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50 Fastest Growing Companies of the Year 2018 CEO Adrian Holloway is Steering the Company toward a Purpose-driven Future

thesiliconreview-adrian-holloway-ceo-completemarkets-com-18“We believe that, in order to create a level playing field, we must endeavour to provide free-flowing access of information and free tools to all three key participants in the insurance industry – Consumer, Agent and Carrier/Wholesaler” - Adrian Holloway

Data and data analysis has always been at the heart of the insurance industry. It’s how insurance risks are evaluated and the underlying data helps underwriters evaluate the risk. What has changed, however,  is the speed and availability of data. The insurance buyer has also learned to ask for more value from their insurance Agents and insurance Carriers. The insurance industry is learning to be more agile when it comes to innovation and technology.

To illustrate this evolution in the insurance industry, we are thrilled to present CompleteMarkets – an agile technology firm that helps insurance professionals with free online tools, access to insurance markets and premium tools for content and marketing.

The firm has evolved into blend of ‘LinkedIn’ and ‘Yelp’ for the Insurance Industry – a destination site for insurance professionals to gain access to insurance markets, products and services, hard to place risks; find jobs; get great educational content; connect and chat with other professionals; generate revenue growth; hire talent; get exclusive insurance consumer leads; generate reviews and recommendations; and interact with other insurance professionals in the industry.

CompleteMarkets was established in 2007 and is headquartered in Big Bear City, California.

Interview Excerpt: Adrian Holloway, Founder/CEO

Why was the company set up? How did you select the vertical and decide to be a part of the global platform?

In 2007, after acquiring Insurance Marketing & Management Services (IMMS), a 20 year old firm, we set out to implement its mission - to bring a level playing field to all professionals in the insurance industry, from consumer to agent/broker to carrier/wholesaler – a ‘complete market’, of easy exchange of information and value among the entities involved in the transaction of insurance and financial services. A marketplace where premium commitments, cluster bargaining power and year-end target bonuses do not interfere with the way polices are quoted and underwritten.

The insurance agent is at the centre of our eco-system. We connect them to wholesalers (for free) as well as to consumers (insurance buyers).

We believe that, in order to create a level playing field, we must endeavour to provide free-flowing access of information and tools to all three key participants in the insurance industry – Consumer, Agent and Carrier/Wholesaler. The market must exchange information easily, quickly and not be biased to pushing a particular product down to the buyer because of ‘special interests’. While this is not always practical, we consider it our job to provide access to the tools to enable this ideal of ‘complete markets’, and then let the markets sort it out.

So, we provide Free Tools to all participants in the insurance community – agents/brokers, insurance buyers and carriers/wholesalers.

What kind of mixed responses have you received from your customers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company?

We have three segments of customers ––  

  • Insurance Agent/Broker – membership is free to our website and we provide them with tools on our platform. Products and tools such a specialty insurance market finder, reputation management tools, content marketing and professional networking tools. We also provide them with access to client relationship management services, lead management and website support related tools such as blogs, subscriber management etc.
  • Insurance Buyers (Consumers) – through our insurance quote page we help business owners and individuals find a qualified insurance agent (a reputable member of that will help them find the right insurance for their business or their family. This ‘matching’ process happens instantly and once an agent is engaged with the consumer, we also help that agent find a market for that risk if it’s a specialty risk (Excess & Surplus Lines for example). The market that we match the agent to is normally provided by our third segment of client.
  • Advertisers These are wholesalers and/or carriers in the insurance industry. They can be MGAs, Program Administrators, Carriers, General Agencies, or wholesale brokers. We provide them with a digital platform or marketplace through our website and our email marketing solutions to advertise their products and services to our members (retail Insurance Agents & Brokers).

What were the grounds on which you have expanded your company and its offerings over the years?

We always wanted this to be a scalable technology play. So, we invested heavily in the foundation first and then expanding our online offerings. We started with providing a very niche service – providing access to property and casualty specialty markets to agents and brokers. Agency owners kept asking us for social media management services and content solutions. While we do have great services targeted at the Agency level, many of our products are targeted to the individual insurance professional (Agent/Broker/CSR) that works inside the agency. CompleteMarkets is a destination site for insurance professionals and insurance buyers alike. It’s free, but we do have very popular premium membership as well, which provides useful products to both agents and agencies alike.

What are the biggest assets to your organization? What would they be and why?

  • Technology DNA – Technology shifts radically change business principles. New technologies are being developed all the time, and the impact this has had on our business is immeasurable. Simply put, you cannot scale, or react to rapidly changing consumer driven demand without a strong technology foundation.
  • Core Team – We strive to provide an environment where learning is prized, and not just the action of learning but the measured application of new methods, new technologies, etc. We also want people to share their knowledge, by sharing they undergo a deeper level of learning themselves.
  • Industry Timing – the insurance industry sees innovations just as much as any other industry, but the timing is often too soon for tech innovation in the insurance industry. So, timing is an important factor for product adoption. The industry is a unique mix of middle aged professionals and younger folks that understand newer technologies. So, creating tools that will be adopted by both distinct segments is more art than science.

Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

In terms of revenue we are on track to multiplying. In terms of our place in the industry, we hope tohave expanded our reach to all players in the insurance industry. And, our goal is to make the home page for every insurance professional in the business, a go to place for value, success and prosperity. Regardless of how things play out, we will continue to be a nimble and exceptional team delivering agile services to our clients.

The Brains Behind The Operation

Adrian Holloway, Founder/CEO: Adrian is a technocrat that has lived and worked in different parts of the world. With a problem-solving mindset and a practical approach to real-world problems, he has led large solution building teams throughout his career. He has held C-level positions in the technology and entertainment services industries. Adrian has founded and sold other technology and services companies.

Since 2007, Adrian and INSOMIS have been leading the transformation of marketing services – bringing cutting edge Social Networking, Online Marketing and other marketing approaches to the table for the insurance industry.

Some of his hobbies include Golf, Music, and Mountain Climbing.

Erin Carlson, Director of Operations: Erin is a shareholder and a pillar of the organization. Erin handles end-to-end operations, client relations, and technology liaison and vendor management. In her role as Director of Operations, she developed and implemented many new initiatives to enhance customer experience and results for CompleteMarkets clients and users. Erin is constantly seeking creative ways to foster a dynamic learning environment and to promote high-quality service and continuous improvement.

"CompleteMarkets is a destination site for insurance professionals and insurance buyers alike. It’s free, but we do have very popular premium membership as well, which provides useful products to both agents and agencies alike."