Kate Samson told Duke FinTech Students about her work in insurance innovation

November 6, 2023 | Emilia Chiscop-Head, PhD, FinTech and Cyber Program Manager

Kate Samson, managing director and partner at Anthemis told Duke FinTech Students about her work in insurance innovation.

Kate Sampson, managing director and partner at Anthemis, is also a member of the Duke FinTech Advisory Board

Kate Sampson, managing director and partner at Anthemis with over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, spoke with the Duke Fintech students on October 13. As part of the FinTech seminar, Samson, who is also a member of the program’s advisory board, presented a brief history of her organization from her perspective as a woman recognized as a thought leader and expert in insurance innovation. She started her presentation with a comment about the role of gender and demographic diversity in industry, by creating the opportunity to find companies that represent many types of problems around the globe. She continued with what she called a “history lesson” about how a ride share company like Lyft and a home share company like Airbnb led to insurance innovation. Ms. Samson described the challenges of assessing risk and establishing insurance thresholds in the context of a very fluid market in 2008-2010, where, in the context of technological advancements, there was an explosion in service innovation for which insurance industry was not prepared. The ride-share and space-share products – like Lyft, Airbnb, Uber, etc. - ultimately led to what is called embedded finance and embedded insurance – an insurance product that turns on and off depending on the type of activity performed by the insured. Kate Samson talked about the opportunities to embed financial products in industries you would not expect, for example for startups and companies focused on innovation where risk is typically high and hard to assess. Sampson thought that what helped her contribute to insurance innovation was her non-traditional background. “I didn't come from either being an investor or spending a couple of years at Goldman and then going to business school and then come out and join a private equity or venture capital firm.” She ended her talk coming back to the idea of diversity of backgrounds and perspectives which truly foster innovation. Ms. Sampson encouraged students to take risks, be curious and never stop learning.