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5 Key Factors to Consider When Building Strategic Partnerships

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 18:59:16 +0000 / by Miguel Ceron

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Partnerships exist in all aspects of our lives - whether they are in our personal relationships (spouses, friends, personal networks) or professional lives (colleagues, professional networks). In all cases – partnerships are meant to enhance current state of both parties and provide peace of mind, knowing you have a trusted partner to aid in specific aspects of your life.

Let’s consider this in a corporate B2B scenario, partnerships should be mutually beneficial in a way that allows both parties to improve their overall service or offering through a shared commitment to a common goal.

These commonalities should extend beyond (but do still include) simple things like “ways to increase profit” or “growing your client base”. Now, you might be asking…

What criteria should one consider when selecting a corporate partner?

Good question! I’ve included some of the top factors to consider below.

1. Industry Expertise That’s Mutually Beneficial

As much as we’d like to, we can’t all be experts at everything. For instance, I’m a pretty great cook but can’t bake to save my life… any pastry chefs looking to open a restaurant?!

Whether this is a result of simply not having the required skillset in-house or not having the staff capacity to address your current business volumes (which is a great problem to have) - sometimes the answer is as simple as finding a partner whose expertise can fill in some of those gaps and deliver a long-term strategic solution. We  recently announced such a strategic partnership with ivari after being selected by the Canadian Insurer to deliver Reinsurance Management and Administration services.

2. Leverage Brands that are Known and Trusted

Creating awareness and loyalty around a brand is no easy feat, but is one that can elevate any business to become a trusted industry name. In fact, many of the companies who have had a great deal of success in these endeavors have become synonymous with their chosen specialty.

Upon launching our web based  Underwriting Training Program to help build the next generation of Underwriters, we knew we wanted to partner with experts in Continuing Education and Employee Development in the Financial Services Industry. In 2015, we did just that when we announced our proud partnership with LOMA, who shares our commitment to developing a knowledgeable and skilled industry of financial services professionals.

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3. Align Yourself with Industry Thoughts Leaders

In a recent article, I talked about the importance of innovation for businesses to maintain a client driven culture. This is equally as important when working with potential new partners – as the most successful partnerships encourage a collaborative approach in order to utilize the great minds each side has to offer. Some of the most innovative and successful companies in the marketplace today are the direct result of innovative minds who challenged themselves to think outside the box (think Uber, Facebook, etc.) and collaborate with other great minds to help execute their visions – and each of these businesses started as smaller start-ups.

Don’t let the size of a potential partner company act as a barrier when you think they might be on to something. If you are up for this kind of collaboration, you might want to explore the Cookhouse Lab that is opening in February 2017.It’s a space dedicated to fostering and nurturing the collaborative efforts and innovative minds of life re/insurance experts, financial-services professionals, entrepreneurs and academics.

4. Ensure their Culture and Vision is a Good Fit with Your Own

This particular point is a crucial factor (and one that is often overlooked) when selecting strategic partners for your business. Two businesses are not necessarily a good fit simply because they are in the same industry.

Consider items such as corporate culture, social responsibility and strategic vision when you are assessing a potential partnership, as these are all major factors that can impact how your teams could work together. Our E-Learning Underwriting Training Program recently made its debut in Seneca’s Faculty of Continuing Education and Training in November 2016. The program aims to build awareness of and address the declining underwriting population. This is a great fit in terms of culture and vision for us because we are both passionate about educating students on this career field.

5. Create Partnerships that are Advantageous for your Stakeholders

At the end of the day – we (as organizations) always need to be cognizant not only of what is in our best interest, but the best interest of our clients, to ensure we are always providing top notch service.  One of our specialties is Reinsurance Administration – a highly specialized area of expertise that spans across the life insurance industry.

TAI (Tindall Associates Inc.) is the North American Leader in life reinsurance systems whose client base makes up 96% of the market share of the top 50 ceding insurers in North America. Upon jointly acquiring TAI in 2015 with our industry partners, msg global solutions, we were able to gain an unparalleled expertise in the field of Reinsurance Administration while also improving the level of service we can provide to our clients. In order to service our clients in the best way possible – it made sense to develop an advantageous partnership that would allow us to improve ALL of our service offerings.

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Topics: Insurance, Reinsurance

Miguel Ceron

Written by Miguel Ceron

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