Richard Leftley, President & CEO of MicroEnsure, has been named one of London’s top 40 development leaders under 40 by Devex, a social enterprise that offers recruiting and business information services to professionals in international development. Leftley, an expert in microinsurance who has helmed Opportunity’s insurance subsidiary MicroEnsure since 2002, was interviewed by Devex Senior Editorial Associate Eliza Villarino. In “3 Questions for… Richard Leftley: A Microinsurance Visionary,” Villarino asks him about “his leadership and vision for development cooperation in the years to come.” The following is an excerpt of that interview–see the original post here.
Here’s what he said:
Eliza Villarino: What do you see as your main achievement in the microinsurance realm?
Richard Leftley: Ten years ago I was one of the first to see that a market for insurance to the poor existed and I am proud of the role that we have played in providing millions of people with insurance for the first time. I am also proud of the innovation that has become synonymous with MicroEnsure’s work; a first mover on weather index products to help the poor with changing climates, a first mover in providing health insurance in Africa and a first mover in selling insurance not just through microfinance companies but also through mobile networks and churches.
E.V.: What new uses of microinsurance do you find the most innovative and promising in boosting global development?
R.L.: Microinsurance is about providing a safety net to the world’s low income and middle income market; stopping them falling back into poverty following a disaster. But in order to be sustainable, it has also to be about massive scale. For this reason I am most excited about the role that mobile phone networks can play in providing access to millions of people who have yet to have insurance. [Ultimately] we will double the number of people that have insurance in Ghana as a result of being able to reach a new market through mobile networks.
E.V.: What has been your main challenge scaling up MicroEnsure’s global operations, and how have you overcome it?
R.L.: MicroEnsure serves over 3 million people with a range of microinsurance products and is currently growing in excess of 200,000 new clients per month. During our first two years of operation we really struggled to gain traction in terms of growth; we had to learn which distribution partnerships would result in the greatest scale and why different partners were more productive than others. The greatest challenge for microinsurance is finding willing and able points of distribution for the products.
Read the original post on devex.com»