Why you don't want to be a slow husky

By Paul Jardine

insights

Why you don't want to be a slow husky

​Innovation for innovation's sake can send you down an expensive rabbit hole. Ask yourself: what question are you trying to answer and is the customer at the heart of it? The insurance industry is enjoying some of the best market conditions it has seen in a while, despite increasingly challenging headwinds. In such an environment it can be tempting to make hay while the sun shines and to forget about the future. But now is precisely the time to be thinking strategically about your digital transformation and asking where you want to be in five years' time. Here's why: Once we're back in the depths of a soft market or dealing with the next systemic risk, there simply won't be the bandwidth or the capital. And, if you don't do it now, your competitors definitely will. There is a tendency in the insurance sector to put off innovation, to just benchmark ourselves against our peers and forget why we are doing all of this. We've got to stick our head above the parapet and think not only about the threat of disruption from competitors within the industry but the threat from external players we haven't even thought about.  Widen your lensI remember meeting up with a former colleague who had become the chairman of a major insurer and I asked him what the difference was between being a full-time CFO and being in his plural career. His answer was that previously he thought he had the broadest possible view. The company was benchmarking itself against its peer group, the market and best practice. But in reality, his view was far too narrow. "We weren't spending enough time thinking about the 'What ifs' or the threats we didn't even know about because we were so focused on our business, people, mission and strategy, results and our shareholders," he said. "It's only when you step back, and you've got time to pause and think, that you realise there's a lot of other stuff going on."An example I always used to give was the Finnish Rubber Works, which was established in 1898 to manufacture wellington boots. During presentations, I would go through every stage of the corporate history, then pause and ask the audience, who is the company? It was Nokia, which at the time, was the largest mobile phone company in the world. We all know what happened next. Nokia's incredible decline in just six years because it was blind to the threat from new technology - notably from the iPod/iPhone - and because it had failed to innovate in time. Putting the customer firstDon't delay. Now is the time to sacrifice some margin to maintain your competitive position. But be clear on why you are innovating and what questions you are seeking to answer. First on the list has got to be, how do we offer more value to the customer?We all know that customer expectations are changing. It's no longer just about the product - it's now about the service. Through e-commerce, we are all used to getting what we want in the most efficient way possible. I went on a road trip to Portugal recently and was scratching my head because each country has different legal requirements on what equipment you are required to carry - everything from a spare set of bulbs through to breathalyser kits. I was sitting at the laptop, put a few search terms into Amazon and viola, up came a page full of comprehensive European travel kits - all reasonably priced and next-day delivery.The needs of the customer is one of the guiding principles of the LMG Data Council. We need to have the customer in mind with every discussion and decision we make. Ultimately, our aim is to deliver a world-class customer journey with minimal workarounds, single points of data entry and one single version of the truth. But currently, just 50p in every pound spent on premium is going towards the customer, so there is a long way to go.​Be selective There is no need to reinvent the wheel - the technology exists and there are some fantastic insurtechs doing creative things. But be selective. Look outside of the confines of the industry and ask yourself, what does your customer want and expect? The innovators are thinking about how they use their resources more effectively and how they enhance them through the smart use of technology.At Peacce, where I am also an advisor, we are doing some work with clients to generate insights into the prospects who don't buy their products. They went through the journey of getting a quote but didn't buy... why was that? Was it too expensive or did they not feel valued? There's still an awful lot of work to be done around meeting customer expectations.So the technology to achieve our transformation goals is there already. The next step is harnessing it, selecting the right options and enriching the most useful datasets so you can make better decisions that will ultimately lead to great customer outcomes. Crucially, don't wait until the next soft market. By then, you will have been left behind. Or to put it slightly more crudely: If you're not the lead dog pulling the dog sled, your view will always be the same.​

