Transforming culture in the London market


Join Tim Carter, Vice President of Claims at Everest Re who shares his thoughts and ideas on ways to positively transform culture in the London market.


The buzzword of the year has undoubtedly been "transformation", not to mention the arrival of the Future at Lloyd's and Blueprint One initiative…all of which will be covered at TINtech London Market on 11th Feb 2020.

Transformation is a top priority if the London market is going to compete and stay relevant in the digital age. We interviewed Tim Carter, Vice President of Claims at Everest Re to share his own thoughts and ideas on the subject and how you deliver successful transformational culture change – as well as some of the challenges that need to be overcome.

The interview

The one element I would like to focus on, above all, when it comes to transforming culture and introducing new technology and becoming more efficient as a market is people.

In what ways, by focusing on ‘people’, can you transform culture?

We really need to address our talent acquisition and talent development activities. And that's something we think we’ve done very successfully. But I would like to see that rolled out to the broader market. I'd like to see more inclusive hiring practices, more talent from diverse areas of the UK in terms of geography, rather than us hiring from the same pool where we end up with people who think and look and act in a similar way to ourselves. We need to start looking outside of that pool.

And that's the major challenge, because you can't transform your culture unless you transform the way you think. And you can’t transform the way you think and who you are unless you expose yourself to different ways of thinking. And that means you have to be engaged with people that are different.

Benefits of diversity

Well, when I talk about different geographical areas, really at the moment when we're hiring or when most organisations are hiring, we're looking inside the square mile. Looking at our existing talent, it's got really, really narrow geographical focus.

And that's just not broad enough. Now, there are some fantastic initiatives out there and to mention some of the Lloyd’s initiatives. The mentoring scheme and engagement we did with local schools in Tower Hamlets is exposing us to different cultures. It's not a huge geographical distance away, but it's a world away in terms of life experience and in terms of exposure to jobs in the city. And I think it's those kind of areas we need to be looking at.

Key challenges

I think all of today have agreed that there are issues with the culture in the London market, and we've seen recent surveys come out against Lloyd’s. They've talked about toxic culture, really, and inflexible culture and a lack of willingness to change and engage with innovation. So for us to go through all of those challenges, to pass all of those hurdles, we need to have people that see the world differently and think differently and won’t behave in the same way that we as a market, in the past, have been guilty of behaviour. And there has been a huge amount of change. There have been a lot of positive steps forward, but there needs to be more.

How can the insurance industry continue to transform culture?

We need to start focussing on outcomes. Have we got the right outcome from this? So we need to start measuring outcomes rather than taking the easy, lazy option of saying someone's been in the office 9-5 that day, therefore, they're a good employee. So if we do allow more flexible working, which is a fantastic thing, if we do allow part time working as well, if we allow people to be extra flexible during school holidays, then that inevitably encourages a more diverse workforce. Because you will get a lot more senior women returning to the jobs they held previously. You will get younger people being more engaged because they don't necessarily want, nowadays, to work purely a 9 to 5 office job where they have to wear a shirt and tie. So I think that's one way that we can change the culture and combat the somewhat toxic culture that we’ve seen. And I should add that I have seen a lot of positive changes. Things aren't as they used to be, but as I said, we still need to do more.

Takeaways: 3 ways to transform culture in insurance

I think it starts with having a great management team.

  1. Who have clear strategic vision
  2. Who are able to articulate that in a way that everyone can understand.
  3. Willing and able to cascade that down through the entire organisation so that everybody can understand our shared values, what's expected, but into it and support those values.

And I think that's really the only way that you can do it.

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