Welcome to our third episode of the Loquat Executive Interview Series, where we dive deep into topics related to the state of Fintech, digital transformation in banking, Banking-as-a-Service, Security and compliance in banking and more. This interview series aims to share value with our clients and investors by showcasing the knowledge, perspectives and thought leadership of the Loquat executive team and the Loquat story.
Mitch Blaser’s Bio:
Mitch has more than 40 years of accomplishments in the international insurance market. In 2006, he joined Robert Clements as a founding executive to launch Bermuda-based Ironshore with $1 billion in private-equity capital and helped drive its growth to become a global property & casualty insurer with over 800 employees in 15 nations. In 2017, Ironshore was acquired by Liberty Mutual Group. Shortly after, Mitch started his new venture Mosaic Insurance.
Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the Loquat executive interview series. Today I am here with Mitch Blaser. My name is Lindsey Tague. I am the Content Marketing Manager for Loquat. And I am here with Mitch, the founding executive of Iron Shore and founding Co-CEO of Mosaic insurance. Mitch is an early investor and an advisor to Loquat. Thank you for being here today, Mitch.
Thanks for having me. It’s great to join the club here.
Great. So, we’ll just go ahead and dive right in. Mitch, if you want to tell us about you, your background and how you got involved with Loquat.
Sure, I’ve had mostly a background in the insurance space, but very involved in transformation in technology. Having run the global technology for Marsh, the global insurance broker and started a company in Bermuda, named Iron Shore. We use technology and outsourcing as a way of providing more efficient and effective processes to build the insurance business. I ended up selling that company to Liberty Mutual.
After a couple of years of experience as their Chief transformation officer I had left the company and we started a new company called Mosaic insurance, which is designed to be highly specialized, and focused on the use of new modern technology in the insurance business to create an advantage and leverage our talent base across the globe.
It’s the digitizing of insurance as part of our goal with the recognition in the commercial space, and in the world of complicated risk assessment and protection. There’s a lot of requirements for underwriting skills and the talent that goes with technology. So, it’s a fascinating time and a great time to not have legacy infrastructure that could slow you down.
And as part of my thought process around involvement in technology, I was introduced to Zarina, the CEO of Loquat, and discussed her plans, this goes back a couple of years now. And besides being a dynamo, she had a fantastic concept and plan to digitize the loan space, particularly for those that had a lot of manual intervention and difficulty accessing clients on a remote and core online virtual basis.
So, her product and her plan made a lot of sense to me. And her skills, coupled with her team’s capabilities looked like a real winner. And I supported them from early on, and very proud of what they’re doing and what their capabilities represent in the market.
I think it’s a phenomenal opportunity for regional banks, credit unions and others to expand their reach and use the digitization approach of their business model to grow their revenue on a more effective and efficient basis that modernizes the way that they interface with their customers.
Right. There’s a lot to be said for digital transformation, whether it’s in the insurance business, banking world, it’s touching every industry right now.
I know you touched on it a little bit. But if you want to maybe expand and talk about the current state of digital transformation in banking. What is your outlook and what do you see in the future?
Well, I think if we’ve learned anything during the pandemic, it’s that technology is a rapidly growing part of our lives. It’s not going to all of a sudden disappear like hopefully, COVID does, but it’s acceleration through our kind of virtual existence was demonstrated to everyone in terms of activity, but also in terms of the way we interact with one another and how we build relationships with one another. And ultimately the way that we’re going to be able to do business with one another.
So, the banking world has, you know, over time, applied technology in many ways, so that transactional aspects can be instantaneous. But what they have not really yet accomplished is the digitized interface of relationships, the way that you can build capabilities around those relationships, and be able to do things that you couldn’t do on a technology platform are now available.
And the Loquat platform is a perfect example of that. It provides those kinds of capabilities that before were not part of the way the loan business was conducted.
I think Loquat is in the right place, at the right time. And, I think bankers and the credit union institutions will see this as a tremendous opportunity to embrace that technology, to advance their own business models, and modernize where they are in the world and, and take it from there. So, I think timing is great.
The acceleration of technology in our lives, and in our interactions, from a business standpoint, is evident and self-evident. And they have a proven model that works. And that is really, I think, the big advantage for Loquat. Their platform has gone through enough testing, enough different types of prototyping and models, and work with different credit unions and banks, to be able to validate that it has what it takes to create this, this digital environment for the loan process.
Absolutely. There’s a lot of different factors here that are unique about Loquat. Is there anything else you’d like to add to that?
You know, there are a couple of different points related to it. And starting with the people side, yes, we’re talking about technology, but you need to have a strong team that sits behind that platform. And Zarina and her team have phenomenal experience. They did not take any shortcuts to get here. They have integrated and partnered with the best of breed in the areas that come together to form the network and the capacity and capabilities that they’re trying to bring to the market.
The security concepts, as well as the connection to the back office, if you will that facilitate the transactional aspects of their model are very well thought out. And therefore, onboarding is a kind of well-laid blueprint to map out how you get from one point to the other.
It’s really thought out by talented, experienced people from the standpoint of the front-end interaction with the banking member, right through the back end and, the processing of the bank or credit unions back office, to facilitate and create efficiency, and to grow revenue and leverage the talent that the bank has, or the credit union has as well. So, it’s a great blend and a well-thought-out process.
Absolutely, I agree.
From an investment perspective, I know that you obviously have a long history, and achieved significant milestones in your career. Do you want to speak about that and why an investor should consider investing in Loquat?
Well, everything in investing has to do with timing. I was an early investor in Loquat, and I, you know, kind of watched and was able to be involved in seeing it blossom. And now you have something that’s really market-ready, that has lots of interest from very specific clients. And the next stage of development is going to be the scaling of the model. And that’s as an investor, that’s your best timing is to come in when you’ve got something that works and that customers are interested in.
And next is the opportunity to scale it and make it bigger and leverage all the hard work that has gone before you. So, I think the timing is great from that standpoint, and we have something ready to roll and expand. And to be a part of that is exciting and fun. I think the other aspect is to meet the team, meet Zarina and I think you’ll be very impressed and see that hard work. And what I call the persistence and effectiveness that you need to be successful is right there at the core. And I see them growing rapidly and doing great things.
Absolutely. In closing here, do you have any other final words you’d like to share?
Well, I think my comments about bringing the technology and the team and the talent together are what we’re thinking about in all business matters. It’s how I look at the insurance business, that intersection, how you leverage the talent, and how you allow your business to grow and expand rapidly. And on an efficient and well controlled basis it is so critical in thinking how we get through the economic challenges on a macro basis in front of us.
Obviously, we’re in an environment of rising interest rates, which then presents an even bigger opportunity for this particular business model. So, I think that the environment is right, the timing is right, and the people are right. So, it’s a great moment for an investor and customers to support the direction that Loquat has taken.
Those were some great final words.
Well, thanks for your time here today. Mitch. It was great chatting with you. Thank you.
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