Lloyd's turns the spotlight to culture

By Paul Jardine

insights

Lloyd's turns the spotlight to culture

​​For the first time, Lloyd's Project Rio places culture at the front and centre of a set of principles-based standards syndicates must strive to achieve. We can all point to examples of toxic corporate cultures which have been the undoing of some of the world's biggest brands. These include excessive risk taking and cultures of blindness that brought down Lehman Brothers during the Great Financial Crisis and contributed to the Volkswagen emissions scandal to cultures of bullying and harassment, some of them uncomfortably close to home. Yet for too long the importance of corporate culture has been sidelined. Treated as an intangible aspect of the business that is considered too esoteric to effectively regulate compared to other measures of governance and performance. With its Project Rio Principles for Doing Business at Lloyd's, the Corporation is challenging this perception. In an era that has seen and is continuing to see a profound shift in the importance assigned to inclusion & diversity and ESG, Lloyd's has sent a clear message that market participants must seek to create and maintain diverse, ethical and authentic cultures by, among other things: Demonstrating leadership focus on fostering an inclusive, high-performance culture; Ensuring behaviour expectations are clear and there is zero tolerance for inappropriate behaviour; Encouraging speaking up (and that there are appropriate tools for employees to do so); Ensuring diverse representation within their workforce and leadership population and be inclusive in how talent is recruited and retained to reflect society and their customers, and Understand their employee population, collecting appropriate data and taking action to create an inclusive employee experience. It is essential to increase accountability for culture at a firm level, believes Lloyd's. "We have called out culture as a principle on its own to reflect the momentum behind the many initiatives to improve culture across the market," reflected Kasey Brown, Culture and Engagement Lead at Lloyd's in a market briefing. "We recognise that culture is unique, it can be a source of competitive advantage for firms but we also recognise that culture can be an organisation's downfall and we don't want that to happen." The market wants syndicates to be more "intentional" about culture and proactive in shaping and managing their culture so firms can attract and retain the talent they need to deliver on their strategy. This is because encouraging greater diversity helps to avoid groupthink and fosters greater innovation. For firms that can demonstrate they are taking concrete steps to create and maintain inclusive and high-performance cultures, there are obvious competitive advantages. There is a growing evidence of research into the strong correlations between the ability of organisations' that prioritise ethnic and gender diversity (including balanced boards) to outperform their peers. Research shows that inclusive teams make better decisions 87% of the time. Beyond these competitive benefits, Lloyd's has also committed to taking a lighter touch approach to syndicates that score highly across the dimensions it considers most critical, culture being one. The easing of the market's compliance burden should help free up management time and resource to focus on growth and innovation. The market has indicated it understands each firm's approach to meeting the principles outlined under Project Rio will, appropriately, vary depending upon the size and maturity of the organisation. But as always, the tone must be set from the top. In order to foster an environment in which colleagues feel adequately comfortable to share their personal data, it is essential to communicate what the benefits are and how their information is being used. The workforce must first understand the why, and then the how. Active allyship programmes help to foster cultures of inclusion and acceptance. Returner programmes are among the more innovative recruitment methods which can help to tap into more diverse talent pools, supporting women - for instance - who have taken a career break to start a family. Recognising the importance of transferable skills as the industry evolves allows firms to look far beyond the confines of EC3. Successive CEOs of Lloyd's have pushed the market forward in raising minimum standards for performance, and culture is now recognised as a critical dimension to that. It is a journey and will not happen overnight. But if, as a business, you can demonstrate you are instilling a positive and authentic culture with proper representation of inclusion and diversity across your team and board, the Corporation expects your organisation will grow and drive value over time. And, crucially, it will give you the space to get on with delivering on your strategic goals.

ESG: Why insurers must be the change

By Paul Jardine

insights

ESG: Why insurers must be the change

​​Forget the disappointments of COP26. This is the insurance industry's opportunity to step up and drive the Race to Zero by offering industry-wide transition incentives, a building-back-better approach to claims and funding crucial scientific research. Such an approach will improve the underlying risk to the benefit of all stakeholders. It is fair to say there was some disappointment following the COP26. A feeling that the targets agreed in the Glasgow Climate Pact did not go far enough, with only a few countries making their pledges legally binding. What was also clear at the climate summit was the essential role of insurance, both in absorbing the physical toll of a more extreme climate but also, and crucially, in driving risk mitigation and resilience. As world leaders backed away from making tough decisions, the opportunity grew for the insurance industry to drive the transition we all need to see. But it needs to be joined up, transparent and go beyond the requirements of TCFD and other climate risk reporting frameworks. Re/insurers, MGAs and brokers know that the "E" in ESG is far more than a tick-box exercise. They also know that insureds that are incentivised to invest in climate adaptation and mitigation ultimately benefits their book of business by reducing claims volatility. To date, we have seen admirable industry initiatives that aim to bring some of our best thinkers around the table to come up with joint solutions and initiatives, including innovative risk transfer schemes for some of the world's most vulnerable and underinsured regions. One of the lasting images from COP26 was when the foreign minister of Tuvalu addressed the summit knee-deep in water. It was an undeniable representation of the climate crisis that faces us all, but that will disproportionately hit our island nations. The UN-convened Net-Zero Insurance Alliance holds great promise. There are examples of policies that offer premium discounts to energy firms that can demonstrate they are meeting their SDG targets. At Lloyd's, an ESG-syndicate is launching in January 2022. And Willis Towers Watson has made significant strides with its Climate Transition Pathway solution. ​​Time to scale up But we need a consistent, industry-wide approach to drive and financially support and incentivise insureds' transitions to zero carbon. It is time to scale up some of these different approaches and get everyone to buy in. By providing our clients with information that helps them to be better businesses, we also benefit ourselves and society more broadly. When their risks are better managed, they become better risks from an insurance perspective, whilst becoming greener and more sustainable. From a risk mitigation perspective, the principle of 'building back better' must be widely adopted and discussed. It should become common practice that any flood-hit property, for instance, is restored in a flood resilient manner - and that we have frank discussions about insurability. I always remember a photo taken during a UK flood event. It was of a field clearly within a flood plain, completely submerged in water with only the top part of a sign showing, promoting an exciting new housing development. In this country, we have a shortage of housing stock, but we need to be building with future climate in mind. These, after all, were the principles upon which the government-backed Flood Re risk pool was based. Insurers and their loss adjusters and claims managers should be funding clients to rebuild in a sustainable way, rather than perpetuating the status quo. Some insurers are being very creative in the remediation and adaptation type work, because they recognise it improves customer retention and it's the right thing to do. But the examples are too few and far between. As an industry, we must also invest more in research as eventually the science and data will help to inform policy. We need more industry practitioners to invest in initiatives like the Nekton Foundation (where I sit on the Board of Trustees), which carries out deep ocean exploration to gain scientific evidence and knowledge so we can better protect our natural world through innovative policy design. ​I have always been surprised the insurance industry has not been more involved in such crucial research. The data and insights generated are essential to our transition journeys and restoring and protecting naturally resilient ecosystems, such as coral reefs and mangrove forests. And, as we have mentioned before in this blog, actions speak louder than words. As an industry, we have to walk the talk, be authentic and embrace the changes required. It requires true leadership and the ability to collaborate for a greater purpose, even if that initially means giving away some of the secret sauce It struck me as depressingly ironic that on the day I read about the new Lloyd's ESG framework, there were two supercharged petrol-fuelled cars sitting outside Number 1 Lime Street - supercars waiting to be flogged to wealthy City workers. It is the kind of activity that has to be consigned to history, because it sets the wrong tone at a time when we need to be leading by example and being altogether more accountable as an industry.

