Vivek BangaManaging Director
Vivek joined Polaris in February 2019. He has over fifteen years of experience in digital distribution of general insurance having worked in this area for insurers as well as a global insurance broker. He also chairs the British Insurance Brokers Association’s cross-industry Innovation Working Group and was a member of TechNation’s Insurtech Board for its first three years.
As part of leading Polaris, Vivek is responsible for developing the organisation's strategic priorities in consultation with its Board of Directors, who are senior leaders from Polaris’ shareholding organisations, both insurers and brokers.
Prior to joining Polaris, Vivek was the Chief Digital Officer for Gallagher UK, leading the development of a multi-product, multi-country digital distribution platform and a variety of targeted online and mobile apps. Before Gallagher, Vivek worked for Brit Insurance and for NIG, primarily leading the development of their online distribution propositions. In addition to Digital development, Vivek has also led functional areas such as offshoring business processes, distribution proposition development and product development. Before joining the general insurance industry, Vivek worked in the life insurance and management consulting sectors.
Vivek is a persistent and struggling golfer who remains optimistic about the direction of his game despite his weekly travails in this area. He is also a cricket enthusiast and a firm believer in the purity of test cricket.
Simon BloomfieldHead of imarket
Simon manages the imarket proposition, whose policy volume have grown by over 500% in the last 5 years. Since joining Polaris in 2015, he has helped develop imarket and supported the growth of the portal, which connects multiple insurers to multiple Broker Systems.
He introduced imarket Live–chat which supports Brokers with clarifications relating to quotes or policies, direct from their system. Live-chat is used by six major insurers and deployed into four brokers systems. Simon has helped Polaris introduce Good Customer Outcome Testing in which the Assurance Team review insurer products and Software House Systems.
Simon also manages Polaris' Marketing team and works with senior stakeholders at insurers and broker systems to develop their digital capability within the UK insurance market.
Simon has worked in the insurance industry since 1990. Prior to joining Polaris, Simon held a number of senior roles in Aviva, focusing on the development of propositions for the broker channel and leading activity in commercial and personal lines digital trading.
During his time at Aviva, Simon helped launch the Aviva Fast Trade portal and led work to create a telematics wholesaler for young drivers, as well as managing Aviva’s approach to brokers trading through aggregators.
Simon is a Middlesbrough FC fan and enjoys seeing live music, especially from bands whose heyday were in his younger days, as well as spending quality time with his family.
Martin ThornhillHead of ProductWriter (and Finance Manager)
Martin leads the ProductWriter team, ensuring that Polaris’ market leading rating engine continues to evolve to meet the insurance industry's complex rating and underwriting requirements. Martin promotes ProductWriter’s versatility and scalability, from its ability to deliver niche / high value products, up to powering the many millions of private car and household quotes through the most popular price comparison websites.
Martin joined Polaris in 2007 with the primary role of company accountant. Whilst maintaining his financial responsibilities he has evolved to have a detailed working knowledge and understanding of our services and has helped support the wider business in implementing new initiatives. His experience of ProductWriter spans over 10 years, with his first major project overseeing Release 22 which overhauled a lot of the existing functionality and design elements.
In 2016, Martin implemented the Good Customer Outcomes (GCO) service, leading the Assurance Team in reviewing insurer products and Software House systems. His overall aim was to ensure that these components collectively contribute to the delivery of good customer outcomes throughout the insurance life cycle, starting at pre-quote through to ongoing policy management and servicing. This is still an on-going initiative, now managed by our Standards team.
Previous to joining Polaris, Martin worked as an accountant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers for 6 years.
Martin is currently studying for the CII Diploma in Insurance qualification. Outside of Polaris, he has a keen interest in any physical object powered by a fossil fuel burning engine or a mechanically wound spring.
Steve WallerHead of Standards
Steve is the Polaris product owner for our Standards proposition, covering both commercial and personal lines products. Standards play a crucial role in managing the digital trading capabilities for the insurance industry as they provide the language of the industry.
Since joining Polaris in 2016, Steve has led the Standards team. In that time he has overseen the introduction of a new online database for subscribers to access messaging formats and code lists, the launching of new standards in response to demand from subscribers (such as cyber insurance and for short term property lets), and the development of standards to allow commercial lines products to be sold directly to consumers if insurers wish.
As part of their role, the Standards team review insurer products and Software House systems to ensure that these components collectively contribute to the delivery of good customer outcomes throughout the insurance life cycle, starting at pre-quote through to ongoing policy management and servicing.
Steve started his career working in the claims department of Commercial Union, and has been a product manager at Woolwich Building Society, Saga Services and Lombard Bank. Prior to joining, Steve worked for five years at Google, following its acquisition of BeatThatQuote.com, where Steve had launched comparison services for household, private motor, travel, pet and breakdown insurances.
During his time at Google, Steve also launched car and travel insurance comparison in the UK, car insurance comparison in France and worked with the team to launch car insurance comparison in the US.
Steve is a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute and an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.
Steve is a QPR FC fan and is trying to wean himself off the pre-sets on his camera and instead learn manual mode, so he can with justification describe himself as an amateur photographer. He still gets to the occasional gig as well.