Erasing Blackboard

Yesterday AIG reported that it has decided, at the end of March, to place Blackboard, AIG’s technology-driven subsidiary, into run-off. “As a result of this decision, AIG recognized a pre-tax loss of $210 million, primarily consisting of asset impairment charges; this charge did not impact adjusted pre-tax income.”

Established in 2017, Blackboard Insurance (BB) is currently a team of ~145 people led by CEO Seraina Macia, who joined BB after she led teams “through transformation at AIG and grew business for XL Group and Zurich North America.” On March 30th she published a letter in which she reached out to customers and stakeholders during “this challenging and unprecedented time:”

“True innovation doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a journey. Currently our platform is live in 48 – soon to be 51 – states and territories nationwide. We’ve already made impactful breakthroughs in the underwriting process. With data as a critical asset and automation as our driver, we’re now reducing submission intake to minutes, rating and re-rating instantaneously and accurately issuing and delivering policies at bind. And we’re issuing more quotes than ever before during this time.

We are very proud to launch our new Blackboard Insurance website, where you can learn more about how we’re creating a better way to do business, The Blackboard Way.”

In other words, while Macia was developing, writing, and publishing her message, someone at AIG already sealed BB’s fate.

But that’s not all that stands out to make me believe this was a last-minute, top-to-bottom kind of decision.

– On April 2nd, BB announced it onboarded new hires – adding Bobby Steinsdoerfer as Head of Industry Segments, Trey Martino as East Coast Underwriting Leader and Peter Buccola as West Coast Underwriting Leader

– It also announced it was approved to write commercial insurance for customers in Washington State

– And only yesterday it filed for a new BOP rate in Wisconsin (and in general, BB was busy submitting state and regulatory filings throughout April)

According to S&P, BB closed 2019 with $85m in DPW. And it remains to be seen what this moves signals to Attune Insurance as the MGA primarily sells policies from BB insurance.

“We’re fully open for business as normal. AIG’s decision to place Blackboard into run-off does not impact Attune. We’re still working closely with AIG and are excited to continue to partner with them to provide our BOP and XS products. Our customers can continue to come to Attune for speed and ease and can continue to place both new and renewal business with AIG via Attune.” – A spokesperson at Attune.


// Post updated at 3 pm with a response from Attune