How Culture Fits Forge Innovation Partnerships in Insurance | Arslan Hannani, Travelers

by Juan de Castro, COO Cytora

In this episode of Making Risk Flow, host Juan de Castro is joined by Arslan Hannani, a Vice President at Travelers, to discuss the role culture plays in driving innovation in the insurance industry. With Travelers being a 165-year-old global insurance company, Arslan firmly understands the importance of evolving in the space. Together, the pair discuss how the innovation team works closely with business units to achieve growth, ways to get over the challenging innovation hurdles of capacity and funding, the pros and cons of acquisitions vs. partnerships, and why cultural compatibility plays a pivotal role in successful organisations.

Listen to the full episode here

Juan de Castro: Today is going to be a very exciting episode. I'm joined by Arslan Hannani, who's the VP of Innovation at Travelers. I always find my chats with him fascinating, so I'm really looking forward to the next 30 minutes of discussion. I think one of the things that makes Arslan particularly interesting is he's been an underwriter himself before moving into this space of driving innovation and changing the industry, which makes him really knowledgeable of the space. So first of all, Arslan, thank you so much for joining me today.

Arslan Hannani: Thank you, Juan. It's a pleasure. I’m really excited and pleased to be on this podcast and to chat with you.

Juan de Castro: For those who perhaps do not know you that well let’s start with an overview of what you are doing currently at Travelers and your background.

Arslan Hannani: Sure, absolutely. So as you said, Arslan Hannani, I'm based in London, but I work for Travelers with global responsibility. And I work in the enterprise innovation team. I'm very conscious that sort of innovation teams are defined quite differently from company to company, or even region to region. But really what we think about is we try to mix long-term strategy, actual innovation capability and practices, with a healthy dose of business development and making sure that we bring the right opportunities to an organisation as well. So that's how we define innovation. We've got a pretty nice team, about 20 people based across the US and some here in Europe. And as you said previously, I grew up as an underwriter, which is also interesting when you come into innovation, because I think when you start as an underwriter, profitable growth is drilled into your head. You know, seeing the market and everything now in the InsurTech space, it's interesting to see that journey, how others have realised the actual fundamentals of that. Previously I was with Zurich. I was there for about 14 years. Had the pleasure of doing eight different jobs in three or four different countries, which is fascinating. And then four years ago, I joined Travelers.

Juan de Castro: Having that balance of being an underwriter yourself and understanding the space and the fact that you've moved through eight different roles probably gave you a really broad perspective of what an insurance company is, what works, and what doesn't. And so one of the things you mentioned is that in Travelers, you've got this central innovation team that you're a part of, but you work very closely with the business units. And there's always, I've seen this in many organisations, this tension between who is responsible for innovation. Is it the business units? Is it the central team? So what do you think about that tension within Travelers?

Arslan Hannani: Look, we think about it a lot. It's something that I would say has probably evolved quite a bit too. The real basis of it, Juan, is as a team, we are not here to own innovation in any way, shape, or form. We're here to enable, to partner, and to help. So it's one of those things. I think a lot of times that frustration that you mentioned is when the agenda of a potential centralised innovation team, or the KPIs, or the motivation is different to what the BU's may be facing, the challenges that may be facing, where the market is today, right? Or which part of the cycle of the market we're in. And that's the bridge that we try to focus on really, really closely is how do we make sure that whatever we're working on is really relevant and important. And we're also very conscious of, you know, something that I've seen in my experience is a lot of rejection by the BU once you have built something. So we think about that from day one. We think about how are we deploying our resources as a central team on topics that are relevant and important and have clear benefits. And then how do we create a partnership where we really understand who's bringing what to the table and what the outcome should look like. So it's really a collaborative team rather than anything else. Of course, we have built some centralised processes, some centralised capabilities and so on. But the idea is to deploy them on the right engagement in the right way, in a time-bound way, and to really partner with the BU on what we're working on, rather than working on our own topics quite independently.

