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Annette King

Co-founder, Galileo Platforms

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“I’ve stuck with tech because of the massive business opportunity,” said Annette King, co-founder of Galileo Platforms, an insurance software company. “Hundreds of millions of people in Asia are coming into the addressable insurance market, so this is a place to make a profitable business.”

King is a qualified actuary who’s pursued a career in insurance and wealth management. Her career goes back to her teenage years, when she won a university scholarship from an insurance company.

“But it’s the client side that got me interested,” she said. “I get energy from seeing a client with a need, and coming up with a differentiated solution.”

She got into tech in the late 1990s, helping develop the first online insurance app in her native Australia. From then on her insurance career has entwined with technology. “It’s all been about access to data and getting insights, whether it’s pricing, claims or marketing,” she said. “Technology is such a strong enabler.”

Her formal insurance career won her the Singapore CEO role at Manulife, which led to running the Manulife Asia region’s client experience and brand. This included instituting the necessary culture and strategic changes to foster innovation.

But she felt the pull of doing something on her own. “The speed and momentum you get from data and technology suits small, agile organizations,” she said. “It creates new possibilities.”

Last year she co-founded Galileo with Mark Wales and Jenny Sutton, two other insurance veterans, to enable blockchain-based insurance transactions that provide a single source of data regarding retail clients. The startup recently completed a Series A funding round and a proof of concept with Sun Life Insurance.

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Annette King