Ark Syndicate Management Ltd had just a few months from foundation to be ready for business. Ark gained approval from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and Lloyd’s Franchise Board but had only a short span of time to implement a system. “We were under a great deal of pressure to be compliant and ready for business,” said Nick Bonnar, director of underwriting for Ark. “A critical step was getting FSA and Lloyd’s approval of our underwriting systems.” The solution had to be affordable to a start-up, yet scalable and flexible for the future. Any supplier had to recognise that there was a certain amount of financial risk associated with working with Ark prior to its launch, as ultimately plans could have been shelved. The supplier had also to be completely trusted to keep details of the potential new agency confidential.
The N-DEX Suite is a specialised underwriting application. It is designed to meet both the current and future needs of London Market Insurers. “We selected N-DEX as it is already well proven in the London Market and Northdoor were confident they could get us up and running really quickly,” said Bonnar. “N-DEX Suite was customisable to fit Ark’s initial and ongoing needs and offered ample scalability for future growth.” That Ark could own its copy of N-DEX Suite was also attractive. Given the critical nature of the software to Ark, this would give it greater control and flexibility than licensing a packaged solution owned by a vendor. N-DEX Suite may be hosted by the customer or at a dedicated hosting site. “We wanted the solution to be hosted, managed and supported by an external provider, enabling us to focus on underwriting insurance risks, rather than running IT,” said Bonnar. “For us, Northdoor had all the answers.”