Juan de Castro: And I think one of the things I've seen you do differently from the experience of working together, compared to many other innovation teams, is you don't go to the business unit with a solution. When we started working together, the first thing you said is, well, let's talk to the business unit and understand their challenges. And I think that talks exactly to the point you made about being aligned. The innovation needs to be relevant to the pain points they are experiencing.

Arslan Hannani: It's a really interesting point, Juan. I think having had an underwriting background, I have a deep appreciation of the science of underwriting and the value it brings. And both the companies that I've worked for have very thorough, sophisticated and good underwriters. So it's about tapping into that and really understanding, well, what in that process, in that science can we improve? And really, we have to understand that from the experts themselves who are living and breathing it every day. So often have I seen sort of either innovation teams or even sometimes, you know, external startups and InsurTechs, there's a solution or they think that it can make a real impact, without the real feedback of thinking about an underwriter sitting there on the desk day in, day out and understanding what their frustrations are. So for us, it's always about, if we find a very interesting solution, which there are many of in this market, we immediately try to connect it with the business unit and say, look, what is the right use case in this space? And sometimes it changes, it evolves. Sometimes we nail it on day one, and then it's all about trying it, testing it and then scaling it. But I think without that discussion, it's so often that you're just peddling a solution rather than really thinking about the problem. You know, it's interesting, I see this so much now with generative AI. It's everybody's favourite topic. But again, I think I see a lot of solutions in the market where we haven't really necessarily thought about the true actual use cases. But I think thinking about it from a bottoms-up approach is what we do, and I think it's the right way so that we can take the technology, the capability, and then apply it with the right nuances for the use case.

Juan de Castro: And actually, you get two benefits out of it. The obvious one, which is the one you mentioned, is you make sure that whatever solution is aligned with the needs and the pain points of the business unit. But there's also a side effect, which is that those business units then feel the ownership because they are the ones driving the process too, in a support role to some extent.

Arslan Hannani: We talk a lot in the team about skin in the game. And interestingly, it's not just about the business unit or the enterprise team. It's also about the partner and digital startup or the solution. So we always try to come up with a model where everybody has a significant amount of skin in the game and everybody's outcomes are aligned. And that way we can make sure that if something is tested, we then have a route to scale it to. Because I'm assuming a lot of the listeners of this podcast are more into the space of innovating and trying different things. So often have we found and built a solution that then cannot be scaled, because we haven’t aligned. I don't want to call it a handover. You know what I mean? It's not like we build something and then we hand it over. But it's kind of like, let's cook together. Let's all get around the table and think about what are the ingredients that we need? How are we going to do this? What are the potential solutions? And then let's co-create that using some of our resources and our capabilities and our sort of practices. But this is not a case of I will cook something and then deliver it to you. You know what I mean?

Juan de Castro: I think that that's a great summary. I'm not going to deliver it to you. It's like I'm going to help you deliver, is it right?

Arslan Hannani: Exactly.

Juan de Castro: And the scalability, obviously, there's one component around, is it actually going to work when you deploy it? Do you ever consider the scalability of that solution across other business units above and beyond the one you're working on at a given time? Or are you happy to find a solution for a given business unit?

Arslan Hannani: Yeah, it's a tricky balance. And I quite like that question because if it's not scalable, but it can solve a real problem and it can justify the expense, then does it need to be scalable? I don't know the answer. But I know we think about it a lot. But I think what we've tried to do is that scalability is one factor when thinking about it, not the only factor. So if it's scalable or if we can come up with a way of having portability of the solution across different geographies or different lines of businesses, great. But if an independent case stops-up for a specific line of business or geography or business unit or whatever it may be, and we know it can make sense, it can have a significant impact, and we can make the business case work, but it doesn't have portability, then why not do it? But I think in that scenario, one of the challenges a lot of innovation teams get into is “Do we become a work augmentation team rather than try to bring in a different way of doing things and different solutions”? So if you do go down that path where it's not necessarily scalable, I think you have to be very careful that you're not just becoming an extra resource for a business project. This is, again, coming back to that first thing. How are you scoping that project for that engagement, how are you bringing the business unit really as a partner and the potential provider as a partner so that it's not one of those scenarios where it just becomes a standard BAU project?

