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A meeting with keynote, Steve Hearn of TINtech London Market 2017 where Steve discusses the macro challenges facing London, the strategic changes he is leading within Ed Broking and how things have moved on since his involvement in the influential London Matters report in 2014.
Written by Jeremy Burgess, CEO, The Insurance Network
Steve Hearn, CEO of Ed Broking and one of the insurance industry’s leading lights in the London market is giving the keynote address at TINtech London Market in February. Ahead of the event I met with Steve to discuss the macro challenges facing London, the strategic changes he is leading within Ed Broking and how things have moved on since his involvement in the influential London Matters report in 2014.
Steve was quick to explore the global strategic context and the dynamics that are driving change in every sector. “You have to accept that there is a fundamental shift towards the East. That is where the growth is coming from and that is where, as an international insurance market, we need to focus our attention.”
Global strategic context
“In this context you then need to evaluate London’s relative market position and assess whether the USPs that London offered in the past are still relevant now. I would argue that if you ask customers today what they need from their insurance brokers they would say, a local presence, an understanding of their language and culture, and the specific nature of the risks and perils they are looking to mitigate.”
Steve then went onto talk about the rise of digitalisation, technology developments such as IoT and changing customer expectations around how services are delivered. It’s clear that this changing environment is considered an opportunity for those that can adapt.
Given this context it is no wonder that we have seen Cooper Gay rebranded as Ed Broking but what do they want to reposition themselves as?
“We want to been seen as the Global broker, local to our customers and using technology to deliver the enhanced service they expect. We have changed the organisational structure of the company so we are placing customers’ needs firmly at the heart of the business – for example we don’t have regional hubs competing for the same business…there is one P&L. All our brokers will have access to the Ed app that pulls in real-time data allowing them to deliver the best advice, at the right time to customers.”
“The overall aim is to add the most value that we can by widening our expertise to individual companies.”
Many of the market wide initiatives that are underway today, such as the London Market TOM, were a direct response to the London Matters report that Steve was instrumental in commissioning. I was keen to see how he thought the report’s findings had impacted the market and what would be the future challenges the market would need to address.
“I think that the London Matters report was important because it provided some facts around London’s market position, its shrinking market share and its inefficiencies. For years people had been talking about the need for change but the basis for their arguments were always anecdotal – the report provided the facts.”
“Once those facts were on the table there were two reactions. The majority of people understood that things needed to change although how is a different question, and a minority that thought they could carry on as they always had done. I think the report was a significant piece of work that added to the argument that change was not only needed but inevitable if the market was going to survive and prosper.”
And what of the future challenges?
“Well, I think there are three big challenges and uncertainties facing all organisations. The first is the technology and digital revolution that we all know about – how will this impact our businesses and the products and services we provide? The second big challenge is future talent, diversity and leadership – how can we create an industry and an environment where we can attract the skills and competencies to compete in the future. Finally, branding the London market – what does the London market actually mean to our customers and who is representing London in the fast developing regional hubs?”
Attend the conference to hear Steve Hearn elaborate – TINtech London Market 2017