Influencing the future of the London Insurance Market

London Market Digital Minds DXC Blogs

DXC’s Caroline Bedford talks about the Digital Minds delegates at the ACORD London Forum.

When asked to chair a panel on the subject of “Influencing the Future of the London Market” at the recent ACORD London Forum, I was delighted that our Digital Minds delegates would share the stage with such impressive industry leaders.

The Digital Minds think tank was created to bring together some of the market’s best innovators. They’re a blend of leaders and emerging leaders, representing carriers, brokers, associations and partners.

London Market Digital Minds DXC Blogs

As our panelists discussed topics ranging from InsurTech and innovation to diversity and disruption, their eloquence, appetite and drive to promote the London Insurance Market shone through. They have a clear passion for ensuring London’s competitive position in the global insurance market, and a commitment to make it happen. They are enthusiastic about driving growth, through both cultural and technical innovation, and they are well aware of the risks and opportunities they believe the market is facing.

Below are some of the insights shared by a few of our panelists:

Sebastian de Zulueta, Innovation Facilitator, LM TOM Innovation Exchange

The ACORD London Forum demonstrated an encouraging range of approaches to innovation across the London Market.

Being a part of the DXC Digital Minds panel was, at first, a little bit nerve-racking. As the panel went on, it was great to see so much interest from the audience in what the panel had to say, especially with respect to our vision of a digital market. Although we aren’t all completely aligned in our thinking, I think the panelists certainly supported a digital approach to the future of the London market, underpinned by the need for a fresh way of thinking.

The panel made it clear that we want a bright future for the London market and that in fact the future was never brighter than it is now- but we need to embrace the advancements in technology.

As Ruan Ebersohn put it, on a practical note, we need to get away from paper and move into a digital market place which will then lay the foundations to enhance our capabilities and expertise as a market to an unprecedented scale.

Jamie Garratt was a great advocate of innovation being primarily driven by companies competing at a scale that impacts the rest of the market.

Jasmine Shell was coherent in her call to action that we are all in a position to drive change; you just have to want it.

Natasha and I were able to give insights into centrally driven innovation, which could be argued brought the panel together on the day. Central innovation is a powerful facilitator for innovation.

The panel was not in the least bit controversial but rather on point, with clear support from market veterans in the audience who seemed to be refreshed by the panel’s vigour and confidence in driving change.

There is so much opportunity out there for the London Market that it boggles the mind. From AI and machine learning for underwriting decision enhancement, to emerging markets and blockchain for our back and front office processing. We are on the cusp of entering into a full industry revolution that will keep the best of the market and marry it to the best of the new technology available on our doorsteps.

A great event and thank you to DXC.

Jasmine Shell, Communications Executive, Lloyd’s Market Association

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Jasmine Shell speaks at the event.

After the panel, both Ruan and I were approached by a member of the audience with one final question; “Are our current leaders resistant to change? Must we only rely on fresh thinking from the next generation of leaders?”

If you had asked me this a year or so ago, I would have said yes without hesitation. But as time has gone on and my involvement in the market has grown, it is clear to see that our senior leaders aren’t barriers to change. Many have been very active in moving our industry forward, and we are beginning to see progress. This isn’t quite across the board, and there are of course some who are resistant to change, but the modernisation message has begun to break through even the firmest of barricades.

To continue this, there has to be an element of joining forces; allowing the skills of the next generation to work with the experience of the market on our transformational journey.

At the ACORD London Forum, our Digital Minds panel had a great opportunity to represent a microcosm of what’s going on in the market today; five individuals representing every spectrum of our market from Broker to Carrier, Service Provider to Association. Sharing a common goal; to maintain the relevance and competitive position of the London market. One common goal, but each of us with a different opinion on how to get there. As a panel, we could all at least agree that we need to change fundamentally the way we do business.

If I could select one specific thing to take away from this panel discussion, it was the importance of personal responsibility. Each and every one of us is responsible for our part in changing this industry, and we simply cannot afford to sit aside and wait for the market to change for us. The Target Operating Model (TOM) has been fundamental in shifting perceptions towards a change mind-set. We need to capitalise on this, and each of us look internally at what we can achieve. We saw the example of creating new digital roles from Jamie, and researching and identifying new opportunities in technology from Sebastian, but above all, the importance of advocacy from the panellists. As individuals, we may only have one voice, but together, we have 34,000.

Jamie Garratt, Class Underwriter, Upstream Energy, Talbot Underwriting

As an underwriter, I’ve become increasingly aware that the market, in general, has far too many inefficiencies from its many years of tradition and relative lack of competition. I feel we’ve become comfortable.  The rise of digital technology means that to compete in the global market we must ‘adapt or die’ – and I’ve seen the tide turning.

The transformation we need to go through certainly won’t be easy. The market is relationship-driven, and dealing face to face with your peers on a routine basis makes for a social and engaging working life that’s very easy to get used to, and in some cases, difficult to relinquish.  I’m very aware that some of the aspects I enjoy will need to be sacrificed for the ‘greater good,’ but as a community, and also as individual organisations, we need to wake up to change. InsurTech firms are beginning to partner with traditional insurers, and many insurers are creating incubators and/or accelerators themselves.  Digital technology and its potential represent too many opportunities – and threats – to be ignored.

Digital Minds is a great platform to engage with like-minded people and be exposed to innovative ideas. It allows me to be involved in understanding and shaping the change that is coming to our market, whether we like it or not. I volunteered for the ACORD London Forum panel as it represented an opportunity to get my vision across to a new audience and demonstrate that if the Digital Minds panel – representatives from broker, carrier, supplier and association organisations – could share similar goals and agree on change – then with the right support, the market can too.

On behalf of DXC, thank you to all of our panelists: Sebastian de Zulueta, Innovation Facilitator, LM TOM Innovation Exchange; Ruan Ebersohn, Programme Manager, Miller Insurance Services; Natasha Bond, Project Manager, Central Services Refresh Programme, DXC; Jamie Garratt, Class Underwriter, Upstream Energy, Talbot Underwriting; and Jasmine Shell, Communications Executive, Lloyd’s Market Association.

Image copyright © www.philippagedge.com


Caroline Bedford is the Head of Digital Minds, DXC Technology. Follow Digital Minds on Twitter, #DXCDigitalMinds.

RELATED LINKS

The changing London Market: Globalisation and modernisation in insurance

Tapping into digital minds in the London insurance market

Is this Asian insurance market primed for a tech transformation?

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