“ As a specialist insurance broker, we are not affiliated to any insurance company, so our role is to work with our clients and advise them on the insurances they should have and place them on their behalf.”
Eloise has been in the industry for 17 years, beginning her early career working with investors, VCs, and private equity companies – advising them on insurance policies required when acquiring companies or investing. More recently, Eloise leads on offerings to fintech companies and investors in terms of their insurances in the UK and beyond.
“Over the last year or so, I’ve become more and more involved in fintech and tech companies, because, that’s where a lot of the investment is going. And to be honest, it’s interesting working on this side. Watching them grow and succeed is very rewarding.”
How do Paragon stand out in the sector?
Paragon offers help to the innovators and entrepreneurs, no matter what stage they’re at. From concept to fundraising, new or established, Paragon offer complimentary valuable advice to everyone in the sector.
“A lot of people in our industry focus on bigger corporates due to being more profitable. Any advice we give to companies as part of Level39 is free of charge. We don’t have hourly rates and we are happy to talk to anybody and give them advice, quotes, and options. The only time they pay anything is if they decide to take that insurance policy out.”
How can Paragon help the Level39 community?
Eloise and her team can help Level39 members navigate their way around FCA applications, complete concepts, be investor ready, fundraise without implications, and even help manage the exit side. “Cradle to grave, we offer a total solution for companies and investors.”
According to Eloise, people who are setting up businesses need more guidance than investor-type clients.
“From the company side, they might never have had exposure to dealing with professional services before. Often, they’re coming out of a big corporation where that’s all taken care of. So, they need a bit of help and I like to be the person that does that.”
Whilst many insurers are a bit wary of early-stage companies, Paragon help to make sure they can paint the bigger picture and help them understand that they have sufficient capital, encouraging them to adapt and adopt certain policies allowing them to grow.
“My passion is getting people to see that insurance is more than just a cost needs to be sortedout. You are transferring a lot of risks to somebody else via insurance for a set cost, so you then don’t have to worry about it”.
What other insurance should tech companies be considering?
Eloise advises that cyber insurance is hugely important. Especially for tech companies, whose most valuable commodity is their data or their USP is how their tech works. Cyber policies provide risk management tools, phishing exercises, and other additional programmes for the company.
“If there is a problem with cyber security, especially at early stage, then they are very vulnerable because security breaches are incredibly expensive, not just in terms of dealing with it, but also the reputational element of it. It could end up being the end of them before they get started.”
“I think what Level39 does is fantastic, curating this wonderful community. We are looking forward to getting involved and meeting new people, hearing their experiences, and providing some value to them.”
Eloise wants to learn from the tech companies about how to drive innovation in the insurance sector, and ways in which insurance policies need to be adapted.
What are your biggest challenges and how do you overcome these?
“I think awareness is our biggest challenge. For investors, there is a real lack of awareness, because typically they know the right, diligent questions to ask, but might not know how to check this. The pitfall can be not knowing how to ensure you’re protected.”
Eloise emphasises the importance of properly educating clients to see the value in what they’re doing. “We encourage tech companies to be proactive rather than reactive, so we try to educate people on the process.”
What’s next for Paragon?
“We are working on growing out our fintech proposition, we are launching a specialist solution for Insurtech companies, which is where we are seeing a lot of growth.”
One piece of advice for a startup
“Try not to leave the ‘boring’ things like insurance to the last minute. Be proactive with it – because ultimately it will provide value as it will include many additional services and resources which will be of great benefit to you.”
Find out more about Paragon here.
For further information,
Canary Wharf Group plc
020 7418 2166