Voice of Insurance podcast: David Bearman talks all things Aventum

Our CEO and founder David Bearman has explained why now, 25 years after starting out, was the right time to “break cover” and launch the new Aventum brand, in a conversation with Mark Geoghegan on The Voice of Insurance podcast. 

Having set up several successful businesses in those years with different stakeholders, loosely linked together by operating under the same principal, David said all were beginning to have the same issues that were inhibiting further growth.

“The conversations I was having with each of them were very similar – growing pains, systems, people, and identifying where the next steps are,” he said.

“What was clearly obvious is we’ve got certain areas of expertise where we should be copying and pasting that into other areas of the business.”

He gave the example of our UK based technology platform, and US-based business Rokstone Construction Risk Underwriters. The Group has been looking to roll out tech-based products in the US, however progress had been hampered by people viewing each as two distinctly different businesses.

“Part of the strategy was to bring them in under the same roof, and bring all these stakeholders together and start sharing ideas,” he added. “And when you start sharing ideas and you get more people in the room, things just happen quicker.”

David explained Aventum’s role is as a non-trading entity, housing and providing core services to global specialty broker Consilium, and leading underwriting MGA Rokstone. Consilium is the vertical responsible for all Group broking activity, and Rokstone the vertical responsible for all Group underwriting activity.

“It was clear and apparent we had this eclectic mix of businesses that needed one identity, and hence Aventum was born,” he said.

David discussed the journey that has taken the Group from a small retail broker to this point and the launch of Aventum.

But he also revealed where the Group will be focusing its efforts in the coming years. 

After spending a lot of time and money building out Rokstone, now a $500m GWP company, David said attention would be turning back to Consilium, currently placing around $120m GWP annually.

“That’s where it stems from. The business traces its roots back to a UK broker,” he said. “It’s small in the grand scheme of things, but we have a number of new initiatives, including a new aviation team, to build that business at the same sort of trajectory that we see in Rokstone now.”

And it’s clear David doesn’t see Rokstone’s rapid expansion slowing down, anticipating it will set up another two or three global offices in the next six to twelve months, and describing the opportunities for this business as “endless” in the current market.

David went on to describe the strategy the Group has adopted in the last 25 years, growing organically by targeting niche lines, or classes that are either misunderstood, experiencing a dearth of capacity, or able to be disrupted through digital tech.

Listen to the full interview below, where David goes into full detail on Aventum’s future direction of travel, including his attitude towards private equity investment and M&A, writing off our own capacity, and the roll out of bonus and share incentive schemes.