The award was received by Stephan Tan, Group Chief Strategy and Investment Officer, bolttech on behalf of Rob

Group CEO Rob Schimek achieves success for Singapore’s homegrown insurtech unicorn

Bagging this major award is one of the many achievements for bolttech in 2022.

Unicorns are turning heads in recent years, especially with the fast pace of change and unpredictable economic environment, and living up to expectations comes with a fair share of challenges and opportunities for these new companies. 

For bolttech, a high-growth international insurtech, this backdrop has seen the company thrive. 

Launching the business in the middle of a global pandemic, Group CEO Rob Schimek displayed immense foresight and optimism, leading bolttech’s significant growth over the past two years. Since 2020, the company has expanded to 30 markets across Asia, North America and Europe, now counting around 800 distribution partners and 200 insurers as part of the technology-enabled insurance ecosystem bolttech has built. 

Seizing the opportunities amid economic uncertainty marked by travel restrictions and lockdowns, Rob led the business’ “digital-first” approach through many acts of leadership: by hiring entire teams without meeting in person, holding board meetings virtually, and closing acquisition deals and working with regulators to acquire licenses in new markets, all without face-to-face interaction. 

With a laser focus on building a fast-growing and resilient business model, Rob was instrumental in bolttech’s oversubscribed Series A funding round. 

Beyond bolttech’s business achievements, Rob is a key architect of the company’s culture as a highly innovative and agile workplace. Its approach is not just a response to the market or workplace conditions of the past few years, but a core value integral to its work.

Today, bolttech’s 1,500-strong global team is made up of a dispersed, hybrid workforce to provide the greatest level of flexibility to empower each employee to do their best at work. Rob has championed a ‘test and learn’ culture, a core reason why employees have been able to constantly adapt and grow the business.

Under his leadership, bolttech has rolled out an agile methodology the team around the world, equipping them with the skills and tools they need to iterate ideas, execute as a team and act fast to deliver on their goals. 

He has also been integral in securing and expanding partnerships with some of the world’s biggest brands, ranging from fintechs like Maya (Philippines) and JKO Pay (Taiwan) to household names such as LG U+ (Korea), Home Credit and Samsung (across multiple Asia markets). 

For these achievements, Rob and bolttech received the Executive of the Year – Insurtech award in the recently concluded Singapore Business Review Management Excellence Awards.

The awards programme recognises the most outstanding leaders in Singapore for their hard work and dedication that brought tangible contributions to their businesses. It also honours employee engagements and COVID management initiatives that positively impact its workforce or customers.

In granting the award, the judging panel took into consideration how Rob spearheaded bolttech’s Series A funding totalling US$247 million, the largest for an insurtech globally. The judges were impressed with how he brokered key acquisitions with AVA in Singapore and Axle Asia in Indonesia, partnerships such as Viettel Telecom, and innovative greenfield projects with tech firms.

The company also adapted to the hybridisation of work, building a digitally enabled, dispersed workforce of full-time and part-time employees, consultants, and freelance specialists. 

bolttech is on track to complete its current Series B fundraising round in 2023 with an up valuation, despite the current downturn, and looking ahead to 2023, it has ambitious plans for further expansion. 

The SBR Management Excellence Awards is presented by Singapore Business Review Magazine. To view the full list of winners, click here. If you want to join the 2023 awards programme and be acclaimed for your company's employee engagements and management initiatives, please contact Julie Anne Nuñez at [email protected].

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