Juan de Castro: So is a way of thinking about it, it's totally fine if a given business unit has a specific problem and you find a solution, which is for that business unit, it does not need to scale because the pain points of other business units might be different. And then in that case, it's totally fine to just solve a specific pain point. But obviously, if you see the same pain point supplies across different business units, you might start with one of them. But you do want that portability, right?

Arslan Hannani: Of course, in an ideal world, you would. But just because you can't, that doesn't mean the problem isn't worth solving. So it's not something that we think about after the fact, we think about that up front. Often we try to bring multiple business units or teams together to think about the solution. Let's see what are the different use cases, but it's not a prerequisite.

Juan de Castro: I like that point because even though it, obviously at a very theoretical level, I'm now going against the point I just made, which I always enjoy. Even though theoretically you would want to have the same solution to address the same pain point across many different business units, the counterargument that we have also seen many times is if you then need to coordinate across 10 business units before you start making progress on a given one, then the timescales expand, multiply by 10, right?

Arslan Hannani: Exactly. And the same version of this often happens also, let's say we are looking at a potential use case that we've identified or somewhere where we think we can add a lot of value, right? And if it is an external partner we're working with, the question we often get asked is like, but have we looked at the whole market? Is this really the best solution? And sometimes the answer is: yes, it is. Sometimes the answer is: does it matter? Like if they can solve your use case and we know they're good at it and they have the reputation and the experience of solving it, like if we're ticking all these other boxes, does it truly actually matter that they're the best? Or is it enough of a marginal improvement on what we're thinking about that it's worth it? So as you can imagine, as a Dallas-Fort Worth company, like a large public listed carrier, there's a lot of factors that we have to think about if a partner is appropriate for us and if it's not. And a lot of it has to do with reputation, like ready for enterprise engagement. Because as you know, Juan, with large carriers, the sales cycle is very long. And it's by design because we have a lot of checks and balances. But this point around, is this the best solution? Again, it's one of the factors, but it's not a prerequisite. I'd rather have somebody who's done something 10 times at an 80% excellent solution, rather than somebody who has a 100% great solution, but has only tried it once or has never tried it before.

Juan de Castro: I mean, this is always the theory versus reality tension. And as you were describing that, totally resonates. The best analogy I can find is when you're hiring for a given role, and then you find somebody who you think is brilliant for the role, but it might be the first candidate you've even interviewed. Then I sometimes have these conversations with our board, okay, but how many other people have you interviewed? Well, it doesn't matter. Sometimes when you find the right fit right away by obviously you're taking a bit of risk.

Arslan Hannani: I like that analogy, Juan, because it resonates with me, but also it's quite similar in the InsurTech world, right? But when you meet that first candidate they often become a benchmark, I think a lot of times that makes you think that way is really a cultural fit. It's not about, oh, X, Y, Z, like exact bullet points of experience or education. It's really, I think, at least for me, somebody, you know, within a team, I think about culture fit really, really high. It's exactly the same when we talk about vendors and we talk about startups and insurtechs. Cultural fit for us is, in my personal opinion, probably the highest single factor to think about, will this entity or company or whatever, firstly be able to persevere through our checks and balances because they are strong. But secondly, if the cultural fit isn't there, it's really hard then to seal the solution too. So it's like at the end of the day, we are a people business and you have to make sure that that piece fits. Again, going back to the point, one of the first things we try to do when we see an interesting solution is to try to get the right people in the room face to face to say, let's get to know each other's energies as well as the technology and solutions, because that way if we're all aligned to what our actual inherent problems are.

Juan de Castro: We'll crack it together.

Arslan Hannani: Exactly.

