently working together to solve longstanding industry challenges.
“This last year marked a step-change for AgentSync as we expanded beyond our NIPR and compliance roots to bring our customers a more comprehensive set of data and features to support the complex and evolving needs of getting their distributors ready to sell. It’s been incredible to see how new builds and partnerships are supercharging the workflows of our customers in the full lifecycle of interactions they have with their producers. Here’s to the next five years and all the innovation ahead!” ~Jenn Knight, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer
3. In-person work relationships matter, and it’s better to get work done than to argue over where it happens
Particularly in the desk-job world of the insurance industry, there’s a lot of pixels being thrown around about whether in-person, hybrid, office, home, or coffee shops are the best place for work to happen. And we’re not saying we’re not interested in the debate. But we’re not letting it stop us from actually getting the work done.
We stepped into a new office this spring, one that gives us more opportunities to collaborate in-person, with more meeting rooms and spaces to gather in small and large groups. We’re still in the RiNo area of Denver, but we’ve moved to a space that better accommodates our team, both when everyone is in office and when people are working hybrid schedules.
“The space has given us the best of both worlds. We have room to have comfortable team onsites, personal desk spaces for people who keep regular in-person office hours, plenty of amenities, and a gorgeous and inspiring space. We also have video-conferencing set up for our remote teams and focus on high security standards for our entire team, whether they’re working in the cutting-edge RiNo space or deep in the woods of Tennessee.” ~Aaron Wilmot, Vice President of People and Talent
4. Hard markets don’t stop tough businesses, they make them operate tighter
It really wouldn’t be an insurance industry post in 2023 without talking about how ridiculous the P&C market has been. If we could put a moratorium on catastrophic weather events and severe convective storm surges, we really would. Some of the biggest insurers in the country have pulled out of the largest markets, dialed back coverage, and stopped underwriting new risks as actuaries return to the drawing board. But this isn’t the end of P&C insurance by any means. These insurers aren’t throwing the towel in, they’re retooling their underwriting models, revisiting the way they handle their business, and shoring up resiliency before they return to the field.
That’s what we’ve seen over and over – recessions, depressions, hard markets, and otherwise difficult scenarios are catalysts, crucibles of innovation and change. We’re at that inflection point, and we don’t have a crystal ball, but we feel great about how we help our P&C insurer and agency customers reduce costs, increase efficiency, and drive adaptability to address risk and exposure across their distribution channels. And, as a business that serves the broader insurance industry, we’re also excited to help the life and annuity insurers who have strong growth propositions.
“As AgentSync celebrates another company anniversary, we have an opportunity to reflect on the past year of growth. As a company, we have a unique vantage point serving hundreds of the most stable and successful carriers, MGAs, and agencies across all lines of business. The P&C market has seen some distribution slowdown while the annuity market has continued to grow. Through it all, AgentSync remains committed to supporting our customers achieving their goals, regardless of market circumstances.” ~ Robby Allen, Chief Revenue Officer
For more on why we’re bullish on the future:
- 7 Myths About Business and Innovation During a Recession, and Why They’re Simply Hooey
- 9 Major Inventions and Innovations that Happened During a Recession
- Industry Leaders Caution: Don’t Back Away from Insurtech Investment Even in the Face of Inflation, Recession
5. Celebrate your wins
Did we mention it’s our birthday? Birthdays are for parties, no matter your age. All work and no play makes for a sad life model, so join us today to celebrate our milestone of another year around the sun, another year connecting the industry with modern insurance infrastructure, another year of making compliance automated and easier for the people who have to care about it.
There’s plenty to celebrate, from our rocking board to our smart investors, our hardworking team and our dedicated customers, and we have data to prove it:
- 124 percent growth in the number of active customers
- 128 percent growth in Annual Recurring Revenue
- 115 percent growth in national producer numbers
“It’s been amazing to be with AgentSync long enough to onboard some of our first customers and see their use of and return from AgentSync grow over the years. Working with customers for more than three years now has afforded me the opportunity to watch their value grow as our product has evolved and constant light bulbs click on for them in terms of how else we can help them succeed.” – Alex Leinweber, VP of Customer Experience
And of course, each AgentSync implementation is worthy of celebration because it means one more compliance team gets time back to live their lives without repetitive compliance data entry.