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Silicon 70 2018

Aiding the Financial and Insurance Market with the Best Solutions: iPipeline

thesiliconreview-tim-wallace-ceo-ipipeline-18

iPipeline was formed as a result of frustrations by a life insurance agent and his distributor partner to quote life insurance sales more efficiently. To accomplish this, iPipeline became the first aggregator and distributor of quotes, content, and applications for the life insurance industry in 1995. By centralizing up-to-date forms for agents, the firm could now provide customers with multiple quotes all from one centralized URL.

The company focuses on strong partnerships with customers, partners, and employees. It is dedicated to foster open communication, innovation, and a collaborative work environment. Also, iPipeline is passionate about what it does and takes pride in leading the information technology and services industry in providing Software as a Service solutions that drive straight-through processing for the insurance and financial services markets on a global basis.

Expansion to the global market occurred under Tim Wallace, CEO, who was brought in by investors to scale the organization first in the US and then globally. Now the company has expanded from its headquarters in Exton, Pennsylvania to ten other locations. 

Interview Excerpt: Tim Wallace, CEO

What challenges did youface in your initial years?

The challenge is always about balancing business growth with employee hiring. One hinges upon the other, so it is critical to keep your hand on the pulse of the business day in and day out to ensure you are moving in the best direction to achieve your business goals while mitigating your financial risks. As you build your backlog of work, you can expect some of this pressure to mitigate, but never take your hand off the pulse of your business.

What was your first product and how successful were you in executing it for your customers?

The first product was our “Forms Manager solution”, designed to centralize and distribute up-to-date product information, quotes, forms, and underwriting guidelines. The next step was to create an e-Application (iGO e-App), which enabled agents to produce digital in Good Order submissions to accelerate and simplify the application process for life insurance.

iPipeline’s first deployment captured the collective efforts of the much smaller company at that time. Of course, the deployment of a Forms Manager solution is much less complex than deploying a solution to fully automate an insurance application process. All deployments are learning experiences, and we continue to maintain this philosophy even today.

We have become the digital backbone of the nation’s largest carriers, financial institutions, and distributors. Our solutions have digitally transformed how they do business, and they continue to work closely with us on developing new innovations to enable them to achieve desired business outcomes.

What are your greatest attributes?

  • Top Management: This team must be strong, innovative, proven, and committed
  • Investment Partners: Select an investor who is willing to allow you and your team to steer the ship to success
  • Technology Innovation: Do not try to be a “me-too” solutions provider. This rarely leads to market dominance. Innovate to deliver unique business transformation to your customers
  • The “A” Team: Hire carefully but quickly. Fill your needs, but be highly selective about attracting and retaining the best of the best. Your success is only as good as your team
  • Industry Conference: Leaders lead, followers follow. As a leader, inform, educate, and entertain them once a year at a conference featuring your top customers as presenters. The quality of your conference is a true reflection of your brand commitment and will drive customer loyalty

How big is your organization today and why? Briefly explain the organizational structure?

iPipeline provides the process automation and seamless integration needed on a global basis to make a sale by aggregating more than 130 carriers, 1,300 distributors and financial institutions, and their agents and licensed advisors in a cloud-based environment. iPipeline has a very long list of partners with whom we work, and the synergies created among our disparate solutions collectively serves a larger purpose. With headquarters in Exton, Pennsylvania, iPipeline has locations in Bromley (UK), Cheltenham (UK), Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Huntersville, Ontario (CA), Philadelphia, Pleasanton, and Salt Lake City.

We have managed to create the industry’s most robust and comprehensive platform for the marketing, selling, and processing and servicing of life insurance and financial products. We are constantly striving to improve our solutions, and we continue to make enormous investments in R&D and security to ensure our customers are well taken care of.

As we have continued to attract more customers, our personnel requirements have proportionally increased. As we continue to secure more and more in the way of new and repeat business, we will continue to staff accordingly to meet the expectations of our customers. We are committed to mutual success with our customers.

What is your plan for the future?

iPipeline continues to grow both organically and through selective acquisitions. We are currently at 700 employees and see ourselves at 1,000 within the next 3 years. Our revenue as a privately-held company will be in the $200-$300 million range in the future. We are always at work developing the next solution for the life insurance and financial services industry. In particular, I will mention our new InsureSight data offering. We are providing an AI/Machine Learning-based solution that enables distributors, carriers, and financial institutions to more closely monitor their performance across the organization and to bench themselves against industry competitors. Our initial launch to distribution has been rapidly successful, and our carrier and financial institutions versions will soon follow.

The Leader who plays a vital role in developing iPipeline

Tim Wallace, CEO: Tim has over 30 years of experience in the software, service, and consulting industry. He is a winner of the 2011 Ernst & Young Technology CEO of the Year, the 2013 PACT Enterprise Award for Technology CEO of the Year, and the 2014 Red Herring Top 100 Award. Tim received his Master of Business Administration from Miami University and Bachelor of Science Degree from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. from Miami University and Bachelor of Science Degree from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

“Innovation is the key to maintain the momentum in a market. Hence, iPipeline continues to innovate and deliver solutions designed to address customers evolving business challenges”

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