Juan de Castro: So I was having a very similar conversation with another insurer a few weeks ago. So they were talking about selecting a technology and InsurTech provider. And they were saying, in this landscape where technology moves so fast, how do you make sure you're making the right decision? And what they were saying is, you're selecting the right partner. What they were saying is, more and more, that cultural fit. More and more, you're placing, obviously, a bet on the technology itself, as much as you're placing a bet on the team. Is this team going to be able to move fast and as technology evolves, be on it mid-term, right?

Arslan Hannani: Which, by the way, is very similar to how we operate as an enterprise team. For us, it's not necessarily about, here are the bells and whistles of the innovation process. We do have that. But really, what we try to do is curate a group of people that can build really strong relationships with the business units, really understand their strategies, what they're working on, what their pain points are. And then come back and think about it from a sort of a different viewpoint, you know what I mean, from an enterprise lens. So even with that culture fit, even within an organisation, it's important if you have an enterprise and a BU collaboration to make sure that we all really understand each other's pinpoints and motivations and what success should look like.

Juan de Castro: And shifting gears a bit, perhaps, Arslan in terms of innovation, especially in an insurance company, you can talk about product innovation, you can talk about ways of working, internal process innovation. How do you allocate time? Is your strategy geared more toward one or the other? How do you think about that?

Arslan Hannani: The first thing I would say, Juan, is whatever it is today, it needs to always evolve. You can't set it and forget it. I and the team think about the horizons. Like Horizon 1, 2, 3. And I appreciate different people define those 3 Horizons a little differently, but whatever the lowest common denominator definition is. We're not here to disrupt insurance, right? Like we're not here to do Horizon 3. We need to have a line of sight to it. We need to focus some energy on it. But I would say our goal is to be 70% working on Horizon 1 type of things. But I know you've been in a business unit. I've been in a business unit. I think we understand the pressure of running a business and hitting your numbers and all the complexities that BUs have to manage. When we talk about 70% Horizon 1, it's not to replace their BAU activity or in-flight stuff. It is to think about 70% of those problems with a slightly different lens and a different viewpoint with the different capabilities and different access to the market to insurtechs and so on. But how can I solve that sort of creatively? So for us, I get far more motivated personally if it's like, here is something that we found. For example, let's take Cytora. We know what kind of potential improvement that could bring to the underwriting process. That for me is really a Horizon 1. And it's exciting because we can make a difference to the life of our underwriters who are there day in, day out risk assessing and really ultimately creating shareholder value for us. The Horizon 3 thing, we need to have a line of sight to it. We need to make sure that we look at it when we see the urgency and the burning platform. But it's not something that there are other people out there with different motivations that should be thinking about that, not necessarily an enterprise innovation team.

Juan de Castro: And then in terms of the focus on, so even if you take that 70% focus on Horizon 1, is everything in scope? So do you help business units both in terms of innovating in the way they do things as well as things like product innovation? Or is it more on the former?

Arslan Hannani: It's all of the above. We have to sort of be a jack of all trades with sort of box lists in a way. We do try to think about what's happening outside. That's a view that we bring in if we see something happening differently. That may be product, that may be process, it may be technology, it may be how we work, any of the above. So we try to bring that line of sight in. And also I'm trying to understand that whatever is happening in the marketplace and externally, what's the applicability of that within our company's culture and our structure? So sometimes it's nearly like a translator role. Like you see something happening, it could be interesting, but what does that mean for us? What does that mean in our world? And we try to do a lot of that work and then try to sort of bring our partners along to say, hey, this could be worthwhile. Or, hey, this is something that you should let us worry about for the next couple of years. You don't have to worry about it. It will tell you when you should.

Juan de Castro: And you mentioned just a few minutes ago, the challenge of business units being so focused on running the business, on delivering their targets. So often, I wouldn't call it blockers, but there are two of the reasons why probably business units cannot do more innovation. One is capacity. Do they have enough time to just even think about it? And the second one is funding. Do they want to use part of their own funding to fund one of these projects? So how do you address those two things, capacity and funding? You've touched a little already on the capacity and how your team supports them. And perhaps if we can talk about that and the funding aspect, that would be helpful.

