Insurtech Gateway welcomes three new female mentors

Insurtech Gateway Australia has boosted the power and knowledge behind its incubation program with the addition of three new female industry leaders and mentors.

Leanne Angell, Alana Burton and Danica Bunch will bring their expertise in finance, business development and public relations to the insurtech start-up space.

Find out more about these talented women and what drives them below.

Alana Burton

Numbers Wizard

Alana has close to 20 years’ experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry including as CFO and director of Equator Re (QBE’s internal captive reinsurer) and Financial Controller of QBE Australia Pacific.  Currently Alana is CFO and board member at an ecommerce start-up which she has helped guide through pre-seed and seed capital raises, product launch and scale-up.  She has in-depth experience in reinsurance, capital management, risk, financial reporting, planning and analysis.  She is also an experienced director.

YOUR MUSE FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS?

I’ve been a fan of Marie Curie since I was a kid; a real female pioneer in her field.

Business success has never been something I have specifically aspired towards.  I have always just been passionate about delivering in whatever role I have held, been focused on bringing a great team of smart and motivated people along on the journey and worked really hard along the way.

I believe long term success will come naturally if you get it right day-to-day and continue to put yourself in challenging situations where you learn and develop.

WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO?

My family is full of mottos! Here are just a few: You only live once; There’s no such thing as can’t; Actions speak louder than words.  My favourite is probably “Why not?”.  It’s a simple, open-minded philosophy to apply to most challenges in both business and personal life.

WHAT’S THE MOST BRILLIANT THING YOU’VE DONE?

Academically speaking, being awarded the University Medal from UNSW is pretty high up on the list. But nothing can top the brilliance of bringing 3 beautiful little people into this world and helping them navigate through it.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE THAT IS BONKERS BUT PAID OFF?

Convincing my hubby to quit his job, take on primary parenting responsibilities of our 10 month-old daughter and move with me to the other side of the world, to a small country neither of us had stepped foot in, so I could accept a CFO role in Bermuda.  It was the most rewarding role I’ve held to date and also a pretty awesome place to live for a few years!

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR INSURTECH?

There remains a challenge around how to slot into the legacy architecture of market incumbents, at scale.   Despite the value that insurtech can create for partner organisations, there remains significant roadblocks for existing players in optimising value from insurtech across a broad range of services within the value chain.  The evolution of a digital enablement platforms will be a game changer for insurtech and incumbents alike.

 

Leanne Angell

The Business whisperer

Leanne is an insurtech founding member, a senior portfolio manager and a business development specialist.
Her insurance skill sets include product and process design, pricing, underwriting, analytics, telematics, insurance system and app development.
She is passionate about breaking new ground and has the courage, persistence, and an unfaltering drive to solve problems and build something special from building innovative new products to transforming under-performing portfolios.
Some of the highlights of Leanne’s career to date include, establishing a telematics-based Car Insurance business, designing and building two unique car insurance products using distance and driving behaviour and building a world-class Home Insurance rating capability.

 

YOUR MUSE FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS?

I draw inspiration from whoever is around me or go looking for inspiration and motivation when I recognise the need. Seeking out an expert (or podcast) in that area or just verbalising my thoughts to a good listener works for me.

WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO?

There are a few phrases and questions that I like to consider, especially when in challenging situations:

“There is a solution to every problem” (some just take longer to find than others!)

“What is the worst that can happen?” (for when fear is getting in my way)

“Innovation is of no use unless it’s used” (great ideas are just ideas until they are built into something people can use)

“What is the right thing to do?” (for tough decisions that will impact others)

WHAT’S THE MOST BRILLIANT THING YOU’VE DONE?

Having two kids and surviving parenthood, while working full time and building a career. We can all be brilliant in our own way.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE THAT IS BONKERS BUT PAID OFF?

I am not the type to make impulsive decisions so I wouldn’t do something I thought was bonkers. That doesn’t mean I don’t take risks or make quick decisions.  I consider the situation, make a decision, then go for it and put everything into it. I have taken a number of roles that no one else wanted or that paid less and declined higher paying jobs to work for a start-up.  They were not always the best financial or career moves, but those decisions meant I learnt more than taking the safer, easier path. I don’t regret those decisions – they have made me who I am and who I want to be.

 

Danica Bunch

The storyteller

Danica has held a range of leadership roles in both government and the private/commercial sector managing public affairs, advocacy and advising on government relations. Danica is based in regional NSW and has developed a wide range of networks across the community, government, academia, business, and industry. Danica is a strong networker and influencer, adept at building both internal and external relationships that enhance her effectiveness in achieving outcomes.

Danica has honed her skills for working with both ‘at risk’ and complex organisational and contractual challenges, being able to troubleshoot the issues and implement strategies. This work has extended to more recent strategy advice on a consultancy basis for the private sector and commercial organisations.

Her talent and passion for strategic communications and PR have supported Insurtech Gateway founders build strong relationships, reputations and storytelling to succeed.

 

YOUR MUSE FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS?

The greatest muse or inspiration has been to work and advise in the start-up ecosystems. It’s been fabulous to work with those who have the passion and drive for disruption, fast growth and social impact.

WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO?

No pressure – no diamonds

WHAT’S THE MOST BRILLIANT THING YOU’VE DONE?

I am incredibly proud of the career I forged in the government sector and the implementation of initiatives and projects that positively impact upon and change peoples lives economically and socially. .

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE THAT IS BONKERS BUT PAID OFF?

Ten years ago I took a secondment opportunity to work in remote locations in the Northern Territory. During a time when telecommunications and technology was limited, it was an incredible lesson in stepping out of my comfort zone, testing my resilience, and embracing opportunity where ever it may be. I thrived personally and achieved professionally some incredible outcomes.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE BIGGEST BARRIERS FOR INSURTECH?

One of the challenges in the disciplines I have worked across in the Insurtech eco-system has been the communication, messaging and education of the Insurtech concepts. The projects and stories from the founders have been the best way to illustrate what is possible and the solutions that are being developed.

WHAT’S THE NEXT BIG THING?

I am being blown away everyday with what seems to be endless opportunity. I do however see a clear correlation between social challenges and Insurtech solutions.