Streamlining IFRS 17 Compliance for enhanced control and risk mitigation

By Carlos Mingo

Mitratech

Streamlining IFRS 17 Compliance for enhanced control and risk mitigation

Implementing Mitratech ClusterSeven EUC Management ToolAs part of a larger finance transformation programme, our client, a leading insurance company, embarked on a journey to implement the new International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 17 for insurance contracts. The adoption of IFRS 17 necessitated the effective management and compliance of End-User Computing (EUC) applications, particularly Excel spreadsheets and existing aggregations/reports that were now within the scope of IFRS 17. They faced challenges in managing and ensuring compliance of their EUCs in the context of IFRS 17. The existing Excel sheets and aggregations/reports, which were previously used for various financial processes, now required adaptation to meet the specific requirements of IFRS 17. The lack of visibility, control, and accountability over these EUCs posed risks of errors, data inconsistencies, and non-compliance. They needed a solution that could effectively manage both newly created Excel sheets and existing aggregations/reports, ensuring compliance and mitigating risks associated with IFRS 17. To achieve this, they partnered with ECMS to implement the Mitratech ClusterSeven EUC Management Tool. The approachNeeds Assessment and Scoping: we conducted a thorough analysis of our client's Finance IFRS 17 project and identified the Excel sheets and existing aggregations/reports that fell within the scope of IFRS 17. Assessing the specific requirements and adaptability of these EUCs to meet IFRS 17 compliance.Solution Design: Based on the needs assessment, we designed a tailored solution using the ClusterSeven EUC Management Tool. The solution encompassed the management of both newly created Excel sheets and existing aggregations/reports, ensuring compliance and risk mitigation for the entire EUC landscape under IFRS 17.EUC Inventory and Analysis: Working closely with our client's finance teams, we created a comprehensive inventory of both new and existing EUCs relevant to IFRS 17. Then analysed the functionalities, data flows, and calculations within these EUCs to ensure accurate compliance with IFRS 17 requirements.Risk Assessment and Control Measures: The EUC Management Tool performed a comprehensive risk assessment on the identified EUCs which allowed us to identify and mitigate risks associated with data accuracy, formula errors, and potential non-compliance. From there, we implemented control measures within the ClusterSeven tool to address these risks.Compliance Monitoring and Reporting: ClusterSeven provided real-time monitoring of EUCs for compliance with IFRS 17. The tool verified adherence to predefined compliance rules, regulatory standards, and internal control frameworks. We configured the tool to generate automated compliance reports, simplifying audits and regulatory reporting.The benefitsEnhanced Control and Compliance: The EUC Management Tool enabled our client to maintain control, visibility, and accountability over both newly created Excel sheets and existing aggregations/reports within the scope of IFRS 17. It ensured compliance with the requirements of IFRS 17, minimising the risk of errors and non-compliance penalties.Mitigated Risks and Increased Accuracy: Through thorough risk assessments and control measures, the tool mitigated risks associated with data accuracy, formula errors, and compliance gaps. This resulted in increased accuracy and reliability of financial calculations and reporting under IFRS 17.Streamlined Adaptation Process: The ClusterSeven tool facilitated the adaptation of existing aggregations/reports and the creation of new Excel sheets for IFRS 17. It provided a centralised platform for managing these EUCs, streamlining the adaptation process and ensuring consistent compliance across the organisation.Improved Efficiency and Auditability: Our client experienced improved efficiency in managing EUCs related to IFRS 17, reducing manual efforts and enhancing productivity. The comprehensive audit trails and automated compliance reports generated by the tool simplified internal and external audits, ensuring transparency and auditability.By implementing the Mitratech ClusterSeven EUC Management Tool in the context of their Finance IFRS 17 project, we successfully addressed the challenges associated with managing and ensuring compliance with Excel sheets and existing aggregations/reports under IFRS 17. Our client streamlined their adaptation process, improved efficiency, and increased auditability, establishing themselves as compliant and trustworthy in the insurance industry. 

