Driving a dynamic vision for the London Market07.02.19
CEO Clare Lebecq’s speech from the Insider Conference 7th February in full:
The last time I spoke in front of such an esteemed audience I was 3 days into my tenure. 3 months on and a TED Talk book later I am up again to talk about how the LMG is continuing the momentum of change.
You will be delighted to hear that I don’t want to just give you an exhaustive run down of everything we are doing, but I will give you a few highlights of 2018 and how we have already started to build on those in 2019. I also want to hint at our new initiatives. I don’t want to give too much away as we will be doing a full launch of our new vision on 28th February at our morning forum.
I would like to start by simply reminding ourselves of what the LMG is and why we exist.
Our stakeholders are the associations which represent the broking and underwriting communities (Liiba, the IUA and the LMA) plus Lloyd’s. We are therefore a cross-market body, and our aim is to speak collectively for market practitioners on those issues that will help us to grow and enrich London’s position and reputation as a centre of insurance and reinsurance excellence.
Broadly these fall into two categories of activities – those that help bring more business to London and those that make us more efficient and cost effective. So, what are our 2018 highlights?
It feels as if it would be odd not to start with Brexit – not just because it is subject of what feels like every conversation, every day, but actually because I think it is a tremendous case study for what the LMG has facilitated for the London Market.
Brexit was the wild card that none of us expected when the LMG was setting out its agenda in 2015. But it is a topic where the ability to speak with one voice for an industry that provides 26% of the City’s GDP is crucial. We have addressed the problem from both sides of the Channel – submitting our own recommendations and roadmap for future market access to the UK government, as well as meeting officials and regulators from all the major EU economies to help them understand the needs of policyholders in their countries.
We have met MPs, civil servants, members of the House of Lords, EU and UK regulators and foreign governments – investing considerable resource in ensuring we are communicating the issues that are specific and important to us. Questions have been asked in the House and we are confident that the Treasury understands what is critical to both brokers and underwriters. No industry can be sure what the eventual outturn might be – but the market can be confident that we have represented its concerns with a great deal of energy.
We are also confident that amongst the problems that leaving the EU might cause, there are also opportunities. At the invitation of the City Minister John Glen, we submitted a detailed plan outlining opportunities for trade with other countries outside the EU post Brexit. This received a positive response from both the Treasury and the Department for International Trade. We want to make this paper the Blue Print for our Government workstream and work with the government on some real tangible outcomes for our industry. Expect to hear more from us on this in March. But we have already started laying the foundations.
In terms of new trading agreements, we’ve engaged with the Swiss, a crucial relationship going forward. as the announcement on Friday underscored. The LMG and its member associations also played a leading role in helping the UK government with its negotiations to replicate the US / EU Covered Agreement which is a major success for the industry.
Both the opportunities and threats of Brexit reinforce the absolute imperative to tell the London market story more often and more clearly – to provide our buyers with a clear case for coming here to purchase our product.
A year ago we launched the London Makes It Possible campaign. Rooted in international and local market research, our campaign focusses on the benefits that we can offer from being the only true insurance hub. The campaign is illustrated behind me, a “fantasy EC3” – bringing to life the myriad of economic and social activity that London helps to make possible.
Phase 1 was designed to energise and enthuse the 52,000 people who work for London Market businesses. You are all our best ambassadors and we want people to feel pride in working here and be equipped to answer the question “why London” confidently and consistently. Phase 2 has taken steps into the US – at RIMS and WSIA, and we are developing plans for 2019, indeed we had a very productive session lead by the workstream sponsor Richard Dudley last week to help pull these plans together.
And if we are attracting new buyers by telling a better story, then it is pretty fundamental that we need to be easier to do business with. I am not going to go into huge details on the Target Operating model but suffice we have delivered a number of new artefacts into the market in 2018. E-placement figures have improved and DA SATS was launched. But until organisations connect the dots and stitch it all together and consciously step back and review their own processes and organisational structures it will be impossible for them to realise the benefits.
Helen Crooks the sponsor of TOM Data Integration is working to ensure the market has viable integration options to facilitate this process.
And last, but very much not least, there is the talent which is such a vital part of making the London Market what it is today. We are alive to fact that many firms in the market are investing heavily in D&I, so our focus has been on attracting new talent into the market.
LondonInsuranceLife is now two years old. It is multi award winning engagement campaign which aims to interest and engage the next generation of talent through social media and targeted events. Led by 130 volunteer ambassadors – inspirational young role models drawn from across the market, it aims to dispel pre-conceived ideas about insurance and demonstrate the range of careers the market offers. It is a great way of leveraging our resources for the benefit of our industry.
We recently held a social evening at BRIT hosted by Matthew Wilson who is the sponsor of the Talent and diversity initiative. At the event I met some of our ambassadors for the first time and I was struck by their enthusiasm for our market and their commitment to the programme and to taking it forward. I challenged them all to take London insurance life to the next level in 2019.
I would like to talk for a few minutes about what might come next. Andrew Horton, CEO of Beazley and Chair of the LMG spent the first six months of his Chairmanship talking to our board members about what else we might add to our agenda. As I have said, we will be launching this more formally at the end of February, but here is a flavour of those discussions.
Hearing from our insureds is quite high on our wish list. We have done research before – both for the first London Matters report and when we were creating London Makes It Possible, and I suspect we will do more. We need to ask about our products and services and listen to the answers – We know that the pattern of demand is shifting. Connected risks need connected answers. This is the very opposite of providing lines of business sold from silos for the market’s convenience
Insight and intelligence will be vital in informing the Market’s future direction. We need to do this in a way that does not impinge on the relationships that clients already have in the market. As a cross market body we cannot bring solutions to clients, but we can raise awareness of emerging client needs and stimulate innovation in the market to meet them.
It is also important for us to position insurance not just in terms of indemnification but also as means of building resilience and supporting economic growth. Insurance plays a vital role in society and the economy and we must get better at telling this story.
And finally, can we share our collective expertise and experience more regularly and widely? Many businesses within the market share thought leadership, but might the whole be greater than the sum of the parts? If our unique proposition is based on the power of being a hub, with its inherent intellectual capital – then surely this is an asset to spotlight.
As I said, these are our initial thoughts, but our board – while representing a considerable percentage of the market, does not represent everyone. This is your market and your work that we are leading – and we do want to hear from as many of you are possible. I would be delighted to come and speak to any member firm in the market so please do get in touch and engage with us in thinking about the future.
Not only have we got to get better at telling the London Market story, we also need to get better at telling the LMG story through all of the channels available to us. Engagement with the people that we serve is important to ensure that we keep up to date with your issues. We are building a new more news focused website, and improving the way we deliver the documents and standards that we look after on behalf of the market. Something else to look forward to in March.
The interdependence of our market is both a strength and a challenge. Our ability to compete and collaborate simultaneously gives great vibrancy and creativity. But change cannot always happen through the action of individual market participants. It often needs a catalyst and conductor. I believe that the LMG has demonstrated the importance of its role in this process, and I am confident that there is more to do as we continue to make change happen for the collective good.