“It will be a fantastic exchange of ideas in insurance” Dr. Moritz Finkelnburg sharing his experience switching from insurance boardrooms to the start-up world

To give a short personal impression: let us know what are your top 3 books everyone today needs to read and top 3 tech gadgets one needs to have?

A good question in the times of Kindle…but you won’t get some recommendations on economic or digital books…sorry! You get something to reflect during a digital coffee-break: I recommend Khalil Gibran’s „The Prophet“, „In the shadow of the wind“ from Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Madeline Albright’s Auto-Biography.

My gadgets…uff, should ask my kids…I depend – like most of all – on my smartphone, laptop and – my newest acquisition – a pocket-beamer!

How do you estimate the state of the insurance industry?

Traditional, dry, lack of humor, conservative, reliable, innovation-averse

A lot of traditional companies are struggling to adapt to the rapid changes we witness today. In your opinion, what do you think are the biggest chances for traditional companies to use the digital transformation as a chance? What are the biggest hurdles?

Chances? Well, they chave the chance to modernize and digitize their value chain effectively and to restructure completely their customer approach. Hurdles? Themselves…

You have been an insurance c-suite with a long and impressive career: What motivated you to dedicate yourself to the European Insurtech ecosystem?

It happend by chance. If I would have stayed in my old-economy-management-life I would still have no clue about digitization and interest in this mega-topic. By jumping out of my basket and entering the business school to establish new digital structures, programs, MBAs my new life started. Today a lot of startup-founders are lecturers in our programs and provide unique insights into the digital world. For me it is a suprising story that just began…

The announcement of the Global Insurtech Roadshow made some splash because you as organizer put together the who-is-who of the German insurtech scene and partnered with the Asian insurtech ecosystem. You also attracted some of the most renown and some of the freshest start-ups. How did you manage that? And what can people attending your roadshow expect?

The idea came up when George Kesselman from InsurTech Asia, Simon Schneider from Maschmeyer Group and I were sharing a plate of Frankfurt’s famous „Green Sauce“ at our faculty restaurant. George told me about his last  roadshow with 20 startups presenting them in 5 different Asian countries and it soon was obvious that we had to do the same here in Frankfurt. That was the beginning and it developed uncredibly until now. We will see startups from around the whole world – starting in Auckland/New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Moscow or Los Angeles… it will be a fantastic exchange of creative ideas around the insurance business.

And yes – all major German InsurTech Pioneers will be there and will  present their younger international colleagues . I love this little charming idea and they were enthusiastic when I asked them to do it…

There are a few insurtech and innovation events and conferences in Central Europe. What makes your stand out and why should start-ups and corporates attend?

Indeed – there are so many fascinating roadshows around that we can hardly compete…If you see for example Exec, DIA, Noah or Digisurance…perfectly organized, extremely professional and a great chance for younger startups tp present their business models. However – the conference that impressed me most was Erika Krizsan „Magic of Innovation“ in Vienna. Small, almost intimate and familiar – a fantastic chance to meet people and learn about new startups. This concept really inspired me and I hope we will be able to offer the same spirit. Extremely innovative, young – never-seen-before-startups, university-feeling and non-commercial. I think all this makes us somehow different and personal…

Looking at traditional companies, start-ups and the Global Insurtech Roadshow? What can we expect in the next years?

Some digital insurance companies are entering the market at the moment. Coya, Karlsson, One… I really admire their spirit and courage and we all need their creativity. However there will be hard times until they have build up a significant portfolio and I doubt that all of them can survive the tremendous customer acquisition costs. Same with digital brokers. Pretty different might be the development of the „enablers“. They will help insurance companies to modernize their value chain and have a major role in the next years. Trends? Well, health, claims and sales are today’s most picked topics. In the near future they will be completed by Blockchain, AI-applications, social pricing and certainly Cyber. And one day we will see the first target-group-platform…

Thank you Moritz

Bio of Moritz:

Born in Berlin, Moritz is one of these rare species who combine a successful old-economy history with a completely new life in a digital world. After having spent 20 years in insurance management and holding different board positions at leading insurance companies he decided to switch to Goethe Business School in Frankfurt. He leads the completely digitally focussed insurance practice and has in the meantime become one of the most relevant digital influencers in the German insurance landscape. Almost invisible, he is one of the major networkers „behind the curtain“, bringing together startups, investors, insurers and enablers. He is a demanded speaker at InsurTech-conferences and publishes in several digital newsletters. Additionally he is specialized in consulting insurance companies how to digitize their value chain.

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