27 January 2022
This week Atlanta CEO Emma Rawlinson sat down with Ida Axling, deputy editor of industry mag Insurance Age, to talk about her new role, how she got where she is - and her plans for the future.
Emma explained that part of Atlanta’s strategy is to focus on being a digital retailer. “Insurance is a compulsory purchase but when the customer is going through your journey, they’re comparing you to the shopping they did from Tesco last night or the top they’ve ordered from Next,” she said. “They’re comparing you to other retailers and therefore the customer is no longer truly differentiating between journeys that are linked to products, they’re looking at how slick your journey is.”
Having started out as a chartered accountant before moving into private equity, Emma led Swinton’s sale to Ardonagh in 2018 and became Atlanta’s CFO, devising a five-year plan with then-CEO Ian Donaldson. One which she is now delivering.
Emma continues to work closely with Ian, who became Ardonagh Retail CEO to explore group-wide opportunities as well as to oversee Atlanta. “It’s my responsibility to drive this business forward but I’ve always got Ian there to refer to or discuss things with,” Emma said. “He has spent 20 years building relationships with people in the industry and I don’t want those to disappear, it’s a fabulous asset for me to be able to call upon.”
In the interview she describes what’s so special about Atlanta and their commitment to diversity.
“If you have a board room table full of similar like-minded people, you’ll never have innovation or change or transformation,” she says.
Be Wiser and Marmalade are the most recent additions to the Atlanta family, but there’s still deals to be done in a market that’s changing rapidly. There’s clearly huge upheaval in personal lines with the introduction of GIPP clamping down on price-walking and the ‘loyalty penalty’ – and Emma is relishing both the challenge and the opportunity.
She says: “The world is very uncertain and the market is going to be akin to a roller coaster ride - but we made ourselves prepared.”