SOURCE: Global Insurance Accelerator

Global Insurance Accelerator

October 02, 2017 11:15 ET

Global Insurance Accelerator Welcomes W. R. Berkley Corporation as New Investor

DES MOINES, IA--(Marketwired - October 02, 2017) - The Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA), the world's first business accelerator focused solely on innovation and technology for the insurance industry, is pleased to announce that W. R. Berkley Corporation (W. R. Berkley), an insurance holding company recognized as one of the largest commercial lines writers in the U.S., will join the GIA Board of Directors through a commitment to be an investor.

Founded in 1967 and based in Greenwich, Connecticut, today W. R. Berkley has more than 50 operating units across the globe. W. R. Berkley's investment will help fund the GIA's annual, 100-day program, and operating unit, Continental Western Group (CWG), will likely be the first contributor of staff to participate as program mentors.

"There are many accelerators in which we could have chosen to participate," said W. Robert Berkley, Jr., president and CEO of W. R. Berkley Corporation. "We recognize the insurance-specificity the GIA offers, and we are looking forward to contributing expertise from Berkley to the startups and entrepreneurs participating in the program going forward, and to those who are already part of the GIA network today. This kind of partnership offers countless opportunities for exposure to new ways of thinking, innovative ideas, and emerging technologies."

The GIA's annual program invites insurance technology (InsurTech) startups to Des Moines for a 100-day, immersive insurance experience, during which program mentors provide business coaching as well as exposure to insurance company operations, focused line of business (LOB) insight, and access to potential additional investors. Each April, cohort companies graduate by pitching onstage in front of Global Insurance Symposium attendees.

"I want to welcome W. R. Berkley as a GIA investor," said Jeff Russell, president of Delta Dental of Iowa and the GIA Board Chairman. "Each new insurer investor brings greater depth to the expertise the GIA delivers to cohort companies, and W. R. Berkley's strength in commercial lines property and casualty insurance, as well as reinsurance, will be a great asset to the program. Our startup teams will benefit from their global presence and the variety of specialty insurance represented by the Berkley operating units."

The GIA investors, now including W. R. Berkley, not only have an opportunity to acquire a financial stake in some of the top InsurTech startups in the world, but can also expect to influence the early business and product evolution of cohort companies. As a part of the GIA, insurer investors are often exposed to the newest industry-specific technology trends ahead of formal product launches, and, are therefore better positioned against modern competitors operating in the same markets.

W. R. Berkley joins the GIA's existing investor group, which includes American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, Delta Dental of Iowa, EMC Insurance, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance of Iowa, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, IMT Insurance Company, Markel Corporation, Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company, and Principal Financial Group.

For information on becoming an investor in the GIA, or on applying for the 2018 GIA program, please visit www.globalinsuranceaccelerator.com.

About the Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA)
Launched in 2015, the Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA) fosters innovation in and for the insurance industry via a mentor-driven, 100-day program. GIA supports an annual cohort by providing each graduate company $40K of seed money in exchange for six percent equity. During the program, cohort members get insurance-specific mentoring via 1:1 meetings with industry executives, as well as basic business infrastructure assistance, coaching on garnering investments, and product-specific insights into strategies for increasing applicability to and feasibility for the insurance industry. The GIA extended network includes insurance company investors, startups and mentors from across the global business and insurance communities. For more details please visit www.globalinsuranceaccelerator.com.

ABOUT W. R. BERKLEY CORPORATION
Founded in 1967, W. R. Berkley Corporation is an insurance holding company that is among the largest commercial lines writers in the United States and operates worldwide in two segments of the property casualty business: Insurance and Reinsurance. For more information, visit http://www.wrberkley.com/.

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