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Guidewire to Acquire FirstBest Systems

Staff Writer | August 04, 2016

Guidewire Software, a provider of software products to P&C insurers, and FirstBest Systems, a provider of an underwriting management system for P&C insurance, announce they have entered into a definitive agreement for Guidewire to acquire FirstBest.

The addition of FirstBest’s technology and people will enable the expansion of the Guidewire Insurance Platform by providing insurers in the U.S. and Canada writing complex commercial, specialty, and workers’ compensation lines greater support for their risk assessment and decision-making processes.

Insurers recognize the potential profitable growth offered by commercial lines, and are looking for technology to help them address challenges and adapt rapidly to pursue market opportunities. Commercial and specialty lines underwriters currently rely on manual processes, multiple different data sources, and disjointed systems and tools to help them evaluate and underwrite large and complex risks, and to collaborate across internal teams and with agents. They can spend a significant part of their day accessing various sources and tools simply gathering and reviewing data.

Underwriting management systems, like FirstBest UMS, complement and enhance the submission intake, risk analysis, underwriting process, and collaboration capabilities of policy administration systems. Pairing FirstBest with Guidewire PolicyCenter or other policy admin systems is a natural fit for many commercial insurers.

“Like Guidewire, FirstBest has been committed from its founding to advancing the strategic goals of P&C insurers through modern software,” says Marcus Ryu, CEO of Guidewire. Their expertise in complex risk analysis, and the informational and workflow needs of commercial underwriters will deepen our ability to serve this vital constituency within the industry. We welcome the FirstBest team as well as their customers and partners to the Guidewire community.”

“We are excited to bring our expertise and innovative technology to Guidewire,” says John Belizaire, CEO and founder, FirstBest Systems. “Our team has been focused on delivering transformative solutions for underwriters for over a decade and we look forward to continuing to do so as part of Guidewire.”

“Adding a robust, hosted underwriting management application to complement InsuranceSuite will strengthen our support for commercial insurers,” says Neil Betteridge, vice president, Strategy, Guidewire Software. “Expanding focus on the underwriter was already a major theme on our roadmap, and we are excited to accelerate delivering on this aspect of our product strategy.”

The transaction is expected to close in approximately four weeks. Guidewire does not expect the acquisition of FirstBest to have a material impact on its financial results for fiscal year 2017.

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