Arslan Hannani: I absolutely love both of those challenges. It actually motivates us. The way we think about it is, both on capacity and funding, there is a set hurdle rate that you have to hit. Juan, I've been in situations where you can't find the funding or the capacity. In my mind, that means we didn't sell the idea well enough. We didn't do the business case properly enough. We didn't really motivate the partners enough. We didn't create the urgency or the burden platform. There have been times when we have done all those things and both investment resources and capacity unlocks. But you have to hit the hurdle rate. So we try to be quite clear about what is that hurdle rate for this specific thing. What is the bar that we have to hit? How do we then de-risk that decision for the business unit to say, okay, even though I am incredibly busy, but this is worth it. That's our job. We need to make sure that they feel like it's worth it to invest. Because again, if we don't hit that hurdle rate, and then we go off in a separate environment and try to build it, I just don't see that as a scalable thing.

Juan de Castro: So almost the fact that you can overcome those challenges of funding and capacity is by itself a good signal on whether something is worthwhile pursuing.

Arslan Hannani: Absolutely. And don't get me wrong, like, many times we don't. And then we need to go back to the drawing board and think about maybe this isn't the right time. Maybe this isn't the right technology or right capability. Maybe it's not the right business case. That's okay. That means we just need to keep an eye out on it, and we need to keep working harder and we need to keep thinking about, can we hit that hurdle rate? But I don't think it's fair to try to bargain or complain about the hurdle rate. Because without the business units, we wouldn't survive. You know what I mean? So we should be able to get them over the line.

Juan de Castro: So that should be your performance evaluation. KPI for the end of the year? How many times have you managed to bring something that excites and creates a burning platform enough for the business units to then be willing to spend money and capacity on it?

Arslan Hannani: I can give you an example of this. I won't go into too many details, but we've been working on a couple of use cases around Gen AI. And our mission as a team has been, to de-risk this so that the business unit or function can then unlock the right resources and capacity to go after it. And that's what we did. We create a time-balanced program with quite specific KPIs and OKRs. And we think about how we create a test or a trial or some kind of a POC where we can convince the function or the business unit that this is worth it, but the decision is ultimately up to them. But that's the sort of attitude we take. And we think about, let's make sure that we hit that hurdle rate. So if we think it's worth it, the resources will unlock themselves.

Juan de Castro: One of the very interesting things you've told me in the past is when I ask you about funding, et cetera, is that you do have some sort of central innovation fund, but you haven't used it. Tell me more about that.

Arslan Hannani: Yeah, I mean, I think it's important to have the optionality as an enterprise team. I think having to use it for the appropriate thing is also great. In an ideal world, we don't use it at all, right? Because if we can hit that hurdle rate, then why? So instead of using it completely, what we try to do is, again, in the spirit of partnership, we say, right, how can both us as an enterprise innovation team, the function of the BU and the startup all have skin in the game? And we try to think about that from a budget and a resource perspective. But if we were here in a central team, just building things without the scalability with our own budget, I think that's bordering on sort of irresponsible.

Juan de Castro: Yeah. Because you wouldn't get that signal, that burning platform signal. 

Arslan Hannani: And sometimes it's really frustrating. Sometimes we are so convinced that this is the right thing to do, but we can't hit that hurdle rate. And that's a must thing as an enterprise innovation team. We have to be like, all right, let's go back and think about how do we make the benefits even better? How do we make the cost lower or the resource demand lower? How do we really dive deep into the strategy and see where this adds value? And if we still can't do it, then we know, all right, this is a pause, move on, and come back and think about it when the environment's a little different.

Juan de Castro: Let's just bring all this to life now, this is extremely fascinating. And some of the points you're making are initially counterintuitive, but I think they make a lot of sense in terms of how you drive innovation in a way that you've got enough signals that you're actually driving value to the business units. I know in the past you've structured this innovation in slightly different ways. And sometimes you've acquired the company, sometimes you partner. Give us an overview of the different structures you have in place and then some examples of when it's been successful.

