The experts will help guide the company to its next phase of growth
Insurance payments platform Ascend announced that Jim Hackbarth, former president and CEO of Assurex Global, and Robert W. Smith, former president of agency operations at PCF Insurance Services, have been appointed as founding members of its advisory board.
As board members, Hackbarth and Smith will help guide the company toward its next phase of growth. Ascend intends to expand its network of insurance brokerages, MGAs, agency networks, insurtechs and carriers.
Hackbarth has more than 30 years of insurance experience. He began his career at IBM and held senior positions at Price Waterhouse, Policy Management Systems and Agency Management Systems (now Vertafore).
Hackbarth founded Cornerstone Partners, a consulting firm specializing in executive recruiting, early-stage investing and incubating startups. From 2003 to 2021 he served as president and CEO of Assurex Global, the world’s largest privately held risk management and commercial insurance brokerage group. He currently serves as an advisor to insurtechs and a board member for two venture capital-backed companies in the insurance sector.
“Ascend has the potential to streamline one of the oldest aspects of insurance,” Hackbarth said. “Payment infrastructure and processes between customers, brokerages, wholesalers and carriers have lagged behind many other innovations within insurance, and I’m excited to see Ascend address these issues in the space. in general.”
Robert W. Smith has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the financial products sector. He previously held regional and national practice group leadership positions at Acrisure and Aon, and as president of agency operations at PCF Insurance Services.
Smith recently founded Fideles Advisors, an advisory firm for independent insurance agencies, private equity investors, insurers seeking distribution insights, and businesses. seeking to coordinate with insurance agents.
“I am excited to support and promote Ascend’s differentiated value proposition, especially to larger and more complex buyers,” said Smith. “Drawn from my experience working with independent agencies and large aggregators, I recognize the transformative potential of Ascend’s latest technology to streamline and modernize the financial insurance infrastructure through automation. I believe that Ascend’s approach will improve the agency’s revenue, while at the same time improving the industry as a whole in the future.
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