Claims Optimisation of a Global Insurance Broker using Low Code

By Pete Machin

Netcall

Claims Optimisation of a Global Insurance Broker using Low Code

The TaskThe task was to support the implementation of an end-to-end claims solution to replace and improve the existing out-of-date governance database for a Tier one insurance broker, to create a fully integrated platform allowing claims to be tracked, resolved and closed on a global scale.The ChallengeWith over 80 different claims systems used across the board and within these a variety of unstructured and decentralised data, the need for a consolidated and centralised solution was clear.The SolutionECMS consultants from our BA CoE team successfully worked with a low-code platform provider and the end client to offer a cohesive delivery of the initially agreed scope while working with senior stakeholders to ascertain the unique requirements coming from each geography. We worked to offer UX/UI expertise and support to develop the relevant interfaces used by each type of business user up to the global administration. Using an agile delivery model the team was able to effectively deploy and test features to suit the specific needs of certain geographies and the wider business need.The system aimed to build on the existing solution while also maximising the value of the client’s insurance programs and supporting better carrier selection processes, across all the global geographies to provide a comprehensive standardised approach.Additionally, integrations to other data repositories acting as the one source of truth were considered.The OutcomeThe platform provided a dynamic working environment for its global users, with productivity features to enable more efficient and effective claims mapping, processing and historic comparison.The delivery of the platform was a core element of the client's commercial risk delivery and target operating model, providing key infrastructure to support a best-in-class service to the businesses external book of clients and offer a scalable product. The solution helped generate over $6m of advocacy fees in the first 6 months.The ECMS secret sauceECMS consultants from our BA CoE team were commended on their support during this project."ECMS provided us with Business Analysis services in order to allow us to ramp up the discovery and design of a Claims Management platform for a major global insurance broker. We were very pleased with how responsive ECMS were for our needs, and the quality of the Analysts provided."

Identifying and masking PII in unstructured data

By Carlos Mingo

Ohalo

Identifying and masking PII in unstructured data

Insurance organisations produce and manage a large volume of data, of which it is estimated that 80% of that data is unstructured. Understanding what information your unstructured data holds is key, not only for extracting valuable insights but also for complying with regulations such as GDPR and internal data retention policies. The opportunity​By its nature, unstructured data is not easily accessible as it can be hidden in a variety of formats, across numerous file types and stored in locations that might not be regularly checked or know to contain this information. Ohalo's Data X-Ray platform is an industry leading platform enabling the automated, real-time discovery, classification and redaction of unstructured data (down to a word level within a given file). How we can helpECMS is a specialist consulting partner to insurance organisations with deep understanding of the business and technical requirements of regulatory and compliance programmes such as GDPR or data retention. ECMS are a proponent using Ohalo’s X-Ray as a tool to quickly address the challenges that unstructured data brings to insurance markets in particular. ​We can support your needs through a phased approach utilising our delivery consulting experts across implementation, configuration and process design to support remediation activities.Initiation – agree data sources to deploy the agentless software and start producing impactful outputs with the native engine.Design and fine tuning – out the box rules can be enhanced and allow for new custom searches to be quickly configured to find insurance-specific areas of interest including hidden cyber coverage, outdated wordings, sanctions, identifying policies as part of inward/outward reinsurance.​Analysis - using the results to create MI reports for board level digestion as well as inform decision making via workflows, assign cases, and give evidence priority to unstructured data that needs immediate attention.Data X-Ray uses machine learning and natural language processing to cater for the most sophisticated data protection, compliance and governance use cases. The Data X-Ray tool brings vast benefits over other unstructured data analysis tools through its improved speed using ElasticSearch, advanced categorisation abilities and the power of custom rules created with ECMS’ insurance domain knowledge that rapidly meet the specific challenges of your data, strategic requirements and industry-wide challenges.Contact us today to get your change project off the ground.

Behind the Desk with Kim Gray

By Sarah Roebuck

Podcast

Behind the Desk with Kim Gray

​The Behind the Desk Podcast from our friends at Eames Consulting gives an inside look at the careers of influential leaders in insurance and InsurTech who are driving change and innovation in the sector.​Mark Thomas is joined by Kim Gray, who leads her own company called Inclusive City, with a focus on Insurance & DE&I Advisory Consulting and Executive Coaching.Kim has a 20-year plus career history in insurance banking management consulting and has seen a lot over the years in the financial services sector. In this episode, Kim provides some brilliant insight and advice for people at all levels in their careers. She talks about her early life, how she climbed the ladder as a ‘dubious hire’, her advice for changing the narrative for women in leadership and her golden rule for success, with some interesting stories thrown in between.​You can listen below and subscribe on Apple and Spotify. ​

The importance of intersectionality

By Sarah Roebuck

Podcast

The importance of intersectionality

​In this special 3-part series of The GRID Podcast from our friends at Eames Partnership, we celebrate Pride Month.The team bring together some of the LGBTQ+ community from within the reinsurance and insurance market. In this episode, an expert panel discusses some of the more challenging issues when it comes to LGBTQ+. We often hear complaints that employers are too quick to lump all members of the LGBTQ+ community together as a homogenous group and assume that all of their wants and needs are the same. In this episode, there is a poignant take on the lost learning opportunities from lumping everyone together, which then segues into some really important points about another topic I’m passionate about when it comes to D&I – the importance of intersectionality.You can listen to the full episode on Apple, Spotify and other podcast platforms. ​

True inclusion is driven by company culture

By Sarah Roebuck

The GRID

True inclusion is driven by company culture

Our friends at Eames Partnership have brought together some of the LGBTQ+ community from within the reinsurance and insurance market to celebrate Pride Month with a GRID Podcast special. In this episode, the expert panel downloads on what true inclusion looks like and how you drive this in the workplace. For Theresa Farrenson, customer experience and integration lead at Aon, true inclusion is driven by company culture. "You can have inclusive workplaces, processes and procedures, but if they are being ignored, then your workplace isn't inclusive. Fundamentally, the workplace, firstly and foremost, has to feel safe. So your employees need to be able to come to work and perform to the best of their abilities and go home feeling good about that. And that means not feeling they are subjected to bullying, harassment or just simply feeling bothered. And then the next level on the maturity curve is to create an environment in which people can flourish and be treated and respected as individuals and bring the best of ourselves to the workplace because therein lies the real secret about how to maximise human potential in your organisation."You can listen to the full episode below and subscribe on Apple, Spotify and other podcast platforms. ​

