Mon 25 Sep. 2017

New IIL President & Deputy President for 2017-18 announced

Roger Sanders OBE, Cert PFS, Director, Workplace Distribution and Industry Affairs, Lighthouse Group plc, took office as the new President of the Insurance Institute of London (IIL) for 2017-18 at the AGM on Monday 25 September.

Roger succeeds Russell Higginbotham FCII, Global Head of Life & Health Products for Swiss Re and is joined by new Deputy President Nicolas Aubert, Chief Executive Officer, Willis Towers Watson GB and Chair of the London Market Group.

Commenting on his appointment, Roger Sanders said “I am both humbled and energised by the prospect of serving the Institute and will do my very best to represent all sectors of the market and build upon the increasing momentum and hard work that has been the hallmark of Russell’s leadership in the past 12 months. I take office in the same month as Sharon Sutton, the new President of the Personal Finance Society and just over a month after Dame Inga Beale was installed as President of the CII and I look forward with working closely with them both.

“In thinking about the theme for my year in office, I settled upon ‘Insurance at a crossroads – innovation v stability, or, can we have both?’ At a crossroads because not only is political risk high on everyone’s agenda, but further regulatory change is rapidly approaching within the next 12 months:

  • The asset managers face a step change in transparency and disclosure of costs
  • MiFid II and all its consequent changes arrives on 03 January
  • The FCA’s transposition of the Insurance Distribution Directive [regardless of Brexit] commences on 23 February
  • The General Data Protection Regulations go live on 25 May
  • All whilst the elephant in the room, Solvency II, grows ever larger
  • And another elephant raises its trunk; the post Brexit challenge of long-term insurance contracts in the EU after March 2019
  • At the same time, the role of Lloyd’s itself as a regulator, additional to the FCA and the PRA, is under the spotlight; particularly how it can balance the cost and enforcement of regulation with the need to facilitate innovation and risk-taking, Lloyd’s original strengths.

“I see the challenges for 2017/18 and beyond as primarily ones of speeding up innovation and re-establishing trust and stability:

  • The London insurance market being under increasing international competition and seeking to find ways to improve its efficiency and attractiveness
  • Lloyd’s insurers facing an unsustainable expense ratio of over 40 cents in the dollar, partly arising from inherent inefficiencies and the costs of distribution and regulation, all of which are having to be addressed; else, London’s market share will shrink further
  • Modernising the market through technology to reduce historic inefficiencies and lessen the expense burden, at the same time making the market more accessible. However, the development of more efficient transactional platforms and data standards, to enable digitalisation, is proving a slow burner
  • Responding quickly to recent events in Florida and the Caribbean, and now Mexico, will strengthen trust in the market for putting the customer first and reinforce its reputation for efficient claims payment
  • Improving the market’s cultural and ethnic diversity will help to improve its international attractiveness to employees and to customers, who must remain central to its thinking

“I conclude that we can achieve innovation and stability provided that the constant focus of all participants is the customer, and to do this we must harness technology. Although our “Uber moment” has yet to arrive, we now know that disruptor business models will be on the regulators’ radar, and it would be a shame if only new entrants to the market were to be the innovators. Insurance is still a people business underpinned by mutual trust but the invisibility of the insurance sector is a challenge. All too often we are subsumed in to the generality of financial services; it is insurance that makes things hang together behind the scenes, the glue that can be an enabler and a reducer of risk in people’s lives.”