Previously

Finance Director, Confused.com
Head of International Business Development, Admiral Group Plc

Company

Started in 1999 as one of the most ambitious and forward-thinking online insurance businesses of the dotcom boom, CFC Underwriting (CFC) has since been a major pioneer in the emerging risk space as a full-service, specialist insurance provider with a global customer base. They have grown to becomethe largest independent specialist MGA in the London market, backed by over 30 Lloyd’s syndicates, providing insurance to over 70,000 organisations in more than 80 countries, and have attracted Tier 1 investment from the likes of Vitruvian Partners, who acquired a 40% stake for £230m in 2017.

Founded by David Walsh (Chief Executive Officer), CFC has won multiple awards and been on a tremendous growth journey. They have become the employer of choice in their markets, and have created deep, lasting relationships with their partners by always being decent and doing the right thing. Headquartered in London, CFC currently has over 350 employees, which is expected to reach 500+ in the next few years.

Search Background

CFC is on a mission to radically simplify the way business insurance is bought and sold. To do that, they challenge assumptions, innovate constantly, and use technology to drive change in their markets. As such, CFC Underwriting were looking for an Independent Non-Executive Director (INED) to join the Board and to support the Chief Executive Officer and Investor Directors in the scaling and development of this exciting company.

Requirements

The purpose was to bring on board an experienced and objective, entrepreneurially minded Board member, who could act as a sounding board to the Executives, offering debate, suggestions, and possible solutions on the strategic development of the company, funding options, internationalisation, and the development of commercial opportunities and relationships.

A degree of importance was placed on finding someone who has been part of a high-growth organisation that has scaled significantly. As such, they would understand the challenges of scaling and bring the necessary balance of process and entrepreneurialism as the business develops. Further, an understanding of insurance or broader Financial Services was desirable, or alternatively industries with a strong broker or B2B2C route to market.

Result

After an extensive search, we placed Louise O’Shea into the role. Louise is currently CEO of the UK’s first and longest-running insurance marketplace, Confused.com. Having spent the early years of her career at PwC and Fujitsu, as Senior Strategy Advisor, she has since been working within the Admiral Group. Joining the Group as Business Development Manager for Confused.com, she has since gone on to hold leadership roles in investor relations and finance, before being promoted to CEO of Confused.com in September 2017, where she has taken EBITDA from £8m to circa £30m. Louise brings a great deal of experience in environments of growth and scale in regulated environments, has a deep understanding of insurance and the B2B2C route to market, and comes with a strong commercial background – delivering over 100% profit growth at Confused.com in recent years.

Dave Walsh

CEO & Founder

We chose to work with Erevena for the appointment of Louise O’Shea as Non-Executive Director, because it was important for us to engage a trusted search partner who understood the London market well, and the challenges of building a tech and data-driven insurance business in one of the most competitive markets in the world. Erevena produced an enviable short-list with some truly outstanding individuals, and a first-class selection process. I look forward to continuing to work with Erevena for future key executive appointments at CFC.

Our experts

Maria Josife, Partner

Specialisms: Board, CEO, COO, Digital

Ben Erskine-Hill, Partner

Specialisms: FinTech, Board & General Management, Commercial, Private Equity

Hugo Darby, Principal

Specialisms: Digital, B2C and B2B2C, Finance, Technology, Operations

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