Spotlight on... Melissa Roach

By Melissa Roach

News

Spotlight on... Melissa Roach

What is your role at ECMS?Senior Consultant, Business AnalystWhat has been the biggest challenge in your career?Adjusting my skills to adapt to a hybrid role of Project Management and Business Analysis. In life we usually get situations and tasks thrown at us for many different reasons, a few years ago I was given an opportunity to take on a hybrid role as PM/BA for a large digital transformation Programme with my previous employer. ​I was aware that it was going to be a challenge given I had no PM experience at the time; however, it gave me the platform to enhance my skill set and learn something new. This opportunity taught me to overcome fear and how to appropriately adapt to something new. What is the best piece of advice you have been given by anyone?​Be kinder to yourself…If you were not a Senior Consultant, what would you be?Crime Scene Investigator.What is your favourite part of the job?Collaboration with various stakeholders across the business… It’s all about relationship building. I also enjoy investigating the task at hand providing viable solutions and ensuring the customer journey/business need is met. What is the proudest moment of your career?​Getting to where I am today, I have worked/studied tremendously hard to get to this milestone, and with the support of the team, I am confident I will be able to reach further heights in the future.What is your favourite way to relax on the weekends?Being with my family and making great memories.What is one thing not many people know about you?I am currently studying for a Master's in Project Management… I graduate next year.How do you balance work and your responsibilities at home?​Many people say ‘Mel I don’t know how you do it’ – my genuine answer to this is ‘I don’t know how I do it’ – but I will always find a way! ​I went back to work when my daughter was 3 months old, on both occasions (eldest is 8 years old) and I can honestly say it takes a village to raise children, having an amazing support network whether it be school mums, work colleagues, family or friends. I have a wide network of people who help with my girls, so I can focus on my career. I have always been ambitious and have always wanted a big family; I am grateful I have been able to achieve both.​Why ECMS?I joined ECMS, because of the role and how new and niche the consultancy firm is. This is my first time in a consultancy-based role as a Business Analyst, and already learning new things. From the interview to date, the team have been lovely and nurturing. I am looking forward to continuing my journey with ECMS.

Welcome: Melissa Roach, Senior Consultant at ECMS

By Pete Machin

News

Welcome: Melissa Roach, Senior Consultant at ECMS

​We are very excited to welcome Melissa to our BA Centre of Excellence Team.Melissa is a dynamic professional with ten years’ of experience within the financial services industry, who has proven to be self-motivated and able to work under pressure. She is clear and logical in her thinking, taking a practical approach to solving problems, and an innate drive to follow activities through to completion. She thrives on efficiency and prides herself on her organisation skills and trustworthy reputation amongst her peers. We are thrilled to have her on the team at ECMS.Pete Machin our Lead BA says, "Melissa is a great addition to our BA Practice. Melissa’s Insurance knowledge and experience will be a asset to our clients and partners. She has brilliant Lean Processing knowledge and AGILE working methods, which fit perfectly into our BA Practice Values of Operational Excellence and our ability to be dynamic and flexible.  I look forward to Melissa bringing her positivity to our team and helping me continually improve our unique Business Analysis as a Service model and client offerings.  Welcome to the team Melissa!”

Spotlight on... Alexia Agbaje

By Alexia Agbaje

News

Spotlight on... Alexia Agbaje

What is your role at ECMS?I am a Project Management Officer (PMO) and my responsibilities include overseeing the entire portfolio of collective projects and programs across the organisation, analysing financial information, and collaborating with different departments to ensure all leaders understand where a project is at in the development process.What has been the biggest challenge in your career and how have you overcome it?It was learning how to say no. I would often feel overworked and stressed that I was not producing my best work, with the time that I had. I overcame this by shifting my mindset and focusing on aiming to produce my best work. This meant I would need more time, and resulted in me saying no to people. To be honest, it was more of a whisper when I first said it, but now I can say no, or not now with confidence.What is the best piece of advice you have been given?If you don’t understand a task that was given to you, ask follow-up questions. This has been the best piece of advice given to me because it saves me from having to repeat the work I've already done.If you were not a PMO what would you be?I would be a pediatrician. I love interacting with children and bringing smiles to their faces. Children are brutally honest, so it's always funny to hear their opinions on various topics. What is the best part about what you do?My favourite aspect of being a PMO is feeling like the glue that holds everything together. I can extrapolate information from various sources and feed it all the way to the top and I often display this information in fun, cool ways!What is the proudest moment of your career?When I was working with a difficult client, who had fired the two PMOs before me for not meeting standards. Initially, I was afraid to breathe too loudly. But I decided to be true to myself and speak up when I felt like he was being harsh. I assisted in bringing his visions to life and he was shouting my praises from the rooftops. I felt like I was walking on water!How do you relax on the weekends?I enjoy knitting and watching TV. Although all I can knit is a scarf, I can knit a pretty mean scarf.How would you sell being a PMO to someone looking to start their career?If you love problem-solving and find that everything in your life must have a clear structure and process in place, then being a PMO would be great. The role is vital to the success of many projects, and you tend to be the glue of the organisation.What is one thing not many people know about you?I'm very particular about what food I eat and how I eat it. People often tell me that I don’t eat, I dissect food. Why did you choose ECMS?Throughout the interview stages, everyone continuously reassured me. When I felt I could be myself and be more confident, it was at this moment that I knew ECMS was for me. This was the company in which I could grow, learn, and not be so afraid of making mistakes.