Arslan Hannani: Yeah, sure. So we're not the only ones in the company doing that. So I think the first thing to recognise is that when we have a sort of an engagement or an idea that we are working on in partnership with the business units, then we try to be flexible in terms of the approach of how we solve it. That could go all the way from a strategic partnership to a supplier or a tech vendor all the way to M&A. The goal is never M&A for us. That's not the ultimate thing, but in some cases, it does make sense. So one of the spaces that we've been very excited about and thinking about how do we maximise our opportunity and potential here, was the cyberspace tier. And working with our specialty business unit, we really thought about, first of all, well, what do we understand about this space? How do we think this space is going to evolve? And so, this is my own personal thing, but Juan, I generally think cyber is going to be one of the biggest lines of businesses by the end of my career. I may be naive for thinking about that, but some part of me really does think that it is going to be the case. The other thing I think we all sort of understood was cyber is very much an indemnity product today, but it's going to have to become more and more preventative. The way I make it make sense in my mind, in my very simple mind, is there's not new types of property fire being invented today, but there are new types of cyber threats and risks being invented every single day. So you need to have a really healthy dose of prevention. Now, with that theory, right, and making sure that we think about that in a very responsible way, in a long-term, sustainable way, we started thinking, right, what's out there in the market? And do we want to build, buy or partner? And what do we want to do? We sort of started with a PowerPoint slide talking about this space. Then we were involved throughout the whole build, buy, partner sort of analysis, identifying the potential partners and potential acquisition targets to making first contact all the way to acquisition. 

Juan de Castro: Arslan, when you started this process, did you have a cyber team in-house or not yet?

Arslan Hannani: Yeah, and we absolutely worked in partnership with them. And actually, they're the experts who knew the space. So it was more about supplementing their thinking rather than anything else. And then it was about, you know, we went down a path and we went down a path where we thought, you know, maybe a buy option could be sensible amongst others. And then really what I think happened was we found a partner that had such a great cultural fit that we were like, this makes a lot of sense. And we're like, it's the people, the capability, the way Corvus sort of ran and their deep appreciation of the science of underwriting. We thought this was the right thing. But as you can imagine, thinking it and feeling it is very different to actually making it happen. But then again, our team, we have to be very flexible and really put the business unit in, you know, they're leading this process. We have to make sure that we support them and make sure that we get it to a point where that decision is up to us and we can do it.

Juan de Castro: And in this case, so you started with a cyber team, a Travelers cyber team, did this acquisition. How do you make the decision on do you let this acquired company keep on running separately? Do you merge the capabilities with your existing team? What do you think about that?

Arslan Hannani: It's a tough question. It's an interesting question. I don't think there's one recipe for them all. It's different if you're an MGA or if you're a SaaS or if you're a distribution-led or if you're underwriting-led. In this case, I don't necessarily want to comment on what will happen because we're in the process of it. But I can tell you that there are many things that we think the Travelers can add value to Corvus. Equally, there are many, many things we think Corvus can add value to us. So it's about coming up with our own recipe. Every carrier, at least in my experience, is so different culturally and structurally and quite unique as an entity on their own, especially the large ones. Similarly, what I'm realising is that a lot of the insurtechs are very, very different from each other. It depends on who the makeup of the people are, what their priorities, what their motivations are. Just trying to come up with, well, and I don't want this to sound like what's the lowest common denominator? That's not the case. Actually, how do we make sure that we unlock both pieces and make one plus one equal five? And I think once you have that as an objective, a lot of the noise sort of goes away and you really start becoming quite objective about, okay, this is what we need to do on this side. This is what we should be doing on this side. And this is how we can attack the market together. So it's not an easy process. It's tough. But if we do another acquisition, I'm sure a lot of the learnings will be relevant, but the process and the thinking will not be.

Juan de Castro: So at the end, what you're doing is really tailoring the process and the way you look at it, depending on what makes sense, right?

