To form a company, one needs management, a good idea, and capital. Often one or more is in short supply. Occasionally, you get all three.
When Todd Hart, Jim Damonte and Mark Morrison, formed Upland in September 2020, they had already earned a lot of “been-there-done-that” experience across a range of admitted, non-admitted, and non-traditional insurance underwriting, operations, risk management, and financing.
Many thought the bright idea was to start an E&S carrier in a hard market. While that did happen, the actual strategy was more basic – focus on “old school” underwriting as a craft, add “new school” analytics and technology, and encourage a gritty, growth mindset among people called “we entrepreneurs.” Two down, one to go...
To complete the triple play, Upland secured an equity line of up to $200m from Newlight Partners, invested their own money, and offered the opportunity for their employees to invest as well.
Persistent methodical grit with aspiration means hiring the right people, national licensing, obtaining an AM Best “A-” VIII rating, selective broker appointments, securing reinsurance, deploying systems, building data platforms, growing data science capabilities, and crafting underwriting of course. Execution. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Put your money where your mouth is. Upland retains most of our risk. About one-third of our employees have invested their personal capital in Upland. All of this seems to appeal to our blue-chip reinsurance panel who support us in our mission.
To help us, we are always looking for partners who understand how and why Upland’s approach is different, and share in our belief on why we will succeed in our quest to build a great business:
- Underwriting craftspeople.
- Talented “we entrepreneurs” across the organization.
- Brokers and reinsurers interested in long-term relationships, who support and challenge us to improve.