The social responsibility of insurance: Insights from enriched data solutions

By Paul Jardine

Insights

The social responsibility of insurance: Insights from enriched data solutions

The world is becoming ever more complicated. Who would have anticipated devastating wildfires in Maui this year, or the sheer speed and devastation of Hurricane Idalia which, with an estimated insured loss of $3bn-$5bn, is far from the worst catastrophe event to hit Florida but could have been significantly more destructive had it reached Tampa.For insurers, any solution that can provide them with greater insights into the changing risk landscape and help with understanding their global exposures is a topic of serious consideration.Enriched data solutions for better decisionsBrokers and reinsurance carriers increasingly hold vast quantities of risk data which, like modeling agencies before them, they can use to provide a greater range of services to clients. With mega-brokers increasingly looking to advisory as a mainstay of their revenue, the global scope of these businesses gives them a broader view of the risk landscape that could provide extremely valuable insights to insurers.Technology has significantly increased insurers’ ability to make better use of their risk data, but it is difficult for any one company to have all the answers when the risk landscape is so vast, complex, and rapidly changing.However, we also live in an age where businesses can adopt enriched data solutions that will enable better decision-making and positively impact risk profiles, reducing the insurance gap for under-served or uninsured areas of risk.Partnering with an intermediary or reinsurer who can offer enriched data solutions is not only beneficial for insurers, therefore, but also for their clients.This access to enriched data is highlighted by Swiss Re Reinsurance Solutions, which provides risk data via API or as a platform. According to the firm's Sigma report, the impact of Hurricane Ian being one of the costliest events of 2022, resulted in insured losses estimated at USD 50-65 billion. The storm made landfall in an area of high economic value, urbanisation, and population growth. Rising losses from catastrophes point to the need for a complete understanding of all risk factors, with respect to secondary perils, which are not continuously monitored as closely as primary ones.Growth through diversificationIn my view, without access to enriched data solutions, insurers don’t stand a chance in trying to provide meaningful coverage for underinsured or uninsured risks.The only way to address these risks is with data. But as with any process of transformation, the biggest challenge to overcome is insurance industry inertia. Carriers are understandably reluctant to try something new when they are already making good money doing what they've always done, the way they've always done it.However, it’s my belief that businesses with greater insight will have the ability to grow rapidly because they understand where the real margins and the real risks are. And better insight into their client’s risks also leads to a greater appreciation by carriers of the diversification benefits they could derive from the client’s business.A better regulatory experienceInsurers are facing growing regulatory pressure, particularly in relation to data protection laws and customer satisfaction. For UK-regulated carriers and intermediaries, the ability to leverage enriched data solutions goes straight to the heart of the FCA’s new Consumer Duty rules.With an estimated 85% of UK businesses in the SME bracket, it has become mission-critical for insurers servicing that market to be able to both measure customer satisfaction and demonstrate to regulators that they are selling meaningful risk transfer products.Does better data equal a better regulatory outcome? I think there's a journey between those two points, where better insights enable insurers to make better risk-based decisions. In turn, insurers are better able to prove to regulators that they are providing fair value to customers in terms of coverage, loss triggers, and claims response.Leveling the playing fieldAccess to this type of enriched data should also level the playing field for smaller and mid-sized players, helping them to improve risk management and better deploy their risk capital to under-served markets.But in truth, the entire insurance industry needs access to better data and tools, because demand is currently outstripping supply. If we want to get to a place where the industry can cover exposures that are currently largely uninsurable, then the participation of the whole industry is needed. There is also an incredible opportunity for reinsurers to access a distribution channel that has always been there but hasn’t been fully exploited, by white labeling some of their specialty products through their ceding companies.Deeper pools of capitalWhen it comes to sharing data and insight, we've forgotten as an industry about the true social value of insurance and about our social responsibility to squeeze the insurance gap and bring stability and resilience to the communities we serve. The only way we can do this is, firstly, with data and insight and, secondly, through collective action.This collective approach also enables insurers and reinsurers to access deeper pools of capital. By developing more parametric products, which can be transformed into capital markets instruments, the industry can access trillions of dollars of liquidity in the capital markets. Ultimately, this will see a return to the overriding principle that the losses of the few will be paid by the many.

