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Blair Nicholls leads tech underwriting agency Clover

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Blair Nicholls has taken a new role as CEO at startup Clover Insurance Australia, a technology-led insurance underwriting agency focused on simplifying the placement of insurance for brokers which is set to go live late next month.

Business packs will be rolled out first, followed by home and motor, Mr Nicholls – who co-founded insurtech Blue Zebra and was most recently CEO at Red Tiger Australia – tells

“It’s a $55 billion gross written premium market, if we get just a small portion of that I'll be happy,” he says.

Mr Nicholls spent around 18 years at QBE, finishing as Chief Actuarial Officer and Head of Reinsurance, and also formerly held the role of CEO Australia and New Zealand at Berkshire Hathaway. He says he enjoyed “lots of surfing” at his base in Manly after selling out of Blue Zebra and being subject to a year-long non-compete clause.

Joining him at Clover are Aaron Gavin as Chief Underwriting Officer Commercial, who was GM SME at QBE for several years until earlier this month, and Jeromie Weatherburn as Chief Underwriting Officer – Personal Lines. He was formerly pricing manager at IAL.

Former Zurich Head of IT Grant Barrington takes the role of CIO, and Rachel York, who until recently was Head of Funding at QBE, will be COO. Travis Dale will be Head of Claims.

The team say “watch this space” as they prepare to launch the platform, which offers instant quoting and tools for ease of us and will be digitally efficient, agile and tailored, work in partnership with stakeholders, and be partnership based for distribution and advice.

“It’s great to be part of such an innovative team, so watch this space as we will be launching our first product very soon,” Mr Dale said.