Insights from Wellthie
We are thrilled to announce we have hired D. Orlando Keise to serve as Wellthie’s Chief Technology Officer. Effective immediately, Keise will lead Wellthie’s technology and product teams, building upon the innovation we bring to the medical and ancillary insurance distribution market.
Keise joins Wellthie with 15+ years leading technology teams in the highly competitive fintech industry, bringing the lessons he learned in fintech to the insurtech space. Most recently, Keise was responsible for marketing technology at LearnVest and Northwestern Mutual. Keise brings to Wellthie a deep background in building products with creative technology solutions, from new marketing experimentation platforms to trading systems with billions of dollars in transaction volume and vast amounts of data. Keise also has prior experience aligning product design, end user experience, data analytics, and engineering.
“During our stage of rapid growth, we are excited to have such a seasoned technology leader as D. Orlando as our new CTO,” said Sally Poblete, Founder and CEO, Wellthie. “We are laser focused on bringing transformative technology solutions that simplify the outdated and cumbersome processes in insurance distribution while offering scalable and high performing solutions to our customers and partners. D. Orlando has the unique combination of experience driving innovation and deep expertise building and integrating complex systems.”
“Wellthie has been recognized in the industry for developing technology-forward solutions in a gigantic industry ripe for change,” said Keise. “So much exciting work lies ahead in Wellthie’s mission to simplify insurance distribution given the vast opportunity. I’m thrilled to join an exceptional team with deep insurance expertise and focus on expanding the leading product Wellthie offers to brokers and insurance carriers.”
The addition of Keise’s expertise and leadership comes at a pivotal time for Wellthie, as we prepare to release our most comprehensive product yet: Wellthie Small Group. The first-of-its-kind marketplace and sales optimization platform will transform the way brokers quote, guide, and enroll small business customers in the insurance that best serves their needs and budget. Leveraging advanced algorithms and an intuitive user experience, Wellthie Small Group offers expanded product offerings from leading insurance carriers, and shortens the sales cycle so forward-thinking brokers and carriers can maximize their sales opportunity across multiple insurance lines.
Stayed tuned in the coming weeks for a meet-and-greet with D. Orlando!
Today we have the pleasure of introducing you to AJ Black, Wellthie’s Director of Sales. AJ has been with Wellthie for over one year, focusing on broker and General Agency relationships on the East Coast. AJ – an Atlanta native and proud graduate / lifelong fan of THE Ohio State University – chatted with us to share his take on the industry’s outlook, trends, and top-performing brokers.
Tell us about yourself, AJ.
Hi! I’m a 20+ year veteran of the benefits industry. That includes being a wholesaler, broker, and an insurtech sales leader. I’m a self-admitted insurance-dork, but what can I say – I love it!
You’ve spent a lot of time in the insurance industry. What trends today are shaping the future of insurance?
Aside from what is happening in Washington? Just kidding. The rise in insurtech is an unprecedented change not just for the insurance industry, but for the way health care is distributed. Brokers and agents that adopt technology will be the winners.
What can brokers do to stay on top of these trends?
Great brokers are always asking the question “What’s next?” so it’s vital that every broker stay informed. Trade magazines like EBN are always helpful. Our partner, Elevate Benefits, is also a great resource. In the blogosphere, Benefits Pro and Insurance Thought Leadership is regularly publishing great pieces.
What are some tips and tricks of the most successful brokers you’ve worked with?
The common denominator amongst successful brokers is their ability to work efficiently. Whether that means having the right team members to delegate important tasks, or embracing technology, it allows them to attract and retain clients to continue to grow.
How would you describe the broker of the future?
Brokers of the future are the first to acknowledge that change is happening fast in the industry. These brokers see technology not as a threat – but as an ally – and use it to work smarter and more profitably every day.
If you had to give one piece of advice to brokers that want to become a broker of the future, what would you say?
Technology is completely changing the way insurance is distributed. The fact is, technology has to be embraced for an agent to become a true broker of the future. As a former broker myself, I know it can be overwhelming sorting through the numerous technology offerings on the market today. When looking for these partners, it’s important to find a team of insurance leaders that understand the world and pain points you’re living in. With the right team, you’ll find that most of your pain points can be addressed with the help of a few simple-to-use tools.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more meet-and-greets with the Wellthie team!
A startling statistic is rattling industries worldwide: 7 percent of jobs will cease to exist due to automation. The fear that underlies this unspoken truth is that no job or industry is immune to machine learning. This is becoming even more apparent in the world of insurance where major groundwork and investment is being devoted to the mining of big data and consumer analytics automation.
While technology powers the automation of data-driven results and decision support in the insurance industry, many things can’t be solved by an algorithm. What brokers can do today to compete with AI and automation is to simply tap into what is already allowing them to thrive: expertise, education and explanation, empathy, and embracing what will accelerate their business into the future.
When it comes to a major financial decision like insurance coverage, it comes as no surprise that group or individuals look to experts in the field to help. Brokers are the go-to expert for thousands of individuals and businesses and provide years of invested knowledge and field experience that cannot be replicated elsewhere, including the smartest of technology. With their honed expertise, brokers are able to assist their clients with their current needs and anticipate what lies ahead.
Education and explanation
The expertise of brokers leads to their most cited need when it comes to insurance: education. The complexity of the insurance industry, coupled with the lack of transparency, means that brokers are not only the window into insurance policies but also the chief communicator to their clients. Being the “chief communicator” also comes with the responsibility of the role of the “translator.” While businesses and individuals are bombarded with information from insurance companies or details on their policies, brokers act as the guide to answer questions and synthesize the information provided in clear language.
Perhaps the most human experience of all is that of empathy. Empathy may be a buzz word in the tech world, where developers are striving to keep up with the user experience or decision support, yet no technology can tap the conscious human experience of relating to one another. When it comes to clients struggling with managing payroll, growing a business, and understanding and complying with regulations, brokers are on the front lines to manage it all. Not only can brokers relate to their clients’ struggles, they see these struggles every day and can offer trusted support, not just services, to their clients.
Good brokers are able to tap into their expertise to provide education, explanation and empathy to their clients; but truly great brokers take it one step further: they embrace the future of their industry. Instead of fearing change, these brokers are change agents, constantly looking for better and faster ways to deliver better and faster results for their clients. Change agents are empowered by the potential of technology.
These brokers thrive because they embrace the combination of technology and human interaction and are ready to be the brokers of the future.
This post originally appeared in BenefitsPro Broker Innovation Lab.