Achieving end-to-end transformation of a leading insurance provider

Transformation insurance case study

Achieving end-to-end transformation of a leading insurance provider

Axe Group
The situation:

Our client is a leading global provider of life insurance solutions for companies, super funds, and individuals—operating in the United States, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. However, despite their global footprint, their retail life operation in Australia remained relatively small.

The organisation had a vision of updating their core systems in Australia to improve their market share, and as a result invested significantly in transformation projects that were ultimately unsuccessful. This led to the realisation that they couldn’t achieve their goal on their own.

Adam Hargreaves, Axe Group’s head of sales, explained. “They needed a partner that could take a different, agile approach, and guide them through the process, so they went to tender.”

The challenge:

As with many large organisations with worldwide networks, the company was focused on implementing a one-size-fits-all solution. Adam said, “While this may make sense from a global efficiency standpoint, it wasn’t necessarily the best fit for an Australian business or market environment. The prior projects were square pegs in round holes.”

What’s more, the company was risking failure by attempting to achieve a total digital transformation in one go. “The organisation was trying to take on too much,” Adam commented. “What we suggested and ultimately progressed with was a full end-to-end replacement of all their insurance systems but in an incremental way.”


The process:

Axe Group was able to leverage over twenty years of industry experience and partner closely with the client to help them build a roadmap for this incremental digital transformation, starting with their key business priorities. Adam noted, “Our institutional knowledge enabled us to move really quickly into understanding and collaboratively moulding their business requirements. This ensured we were building the right things for the right reasons and looking for ways to do things more efficiently.”

The combined project team then worked through a prioritisation process to identify where immediate benefits could be recognised—whether that was reducing the costs of running legacy systems, replacing business processes with technology, or bringing in new business.

“The drivers for the program were two-fold: the long tail was decommissioning legacy products and some of the business processes related to those products,” Adam said. “But the short-term benefit was winning new business in the retail space.”

The solution:

Since starting the journey with this client in 2020, Axe Group have been implementing the program incrementally over a three-year period.  “We expect to continue with the core transformation project for at least the next six months, and then move to a business-as-usual model to further refine the systems,” Adam stated. “What we’ve been doing is progressively deploying new functionality, with our client realising the benefits of those deployments from day one.”

While the initial phase of the program focused on speed to market, once those gains were achieved, the Axe team were able to turn their focus to ensuring platform stability and embedding processes within the organisation.

The results:

In recent years, the Australian retail life insurance industry has seen a significant drop in net profit and revenue. Yet even in these challenging market conditions, the company have tripled their annual new gross written premium for retail life insurance.  “I don’t think there’s any argument against the technology being a key contributor to the organisation’s success in growing their market share,” Adam said.

Thanks to their digital transformation, the company has now effectively outsourced their IT infrastructure, significantly reducing the cost of operating these processes internally. Adam commented, “The reality of the outcome is quite outstanding. We’ve not only achieved speed to market and the benefits of winning new business, but we’ve done it in a way that hasn’t exposed our client or their customers to any kind of unacceptable risk.”

Final thoughts:

For Adam, the key to the success of the digital transformation program lay in the strength of the partnership, and a shared strategic vision which enabled them to build on the value that they created for each other.

“Our client wanted us to create a full ecosystem, and they wanted to do it in a way that recognised that their success was deeply connected to ours as well,” he noted.


Whether you’re looking for an innovative platform to support business growth, you’re over capacity and need to outsource a project, or you’re in a jam and need a rapid solution, Axe is ready to support you.