Spotlight on... Melissa Roach

By Melissa Roach

News

Spotlight on... Melissa Roach

What is your role at ECMS?Senior Consultant, Business AnalystWhat has been the biggest challenge in your career?Adjusting my skills to adapt to a hybrid role of Project Management and Business Analysis. In life we usually get situations and tasks thrown at us for many different reasons, a few years ago I was given an opportunity to take on a hybrid role as PM/BA for a large digital transformation Programme with my previous employer. ​I was aware that it was going to be a challenge given I had no PM experience at the time; however, it gave me the platform to enhance my skill set and learn something new. This opportunity taught me to overcome fear and how to appropriately adapt to something new. What is the best piece of advice you have been given by anyone?​Be kinder to yourself…If you were not a Senior Consultant, what would you be?Crime Scene Investigator.What is your favourite part of the job?Collaboration with various stakeholders across the business… It’s all about relationship building. I also enjoy investigating the task at hand providing viable solutions and ensuring the customer journey/business need is met. What is the proudest moment of your career?​Getting to where I am today, I have worked/studied tremendously hard to get to this milestone, and with the support of the team, I am confident I will be able to reach further heights in the future.What is your favourite way to relax on the weekends?Being with my family and making great memories.What is one thing not many people know about you?I am currently studying for a Master's in Project Management… I graduate next year.How do you balance work and your responsibilities at home?​Many people say ‘Mel I don’t know how you do it’ – my genuine answer to this is ‘I don’t know how I do it’ – but I will always find a way! ​I went back to work when my daughter was 3 months old, on both occasions (eldest is 8 years old) and I can honestly say it takes a village to raise children, having an amazing support network whether it be school mums, work colleagues, family or friends. I have a wide network of people who help with my girls, so I can focus on my career. I have always been ambitious and have always wanted a big family; I am grateful I have been able to achieve both.​Why ECMS?I joined ECMS, because of the role and how new and niche the consultancy firm is. This is my first time in a consultancy-based role as a Business Analyst, and already learning new things. From the interview to date, the team have been lovely and nurturing. I am looking forward to continuing my journey with ECMS.

Avoiding the white elephants: balancing workbenches and user experience in transformation projects

By Mark Weller

insights

Avoiding the white elephants: balancing workbenches and user experience in transformation projects

​Everything seems to be about optimisation at the moment. Across many different business sectors, and particularly in insurance, everywhere you go people are talking about workbenches.For organisations undergoing big implementation programmes to migrate several different tools and platforms to a single, unified platform, workbenches undoubtedly have their uses. However, the reality is that a process which is likely to cost a lot of money, and which can throw up multiple challenges around data migration and security(adding further development costs) will ultimately just result in changing the front end of your organisation’s system in order to create a better user experience.​I would question, therefore, whether some of the workbenches that businesses are implementing are really worth the investment in time and money. To my mind, the glaring omission from most of these projects is the consideration of the user journey and the user experience at the start of the process.​Don’t forget UX/UIThe user experience/user interface (UX/UI) aspect of workflows often gets missed in implementation processes, typically because organisations balk at the cost at the front end of the project to address UX/UI.​Inevitably, as costs build over the lifetime of a big-budget project, by the time the product owners get their shiny new front end and workbench, there’s little appetite to add further costs for re-designing the UX/UI.​But consider the consequences for business adoption across a global organisation planning to implement a new workbench across multiple countries. If the organisation hasn’t got the pilot right in its home country and is now attempting to roll it out to other territories, it could experience pushback from teams in other locations who are struggling to see any benefit in the new system - precisely because the user experience and interface hasn’t improved.​That kind of internal conflict can be costly. The original sign-off on investment in the new process and platform would have relied on its benefits being realised only if the programme is carried out at scale, with optimisation and consolidation across all areas of the business. Instead, what the organisation could end up with is a costly white elephant that nobody wants to implement.​​Effective optimisation​As business units from the front end to the back office increasingly become digitally enabled, the purpose of any optimisation programme is to give employees the right tools to do their jobs better. Making the user experience smoother and easier helps your workforce become more effective and enables different teams and offices to interact seamlessly. ​However, our view is that if organisations allocate more upfront investment to assessing the user experience, improving the interface, and training users to use it, they will ultimately deliver something to users that not only genuinely works better, but also supports what the business is trying to do.​Before embarking on a global IT programme to consolidate systems at a cost of tens of millions of pounds, therefore, organisations would do well to take a step back, map their current systems, and assess what they currently use and how successful the interface is, before considering what they really need from the programme and how it will benefit the user experience.​​Re-designing the front end​Spending more time focusing on the front end will involve more upfront investment. If organisations are not prepared to factor in those costs before launching into an implementation programme, they are likely to spend more money on the back end on remediation, testing and re-working. ​The pay-off is that re-designing the front end should make users more effective, due to the improved UK/UI, meaning they can spend more time working on things that add real value. And if your front office is more efficient, and is using data more effectively, that flows through the entire organisation, potentially leading to better strategic decisions. 

