Meet the team: Jamie Marshall, Chief Technical Officer at Generali Global Health
14 May 2018
Generali Global Health is a three-year-old corporate start-up within the global Generali Group. The team has expended rapidly since the company was launched in 2015. This month we profile Jamie Marshall, Chief Technology Officer at Generali Global Health, a member of the founding management team. We asked Jamie about his experience, role and what he likes to do when he’s not working.
What was your professional training and experience before joining Generali Global Health?
I was always very much a mathematician and scientist. Having studied mathematics at Glasgow University I launched my career as an actuarial scientist within the financial services industry, as I was fascinated by the dynamics of the financial market.
I moved from Glasgow to work for Royal Sun Alliance (RSA) in Horsham. I was particularly attracted to Sun Alliance because this gave me exposure across both the general and life insurance markets. After working in a variety of roles - including general insurance, life insurance and pensions – I qualified as an actuary. By this point, I had a very broad actuarial understanding, and moved to the international side of the business.
After qualifying, I had an opportunity to work for RSA in their South Africa operation. I moved over there at an exciting time, just after Nelson Mandela had come to power in 1996, and stayed for 18 months. The focus of the South African role was to develop the company’s unit linked business. I returned to the UK when the company was acquired, and my first child was on its way.
I stayed with RSA in a variety of strategic actuarial roles and made the move into employee benefits. From here I moved to Mercer and worked on the intermediary side of their business. This meant working closely with clients and helped me to understand the challenges they face when it comes to the health of their employees and how health insurance programmes needed to operate to overcome these. Typically, health is not an area of expertise for those who are buying private medical insurance, and employers are looking for advice from a trusted adviser.
An area of interest and focus for me was how we could support clients around claims. Specifically, how we could use their claims information to develop insights that would improve the overall health of their employee groups. In essence, we helped clients identify abnormal claims trends and create strategies designed to improve them.
How long have you been part of the Generali Global Health team and what is your role?
I made the move from Mercer to Generali Global Health (GGH) almost three years ago now. I see GGH very much as business start-up operating within the auspices of a large organisation. We enjoy benefits of being a start-up and have the financial security of being part of a major player in the global insurance landscape.
My role here is chief technical officer, which covers underwriting, actuarial and all aspects of portfolio governance - making sure that our portfolio is making money and going in the right direction.
I am very keen on adding additional insights to our clients with the aim of improving the overall health of their employee populations. This happens through claims analysis but also helping customers to properly understand the results and how this affects their business. for their business. I’ve experienced clients being sent long reports full of statistics and graphs but no real commentary. For me, and GGH more widely, it’s all about providing core insight from claims data and advising how their IPMI contract can help.
Since joining GGH, we’ve certainly been very busy. Sure there are challenges but they are good challenges. We’ve got a good team and we’re on the right path, both in terms of how we are supporting clients and brokers, and our financials.
Have you ever lived abroad as an expat?
My stint in South Africa is the only time I’ve worked as an expat. For me, the experience was fantastic. It’s a wonderful country and I went at a time of great change for the whole populations. I will always remember my time there with fondness.
What are your main interests outside work?
I work hard so I like to spend time with my family. I also do quite a lot of running, typically taking part in a couple of marathons a year. My last marathon was Berlin in 2017 and I’m aiming to run the Munich marathon. Running definitely seems to be a theme at GGH; a number of the team members like to run marathons and enjoy the health and wellness benefits that come from doing this.
The Munich marathon happens to be sponsored by Generali. As a company, Generali is supporting health and wellness activity and initiatives, and that’s something we are all keen to support at GGH.
If you weren’t working in the IPMI industry, what would you rather be doing?
I’d definitely be working in the health sector. I come from a medical family and so many exciting things are happening at the moment such as big data and genomics. I’m very interested in developments of this kind and working at Generali Global Health does provide a degree of cross over into this world, which is a positive from my perspective.
Developments of this nature are good for everybody, they are win-wins. If we can find ways to cure or better manage cancer and other illnesses, that can only be a good thing.
You hold several other industry positions, what are they??
Over the years I’ve been involved in many committees and working parties in the actuarial industry. I’m a past chair of the health and care board in the institute of actuaries and am currently on the research and thought leadership board, which is focussed on the future of actuarial science.
I’m involved on other boards, such as the continuous mortality investigation bureau, and the mortality research steering committee. I input from a health perspective, which is important given the dynamic nature of the health industry in the world today.
We’re not going to do a ‘day in the life of’, but perhaps you could tell the readers what you did yesterday?
I was just outside of Dublin in Ireland visiting one of the Generali companies we work with. They are helping us with a number of initiatives within our key global markets that we hope will become reality over the next few months. My role is to advise on the actuarial considerations of these initiatives.
One benefit of being part of the Generali group is that we have access to entities that have product and regional expertise, and connections that we can tap into depending on what we are looking to do. They may have additional cultural and regional expertise of doing business in a particular country, which is very valuable.
The meeting was followed by an evening at the airport checking out the football scores and watching Liverpool scrape through to the European Cup final!
That’s an unusual day for me. Typically I’m in the office – I’m more the back room person, the techy, the numbers guy. But I do try and get out when I can, especially when I am able to add value to clients and corporate initiatives from an actuarial and governance perspective. This is an approach that I try to instil into all the members of the technical and underwriting team that I look after.