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The same challenge, from a new perspective: My first three months at hx

Team Updates, Recruitment, Talent & Culture, Operations4Mins
2021-10-28Written by Laura Wynch

Laura, our Head of Operations, tackles her motivations behind joining hx and looks at some of the overlaps between her working life before and after insurtech

One of the hardest things to do at hx is define what day to day life looks like for new joiners. Our pace of change is rapid (from start-up to scale-up in a few short years) and we intentionally hire people who are excited and eager to push us in new and exciting directions. Even our platform, Renew, is designed to be a tool that supports our customers rather than dictating how to do their job.  

After much deliberation around how to tackle this problem, we've decided to open up our blog to the people that work here. We have invited all new hx-ers to share a little about what brought them on board, and what motivates them to stay. We hope that by giving them a voice, we can shed a light on what life is like here and will inspire others who want to join our journey! 

Laura Wynch is Head of Operations at hx and for the last few months has made herself an invaluable member of the team. She is responsible for everything from defining and implementing our culture; to developing processes to support us as we grow; to celebrating our milestones. In this blog, Laura tackles her motivations behind joining hx and looks at some of the overlaps between her working life before and after insurtech.

hx's Head of Operations, Laura Wynch

A move away from the familiar 

Like many people, the pandemic was a moment of upheaval and introspection for me. For the last 13 years I have been deeply entrenched in the world of Retail – with a focus on implementing digital strategies and new technologies. I have worked for some of Europe's largest consumer brands and spent the last 5 years building my own vendor procurement platform. Suddenly, I found myself in lockdown with time on my hands and the opportunity to think about what I really wanted from my career.  

Whist I loved the experience of building my own business (and remain on the board), I was looking for a new challenge. To be more precise, I was looking to see if I could apply my learnings and experiences within the retail industry to a new ecosystem, by scaling a new type of technology. It took just one phone call with hyperexponential (hx) to make me realise they were the business that could provide this opportunity and three months later I still haven't looked back.

Transitioning from retail to insurtech 

My journey to hx began in April 2021, when I was introduced to hx’s COO. After 90 minutes of conversation covering everything from hx's ambitions to my own, and all the challenges in between I was convinced I wanted to work there. It would take a few months, more phone calls and a successful Series A round of fundraising before I would join as Head of Operations. I am aware that insurtech may not seem like a natural progression for someone who has spent such a long time in retail. However, there are some key familiarities in the way technology and new digital models are shaping both of these sectors. In hx I saw the opportunity to continue to pursue my passion for breaking down old ways of working and developing new business models underpinned by technology.

The heady days of the high street

Back in 2008, when I began my career in retail consulting, ecommerce was still in its infancy.  Omnichannel services didn’t exist and legacy technology made (indeed, continues to make) innovation difficult. It was the heyday of the high street stores, who ruled supreme against their lowly, online counterparts. To say things have changed since then would be an understatement. 

Over the last 13 years technology and new operating models have fundamentally reshaped an industry that had remained unchanged for so long. A great deal of my excitement to join hx rests in by belief that a similar watershed moment is arriving for insurers. Like retail, insurance has remained largely static until recently, as new technologies begin to fundamentally evolve the way the industry functions. Whilst some large insurance b2c businesses from Lemonade to Marshmallow and Zego have been making headlines, I have always held a deep fascination with the way b2b technologies disrupt existing organisations from the inside out.  Pricing risk is one of the core functions of insurance. For this reason, hyperexponential’s pricing software has the capacity to fundamentally shape one of the key processes on which the insurance industry is built. In short, it can play a central role in inspiring and driving this new wave of change.

hx is a company of individuals who support each other

But why hx? 

However, working life is about more than the product you are selling. What makes hx so special is a combination of its mission (developing a tech-first platform built for actuaries, by actuaries) and its people. We are a uniquely diverse set of individuals, united by a desire to continually improve hx; with the humility to challenge and be challenged in a way that benefits the growth of the business and the individual. By the time we raised our Series A, hx was still very unknown, a fact which deeply appealed to me.  It is an outward sign that hx was (and continues to be) focussed on their product as well as the needs of their customers and their colleagues. There is no ‘start-up pomp’ and their success so far speaks for itself. 

What impact has this drive and determination had on my role at hx? My core function is to proactively support the growing team and people, by developing a market-leading ops function utilising data and technology. This is no easy feat in a business looking to triple in size over the next 12 months. It means that my role evolves every day, every week, every month to support a business that doesn’t stand still for even a minute. I am excited to be part of its journey.

Interested in working with Laura?

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