Meet the team: Tristram Prior, Lead Underwriter, Financial Institutions

The Financial Institutions segment at IQUW has seen tremendous growth, now marked by the launch of FortiFI, a novel policy blending FI and cyber insurance. Leading the charge in developing this product and the FI team has been Tristram Prior.

With a strong entrepreneurial drive, Tristram has focused on innovation and creation within the Financial Institutions insurance market. He delves into the details of FortiFI and explains his passion for a career in underwriting.

How did you first arrive in the insurance industry?

Having grown up with family in insurance it felt natural and familiar from an early age. After graduating in 2012 with a degree in Economics I decided on a career in the insurance industry, so first stop was to download the Lloyd’s directory, I then applied for jobs at various syndicates, working my way through the list.

I started my career as an underwriting assistant in Financial Institutions (FI) at Antares. After four years I moved to Talbot where I was an FI Underwriter. In 2020, I moved to Chubb as a Senior Underwriter, where after a year, an opportunity arose at IQUW to join the Professional Lines team with Gary Lill to build out the FI and D&O account. I joined as a Senior Underwriter and later took on the role of Lead Underwriter for the FI book.

I have always felt more of an affinity towards being an underwriter as it speaks more to my personality, I enjoy finding the balance between risk and reward and I never shy away from a challenge, especially when it requires a touch of creativity.

Could you tell us a bit about the Financial Institutions (FI) team?

Financial services are inherently complex in nature and are in a constant state of flux, particularly regulatory speaking. That’s why it’s good to surround yourself with a dynamic and collaborative group of professionals. Our team (not just underwriters) brings together a diverse range of expertise, spanning claims, legal analysts, risk management, researchers, and client relations, allowing us to deliver solutions that address the challenges faced by financial institutions.

In a short space of time, we’ve seen the FI account grow substantially, this being a testament to our team's dedication and expertise. Through a combination of innovative products, personalised service, and a deep understanding of the financial sector, we have cultivated strong relationships with brokers and clients across the globe.

Moving forward, we remain committed to expanding our footprint forging new partnerships and delivering best-in-class insurance solutions that empower our clients. Allowing them to achieve their strategic objectives and ultimately protect their businesses.

Tell us more about the at IQUW book of business?

Our book of business is global in nature, encompassing an array of clients spanning various domiciles and regions. Approximately 50% of our portfolio is US-domiciled, with another significant portion, around 30%, comprising clients from Australia. The remaining 20% represents a mix of offshore islands, South Africa, the UK, and Europe, creating a dynamic and geographically dispersed portfolio.

Our strategic focus within the FI portfolio revolves around catering to small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and mid-market clients, although we also engage with larger global institutions selectively. Being a go-to market for clients facing unique or challenging situations, positions us as a provider of creative solutions. In scenarios where conventional options fall short, we step in as the client's last resort, leveraging our expertise and willingness to innovate. This approach not only differentiates us in the market but also underscores our commitment to client-centric solutions in an ever-evolving landscape.

Tell us about FortiFI and how it sets IQUW apart from other insurers

FortiFI is an end-to-end solution for FI and cyber exposures, covering six lines – Errors & Omissions, Directors & Officers, Employment Practices Liability, Fiduciary, Crime and Cyber. The claims team handles all claims across all six coverages. Having claims and underwriting working together in these lines means we can process claims efficiently – it’s far better for clients than having to buy different policies from various carriers and is part of IQUW’s seamless service.

What sets FortiFI apart is its proactive and forward-thinking approach to risk management. By consolidating multiple coverages into a single, cohesive package, we provide our clients with unparalleled convenience and peace of mind. Whether it's navigating the intricacies of regulatory requirements or mitigating the ever-present threat of cyber breaches, FortiFI empowers financial institutions to confront the challenges of tomorrow with confidence and resilience.

The genesis of FortiFI can be traced back to a fundamental observation: the traditional approach to insurance no longer suffices in a world characterised by complexity and uncertainty. With the proliferation of cyber threats, the intensification of regulatory scrutiny, and emergence of new risks on the horizon, it became increasingly evident that a paradigm shift was necessary.

FortiFI represents our response to this evolving landscape—a bold and innovative solution designed to meet the evolving needs of our clients and the broader market. By integrating cutting-edge technology, data analytics, and industry expertise, we have created a product that not only addresses the current challenges faced by financial institutions but also anticipates and prepares for the challenges of tomorrow.

What made you join IQUW?

I jumped at the chance to be part of a start-up, who wouldn’t? I’m an open thinker and entrepreneurial, so my personality suited joining a company like IQUW, and I liked being in at the start to help shape the company as it grows.

When the opportunity came up to join IQUW, the market conditions were favourable, we had strong and stable investors and best of all a blank canvas to build something great. I was one of only a handful of people when I joined so I was able to help shape the company’s culture of teams working together and being supportive of each other. As the FI account has grown, I have been able to build a strong and reliable team and it’s great to be working alongside such dedicated people.