Westport, CT, Oct. 19, 2022 – Frontier Risk Group (“Frontier Risk” or “the Company”) announced its launch, formally bringing together a team of seasoned executives and experts from the insurance and cannabis industries to build the first tech-enabled insurance ecosystem to better service cannabis risk. The former CEO of Parallel, Inc. and cannabis industry pioneer James Whitcomb, teamed up with IA Capital Group, the leading insurtech-focused investment firm to form the Company.
In addition to announcing the appointment of James Whitcomb as its CEO, Frontier Risk announced additional industry veterans have joined its platform. Jeff Samuels, who brings a breadth of experience from cannabis insurance and insurtech sectors, most recently at Embroker, will serve as the Company’s head of distribution, responsible for Frontier’s multi-channel, tech-enabled brokerage strategy including direct, intermediated and embedded approaches. Jeff Richardson, who was responsible for multiple specialties at OneBeacon / Intact Specialty, has joined Frontier Risk as head of insurance, overseeing product design, pricing, underwriting and capacity for the firm’s proprietary programs and eventual reinsurance unit.
“While the Biden Administration hints at further regulatory progress, the reality is the cannabis industry is stuck in the past on several fronts, perhaps most of all in insurance when it comes to commercial issues,” said Frontier Risk Founder and Chief Executive Officer James Whitcomb. “Today, whether you’re an established large operator or a brand new single dispensary owner, you’re required by law to hold multiple lines of coverage, and many can’t obtain the coverage they need at all, much less at more traditional market prices.
Whitcomb added, “We formed Frontier Risk to build inclusive, modernizing approaches and new opportunities for cannabis to be a true mechanism for social equity in the sector, which I outlined in my open letter to top cannabis executives earlier this year. Our Company also aims to resolve many of the issues signaled in this cannabis insurance brief, which I co-authored with leading global actuarial consulting firm Milliman. By improving access, pricing and risk capacity, Frontier Risk will bring the first technology-enabled insurance ecosystem to market, helping to ensure the cannabis sector has the longevity it deserves and leveling the playing field for businesses, regardless of their size.”
To bolster the insurance team, Frontier Risk also appointed Courtney Stough as Chief Legal Counsel and Chief Operating Officer and Peter Berg as Chief Development Officer. Both executives worked with Whitcomb at Parallel and previously worked for AmLaw Top 100 law firms. Together, this team of executives will help lead the Company in developing market-enhanced insurance solutions, services and products.
“The cannabis industry is entering the mainstream and deserves better insurance options than operators have today,” said IA Capital Group Partner Matt Perlman. “Frontier Risk brings together a team of best-in-class cannabis and specialty commercial underwriting experts who have unrivaled insight into where the true risks lie. Frontier will combine modern technology, superior client service and product offerings and industry-leading data-driven underwriting to create the leading insurance platform for the sector.”
Built from the ground up using modern cloud-native technology, Frontier Risk’s cannabis ecosystem will allow for embedded partnerships, efficient distribution, superior risk selection and proprietary digital applications, which are set to become the new industry standard in the cannabis sector.
Frontier Risk Head of Distribution Jeff Samuels added, “Whether you’re an established large operator or new dispensary owner, you need an insurance team that understands the intricacies of every part of the cannabis value chain. Frontier Risk’s advanced technology platform feeds risk data to all stakeholders – a key differentiator that enables us to quickly match insurance solutions to clients’ needs and enhance our growth and underwriting performance. Today, these solutions don’t exist at scale, but we’re here to change that so the industry can better protect all stakeholders.”
About Frontier Risk Group
Frontier Risk Group is building the first technology-enabled insurance ecosystem to better service cannabis risk. Through its advanced technology platform that feeds risk data to all stakeholders, the Company’s mission is to bring to market insurance solutions backed by tech and data that improve access, pricing and risk capacity across the cannabis insurance ecosystem. For more information, please visit frontierrisk.com.