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NBR interview: Singapore is just the start

Nathan Smith from the National Business Review talks to Managing Director Ian Pollard about the opening of their Singapore office and Delta’s global growth strategy:

Singapore will become the first overseas office to open in an ambitious expansion plan for Delta Insurance New Zealand.

Delta Insurance supplies specialty liability insurance, UAV insurance, technology risk solutions and cyber coverage in New Zealand. The move to open in Singapore is part of its broader business strategy to grow globally and launch in 10 countries in 10 years.

The locally owned and privately-held company was co-founded by managing director Ian Pollard and Craig Kirk in 2014. Delta is a Lloyd’s coverholder for New Zealand and enters the Singapore market as the first cyber and technology Lloyd’s coverholder just as that country’s digital economy places greater emphasis on the value and importance of data.

The insurance provider considers Singapore a “natural fit” for its business model, due to its close similarities to New Zealand. Mr Pollard says both countries are small, nimble and tech-focused, outward looking and thrive on innovation.

“This decision has been bubbling away for two or three years. Starting in Singapore is a springboard into Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, Korea, Vietnam, Myanmar, Taiwan and the Philippines. We’re also in discussions with partners in Europe and the broader Australasian region,” he says.

According to a recent PWC report on economic crime, Singapore and Asia Pacific will be one of the fastest-growing regions for cyber insurance, increasing from near $US50 million today to $US500 million by 2025.

Cyber-crime is now the second-most prevalent economic crime in Singapore, with 43% of companies affected and costing Singapore more than $S1.25 billion annually. Mr Pollard says his team has plenty of experience dealing with this new threat to businesses, especially at the smaller end of town.

“Our work in New Zealand with the National Cyber Policy Office and Connect Smart has helped shape and improve New Zealand’s cyber security framework, particularly for business. We see Delta undertaking a similar role in Singapore.”

Cyber and UAV insurance popular

Mr Pollard says the company is closing in on 7,000 clients and has achieved 250% growth in revenue this year and since its first audited financial year in 2014/2015.

“Our near 7,000 insureds reflect most industries in New Zealand across our range of financial lines, casualty, specialist liability, environmental and UAV insurance. We are particularly strong in the IT and technology services sector, professionals services, construction, manufacturing sectors; and market leaders in the environmental and pollution insurance sector and market leaders with the most comprehensive cyber insurance solution New Zealand and Singapore.

“[Delta] was the first insurance partner with the government’s Connect Smart programme back in 2014 and has been privileged to contribute to the New Zealand cyber security strategy to help improve the posture of SME’s from cyber-attacks.

“We have also formalised our cyber-risk management to organise pre-loss services for our clients with partners such as RedShield and Aura Information Security.”

The company also supplies unmanned aerial vehicle insurance, a niche product. Mr Pollard says since the product’s launch in February, the UAV Operators insurance has proven to be “very successful.”

“It has already been taken up by almost 50 commercial UAV operators including a variety of sectors such as sporting, events, aviation, media, agriculture, utilities, professional services, photography, real estate, government and rescue services,” he says.

Delta also plans further expansion in New Zealand, including a Christchurch office in August 2017.

Due to it being privately owned, Mr Pollard doesn’t provide details of Delta’s turnover but says the company is aiming to secure 5% market share in New Zealand, although he didn’t provide an expected timeline or what its current market share was.

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