Depending on their area of focus, insurers are pushing for fully automated underwriting journeys, “bionic” underwriting or tactical process automation. AI, and Gen AI in particular, could deliver a step-change in insurers’ underwriting and processing capabilities.

This raises important questions about the role of the underwriter and the composition of underwriting teams in the future. We believe that the role of the underwriter at industry-leading companies could be substantially different by the end of the decade. However many carriers have barely started to think about the end-to-end strategic implications of underwriting transformation on their business model and talent pool.

In this article we consider how insurers can use four steps to build a skills matrix fit for the future:

  1. Understanding the strategic context
  2. Identifying the underwriting capabilities that matter
  3. Determining team construction
  4. Turning theory into reality: The Oxbow Partners underwriting skills framework

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Max Deacon


Max Deacon is a Principal at Oxbow Partners, specialising in strategy and transformation across the specialty insurance and reinsurance sector.

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Emma Gosnay


Emma Gosnay is a Manager at Oxbow Partners and works across specialty insurance and reinsurance clients

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About us

Oxbow Partners is a specialist management consultancy exclusively serving the insurance industry. Our clients include leadership teams at the world’s leading insurers, reinsurers, brokers and private equity firms. Our consulting engagements span across strategy, operations, technology, transformation and M&A. Our Market Intelligence team offers unique analysis into the UK market and global reinsurance.

Senior executives choose Oxbow Partners when they want a fresh perspective from a high-calibre team of industry specialists that thinks deeply about each client's unique situation and has a track record of delivering insight and impact. 

Since 2021 we have been featured as a leading UK management consulting firm by the Financial Times. In 2023 we became a B Corp, indicating our commitment to balance purpose and profit. 

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