12 October 2001: Following the successful convergence of its
standards activities, WISe is transferring its e-commerce enabling services to the
commercial sector to ensure their future growth and development.
WISe was formed in June 1999 with a clear and simpleand
simple mission: to develop ‘standards, strategies and solutions for insurance e-commerce’.
Since then WISe has played a significant role assisting the
industry with the evolution of various e-commerce strategies.
In July 2001, WISe successfully completed the first strand
of its mission when it merged its standards activities with ACORD, the US-based standards
body. The result is the first truly global standards body, one that consolidates the
achievements of WISe and its predecessors (WIN, RINET, LIMNET and the Joint Venture).
“From the outset,” says WISe CEO Kevin Ashby,
“our aim has been to create a global insurance community founded on clear and
universally accepted standards. Moreover, the goal has been to achieve this as quickly and
as efficiently as possible. The merger with ACORD was the first, and extremely important,
step in our strategy. Without common standards and a collective commitment to develop and
implement them, the industry’s progress would always be
limited. The ACORD-WISe merger has safeguarded the future of global standards.”
Since the merger, WISe has been focusing on the second stage of its strategy, how best to
provide the products and services that the insurance community requires to realise the potential of e-commerce.
During the first quarter of 2001, the WISe Board conducted
a thorough review of the company’s activities. With help from Bain & Co, and in full
consultation with the WISe membership, the Board concluded that the existing
business model, a fee-based co-operative owned by the industry, was no longer the
most appropriate vehicle for providing products and services.
“We agreed,” says Kevin Ashby, “that to
maintain the momentum of the last two years, Trusted Trading and the Business Centre
should be redeployed as a commercial venture. Both services had proved their viability, so
it was time to put them on a stronger footing.”
“Volumes for Trusted Trading have been grown steadily
since 1999, with 45 companies now using the service, and a large number of the companies
industry has have embraced the Interchange Agreement. In little more than a year of live
operations, the Business Centre has been adopted by seven leading insurance companies as a
‘clearing bank’ for data exchange, and many other organisations have shown interest in
joining. These are solid achievements which achievements, which need to be exploited
further through commercial backing.”
The direction now clear, in May 2001 WISe, the WISe Board
decided that the best and most open route to take was to issue an invitation to tender for
the services. There was a keen response from many technology-based
organisations,organisations and a selection process began.
WISe is pleased to announce that, following detailed
discussions with a shortlist of interested parties, Ins-Sureins-sure Services Ltd has been
chosen to acquire and enhance WISe’s services as commercial ventures.
Ins-Sureins-sure has agreed to acquire the trading assets
of WISe with effect from 31st October 2001. Specifically, this means WISe
Trusted Trading and the WISe Business Centre data translation and exchange facility.
Ins-sureins-sure provides business processing, policy
administration, premium and claim settlement support services to the London Insurance
Market and European insurers. With an estimated =A�320 billion annual turnover,
Ins-sureins-sure is one of the world’s largest insurance service companies.
Working with its technology partner, BIS Ltd., Inins-sure
will develop the current WISe services to create an independent global platform to support
insurance e-commerce. BIS, which provides technology solutions for the insurance and
shipping communities, has been providing the technical support for WISe Trusted Trading since August 2001.
The agreement to transfer WISe’s services to
Ins-Sureins-sure was approved by its membership on 18th September.
“WISe has been a necessary and beneficial
milestone stage in the evolution of insurance e-commerce,” says Rob White-Cooper, the
WISe Chairman. “The company was created to facilitate e-commerce,
particularly standards, to encourage industry debate,
and to promote collective action. This has been achieved to the extent possible
within its charterthe framework it was given. Both ACORD and Ins-Sureins-sure can now
build on WISe’s achievements. ACORD is well positioned to continue the
standards development and implementaionimplementation programmes initiated by WISe.
Similarly Ins-Sureins-sure is excellently placed to exploit the inherrentinherent value of
Trusted Trading and the Business Centre and enhance develop and expand the services and
customer base on a commercial basis.
Both the convergence with ACORD and the sale to Ins-Sure
represent a very satisfactory outcome for WISe, its shareholders and its customers.
The combination of the convergence with ACORD and the sale
to Ins-SureIns-sure represents a very satisfactory outcome for WISe, its shareholders and
customers it also has concludesd WISe’s mission. It is therefore appropriate
therefore that WISe S.C. as a the legal entity is dissolved. This will occur WISe will
cease to be a legal entity on 1st November 2001.”
Although WISe has discharged its mission it is always with
some regret that we say goodbye to an industry venture. WISe brought together both
companies and individuals in the persuit of common standards and shared solutions. As an
Industry we are all dependent on ACORD and Ins-Sure continuing where WISe left off.
Contacts and Further Information:
Kevin Ashby, CEO, WISe, Tel:020-7422 8202, e-mail:
Andrew Driver, Impact Media, Tel: 020 7398 2666, e-mail: