Financial technology, a sector focused on developing new technologies to disrupt traditional financial markets, is growing rapidly. A number of fintech firms have transitioned from being a start-up to being valued at billions of dollars. But start-ups aren’t the only companies disrupting the financial services sector, as competition from established Fintechs continues to put pressure on mainstream financial institutions. One such big firm is SE2, an Eldridge portfolio company that is a leading technology and Third Party Administrator (TPA) focused on the North American life and annuity insurance industry. SE2 has had an unmatched track record in optimizing back-office operations to future-proof insurance companies using their Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) solutions.
The Inception Story
SE2 was born out of Security Benefit, a premier retirement company and industry leader with a 125-year history. Security Benefit invested in developing strong back office and technology capabilities and is steeped in the insurance domain which eventually led to SE2 becoming a separate entity, first taking on an external client in 2005. The decision to pursue this venture and enter this vertical came after the realization that there was opportunity for significant headroom growth within the life and annuity third party administration service market which at that time was penetrated less than 15%.
Headquartered in Topeka, KS, SE2 was established in the year 2005 with a vision to be the service provider of choice for the end-to-end administration of life and annuity policies. Since 2005, SE2 has gone on to become one of the largest annuity TPA providers in the industry; providing dependable, unparalleled customer experience at a low cost. They are continually investing in their state of the art technology, responding to external demands (customer or industry) and internal drivers (internal stakeholders).
Leading From the Front
Gautam Thakkar, CEO of SE2 is a seasoned leader with more than 25 years’ experience in global consulting, technology services, business operations and M&A across various industries. As a leader, Gautam drives business strategy and day-to-day execution for SE2. Gautam is deeply passionate about building and fostering a high performance energizing workplace culture and finding different ways to add value to all of SE2 employees and clients.
Prior to SE2, Gautam was the CEO of Infosys BPO where he led a global team of 30,000 professionals. Having worked for large corporations across the globe, Gautam draws upon his extensive leadership experience of having advised several clients on business transformation and organizational strategies. He is constantly seeking ways to improve the client experience and helping build SE2 into a leading technology and domain business partner to the U.S. Life and Annuity Insurance industry.
Exclusive Services by SE2
By the end of 2017, SE2 released SE2 Digital Direct Life, the first no touch, end-to-end life insurance as a service solution. It automates the entire customer acquisition process, from application to approval, from underwriting to policy issue. Customers get a streamlined, no touch online application process that takes just minutes to complete and requires just moments to get approved. Underwriting time is reduced form months to minutes and application costs are reduced by as much as 200%. SE2 Digital Direct Life is built on the SE2 Aurum Platform. Its open plug and play architecture gives insurers the flexibility to integrate with their systems and other external data sources using industry standard protocols.
Crossing the Hurdles
Back in 2000, Security Benefit Life decided to “reinvent the back office” and transformed its operations, customer service and technology platform. This eliminated legacy mainframe systems and replaced them with fully-integrated, state-of-the-art, distributed enterprise systems; streamlined financial and non-financial processes in a paperless environment. In 2004 they examined the insurance service and the technology market and determined it was both underserved and poorly served.
Later in 2005, SE2 was incorporated as a separate company to bring its solutions to the insurance market and later that year signed its first external client. SE2’s growth – and the advancements in insurance technology automation / digitization launched a significant capital program within SE2. The company calls this as its 10 X 10 strategy. They will scale the infrastructure in preparation for 10x growth – and advance the technology 10 years ahead of the industry.
The Client Base
SE2 helps clients increase speed to market, accelerate product innovation, expand into new market segments, variabilize cost of open blocks, and streamline administration cost of closed and acquired blocks. Born out of an insurance company Security Benefit Life, SE2 combines their peerless insurance industry domain knowledge with their leading-edge administration technology platform Aurum to help clients accelerate product innovation, launch products rapidly, expand into new market segments, streamline efficiencies, shift to a variable cost model and maximize profits while simplifying compliance and dramatically improving the customer experience.
At the core of everything that SE2 does and the decisions it makes is a singular focus on delivering a superior customer experience to its carrier partners, its distribution network and the end customer. SE2’s parent company, Eldridge Industries has made considerable capital investments to future proof SE2’s technology platform, Aurum, in areas such as automation, predictive and prescriptive analytics, insights driven cognitive computing, API/Service enablement and Blockchain. SE2’s goal is to stay 10 years ahead of the industry in order to provide their clients with the most innovative and state-of-the art technology platform and eco-system to stay ahead of competition.