Arslan Hannani: Absolutely. And different carriers will think about it differently. Some may think about it, oh, I always sort of acquire and digest and integrate. Some say, you know, it's all about bolt on. It's all about different things that are sitting outside. But I think it depends on the culture of the organisation and what are we really thinking about? What's the long term goal? Making sure we don't lose sight of that.

Juan de Castro: So that is an example of an acquisition. You've also got some very successful partnerships. Perhaps give us an example of that, of a successful partnership.

Arslan Hannani: Yeah, sure. So there's so many great partnerships that we have as Travelers, like one that I'm personally quite proud of last year was a partnership with Ki, the algorithmic provider in the London market. I remember it was three or four years ago, we actually started with writing a report about Ki internally and being like, what is going on in this space? What is actually happening? And what we realised was that there's both an OPEX opportunity, a marketplace opportunity, and not an OPEX, but more of a doing things slightly differently opportunity in Lloyd's space. And I think what we found with Ki was they attacked all three of those really well, really sophisticated. But one, the impressive thing about them is that at their core, they are underwriters. They are there to grow profitably. And what they've built in terms of technology and a marketplace just adds to that. So it's not a technology company with underwriting, it's an underwriting company with great tech. Especially in the Lloyd's space, I just think it's such an opportunity for so many carriers to think about doing things differently and sort of really do meaningful innovation. So it took us a while because it was quite an unusual thing, right? Like, I think we were one of the first two partners on their marketplace. We helped them launch it. Again, the Lloyd's market, we are active, we have a syndicate, but we're not necessarily looking at all the lines of businesses that Ki did and all the sort of nuances that they had. But now I think we've got an absolutely fantastic relationship that I think can scale too. We know what's coming through it. We know the kind of risks that they're after. We have a really, really close partnership in terms of how we go to market. So yeah, it's pretty exciting. And I just generally think of the algorithmic underwriting space, at first, when we started talking about it, a lot of people got nervous because they thought, oh, this is about replacing underwriters. I feel like you must get this a lot at Cytora sometimes, right? Actually, it's not at all about replacing underwriters. It's about making them sharper, more efficient, more sophisticated, making the jobs easier so they can focus on the good stuff. Whereas what I think the Ki platform can do is help us, A, bring a bunch of volume, but also good volume, and help our underwriters think about it on a different level and think about curating a portfolio rather than thinking about each individual risk every time. But there's a space for that, of course. But in this, we saw the opportunity of scaling deferral.

Juan de Castro: But it's also fascinating, as I was listening to your explanation of your partnership with Ki, how you were talking as much about what they do as much as about who they were. So they are underwriters who get technology, good cultural fit. I think this goes back to the very beginning of our conversation, innovation has a component about the product or the partnership, but it's a component. And ultimately, you're professionally getting married to a new group of people. And there needs to be that cultural fit.

Arslan Hannani: Juan, sometimes I feel like I'm simplifying it too much. It's like it's so much about culture. But the partnership we did with Ki, it took a while. It took a while for us to really understand them. This was not a case of like, this wasn't an RFP or this wasn't like, we want to do this, get us on your platform. None of that. This was a, let's get your smartest and our smartest in a room together multiple times and figure out this opportunity and see what the art of the possible is. See how one plus one can equal five. And it was through multiple iterations of that and multiple back and forth, but it was co-created nearly. It wasn't a, oh, here's this opportunity, let's just sign up to it. I think those are the types of partnerships that tend to not be sustainable.

Juan de Castro: Arslan, I kicked off this episode saying I was really looking forward to having this chat with you. I really enjoyed it and you definitely have not disappointed. I always find chatting with you being very thoughtful. And I think the way you bring complex thinking and you explain it in a way that is very easy to understand is just brilliant. So all I can say is thank you so much for joining me.

Arslan Hannani: Thank you for having me. This was fascinating. And as lead up to this, I've become a big fan of your podcast. So it's great that you're doing it. And I think you've got some really fascinating topics on there. So thank you for having me.

Juan de Castro: Fantastic. Talk to you soon. Cheers, Arslan.

Arslan Hannani: Thank you.