Original article from The Canadian Business Journal June 2017 Volume 10, Issue 6
Founded in 2001, Bluesun designs software for Managing General Agencies, national accounts, insurance carriers, bancassurance companies and mutual fund dealers. Their vision is to make the delivery of software solutions painless for their insurance industry clients. The idea made sense in 2001 and it makes sense to this day; and Bluesun of today has 55 employees, and has realized a 30 per cent year over year growth over the past two years. With the head office in Burlington, Ont., Bluesun handles between 60 to 80 per cent of the Canadian life insurance business from the independent sales channel. Its WealthServ product suite comprises of a fully functional back office and front office suite of solutions supporting the insurance, segregated funds and mutual fund lines of business.
The Canadian Business Journal spoke with Mike Donati, Bluesun’s President and CEO. Donati, who’s been with the company for a year, brings 30 years of experience in the insurance industry with a background in software sales and operations, working with both carriers and distribution, and with focus on Canada and the U.S. Donati has an aggressive but achievable growth strategy to grow Bluesun’s product and services footprint within the insurance and wealth industries.
“Insurance distribution is our only industry focus, and we are increasing our products and services to support this focus,” explains Donati. “We also follow a “client-first” philosophy. We try very hard to listen what our client’s needs are, how we can help them, and fundamentally work with our clients to see how we can together sell more life insurance. Bluesun is not a small company anymore. We have grown to be an enterprise company with proper security, mature processes, and governance controls in place, so that a large insurance carrier would feel very comfortable working with us.”
Donati’s goal today is to double or triple the company size through diversification and organic growth within the next three to five years with a profitable growth outlook. “We have a combination of products and services, and being a SaaS [software-as-a-Service] company means we have transactional recurring revenue stream from our products, which I want to focus on increasing.”
Donati’s leadership also focuses on increasing Bluesun’s product offering for the Canadian insurance industry, and its current product lineup offers the opportunity to always be able to offer a solution, and help any player in the Canadian life insurance industry.
WealthServ is the company’s core product and it represents 50% of the company’s business. WealthServ is a product suite for MGA’s and represents the backbone of any MGA operations. The system supports complete administration for insurance, segregated fund and mutual fund administration. “The five largest national MGAs run their business on WealthServ, and in 2016 we also established a significant foothold in the Quebec market with the two largest MGAs — SFL of Desjardins Financial Security and NFIA of Industrial Alliance,” says Donati.
Bluesun’s market reach has become the topic of many internal discussions with the MGAs, as the company continues to take on the small- and medium-sized regional MGA’s, and raising the question of compliance and security that these companies must address. “The clients also want to have all their business on a single system, and we are the only company able to provide this. We provide significant operational efficiency as well as a 360-degree view of the advisor. None of our competitors can provide such breadth and depth in one singular platform.”
Another focus for Bluesun is the APEXA initiative. APEXA is a collaboration with various leading Carrier and MGA organizations in the Canadian life insurance industry in building an advisor screening, contracting, and compliance service. APEXA, is an industry lead solution with the goal of bringing higher standardization, clarity, timeliness and efficiency to contracting and compliance for all industry stakeholders. It will provide each province and territory the platform to share licensing and enforcement where it matters most — as part of a systematic, industry-approved, national, web-based solution. Bluesun is an APEXA partner owner and the development and support organization for the APEXA software solution.
“This is an initiate where the life insurance industry saw the opportunity to work together to have a single industry solution rather than each company doing their own thing. The system will be live very soon.”
Bancassurance administration is another focus for Bluesun. Direct life and health distributors rely on Bluesun’s technology to help them launch simplified issue insurance products quickly and efficiently, with full integration across all sales channels, supporting policy capture, policy issue and administration.
“Clients can focus on the insurance side, while we provide the infrastructure, support and operations to support all aspects of their day-to-day operations including client information, policy holding management, campaign management, sales support administration, as well as analytics and integration.”
The breadth of Bluesun products represents a force to be reckoned with in the Canadian insurance industry and, most recently, Bluesun has become the exclusive reseller and implementation partner for the U.S.-based iPipeline for their product offerings for electronic applications (iGO e-App®), Illustrations, electronic policy delivery (DocFast®), and health class rating solutions (XRAE®) for the Canadian marketplace.
Bluesun and its product offering has carved out a niche in the insurance industry, and it’s likely that most, if not all, Canadian insurance providers will serve their clients using some of the Bluesun suite of solution’s in a very short time.