Why you don't want to be a slow husky

By Paul Jardine

insights

Why you don't want to be a slow husky

​Innovation for innovation's sake can send you down an expensive rabbit hole. Ask yourself: what question are you trying to answer and is the customer at the heart of it? The insurance industry is enjoying some of the best market conditions it has seen in a while, despite increasingly challenging headwinds. In such an environment it can be tempting to make hay while the sun shines and to forget about the future. But now is precisely the time to be thinking strategically about your digital transformation and asking where you want to be in five years' time. Here's why: Once we're back in the depths of a soft market or dealing with the next systemic risk, there simply won't be the bandwidth or the capital. And, if you don't do it now, your competitors definitely will. There is a tendency in the insurance sector to put off innovation, to just benchmark ourselves against our peers and forget why we are doing all of this. We've got to stick our head above the parapet and think not only about the threat of disruption from competitors within the industry but the threat from external players we haven't even thought about.  Widen your lensI remember meeting up with a former colleague who had become the chairman of a major insurer and I asked him what the difference was between being a full-time CFO and being in his plural career. His answer was that previously he thought he had the broadest possible view. The company was benchmarking itself against its peer group, the market and best practice. But in reality, his view was far too narrow. "We weren't spending enough time thinking about the 'What ifs' or the threats we didn't even know about because we were so focused on our business, people, mission and strategy, results and our shareholders," he said. "It's only when you step back, and you've got time to pause and think, that you realise there's a lot of other stuff going on."An example I always used to give was the Finnish Rubber Works, which was established in 1898 to manufacture wellington boots. During presentations, I would go through every stage of the corporate history, then pause and ask the audience, who is the company? It was Nokia, which at the time, was the largest mobile phone company in the world. We all know what happened next. Nokia's incredible decline in just six years because it was blind to the threat from new technology - notably from the iPod/iPhone - and because it had failed to innovate in time. Putting the customer firstDon't delay. Now is the time to sacrifice some margin to maintain your competitive position. But be clear on why you are innovating and what questions you are seeking to answer. First on the list has got to be, how do we offer more value to the customer?We all know that customer expectations are changing. It's no longer just about the product - it's now about the service. Through e-commerce, we are all used to getting what we want in the most efficient way possible. I went on a road trip to Portugal recently and was scratching my head because each country has different legal requirements on what equipment you are required to carry - everything from a spare set of bulbs through to breathalyser kits. I was sitting at the laptop, put a few search terms into Amazon and viola, up came a page full of comprehensive European travel kits - all reasonably priced and next-day delivery.The needs of the customer is one of the guiding principles of the LMG Data Council. We need to have the customer in mind with every discussion and decision we make. Ultimately, our aim is to deliver a world-class customer journey with minimal workarounds, single points of data entry and one single version of the truth. But currently, just 50p in every pound spent on premium is going towards the customer, so there is a long way to go.​Be selective There is no need to reinvent the wheel - the technology exists and there are some fantastic insurtechs doing creative things. But be selective. Look outside of the confines of the industry and ask yourself, what does your customer want and expect? The innovators are thinking about how they use their resources more effectively and how they enhance them through the smart use of technology.At Peacce, where I am also an advisor, we are doing some work with clients to generate insights into the prospects who don't buy their products. They went through the journey of getting a quote but didn't buy... why was that? Was it too expensive or did they not feel valued? There's still an awful lot of work to be done around meeting customer expectations.So the technology to achieve our transformation goals is there already. The next step is harnessing it, selecting the right options and enriching the most useful datasets so you can make better decisions that will ultimately lead to great customer outcomes. Crucially, don't wait until the next soft market. By then, you will have been left behind. Or to put it slightly more crudely: If you're not the lead dog pulling the dog sled, your view will always be the same.​

Lloyd's turns the spotlight to culture

By Paul Jardine

insights

Lloyd's turns the spotlight to culture

​​For the first time, Lloyd's Project Rio places culture at the front and centre of a set of principles-based standards syndicates must strive to achieve. We can all point to examples of toxic corporate cultures which have been the undoing of some of the world's biggest brands. These include excessive risk taking and cultures of blindness that brought down Lehman Brothers during the Great Financial Crisis and contributed to the Volkswagen emissions scandal to cultures of bullying and harassment, some of them uncomfortably close to home. Yet for too long the importance of corporate culture has been sidelined. Treated as an intangible aspect of the business that is considered too esoteric to effectively regulate compared to other measures of governance and performance. With its Project Rio Principles for Doing Business at Lloyd's, the Corporation is challenging this perception. In an era that has seen and is continuing to see a profound shift in the importance assigned to inclusion & diversity and ESG, Lloyd's has sent a clear message that market participants must seek to create and maintain diverse, ethical and authentic cultures by, among other things: Demonstrating leadership focus on fostering an inclusive, high-performance culture; Ensuring behaviour expectations are clear and there is zero tolerance for inappropriate behaviour; Encouraging speaking up (and that there are appropriate tools for employees to do so); Ensuring diverse representation within their workforce and leadership population and be inclusive in how talent is recruited and retained to reflect society and their customers, and Understand their employee population, collecting appropriate data and taking action to create an inclusive employee experience. It is essential to increase accountability for culture at a firm level, believes Lloyd's. "We have called out culture as a principle on its own to reflect the momentum behind the many initiatives to improve culture across the market," reflected Kasey Brown, Culture and Engagement Lead at Lloyd's in a market briefing. "We recognise that culture is unique, it can be a source of competitive advantage for firms but we also recognise that culture can be an organisation's downfall and we don't want that to happen." The market wants syndicates to be more "intentional" about culture and proactive in shaping and managing their culture so firms can attract and retain the talent they need to deliver on their strategy. This is because encouraging greater diversity helps to avoid groupthink and fosters greater innovation. For firms that can demonstrate they are taking concrete steps to create and maintain inclusive and high-performance cultures, there are obvious competitive advantages. There is a growing evidence of research into the strong correlations between the ability of organisations' that prioritise ethnic and gender diversity (including balanced boards) to outperform their peers. Research shows that inclusive teams make better decisions 87% of the time. Beyond these competitive benefits, Lloyd's has also committed to taking a lighter touch approach to syndicates that score highly across the dimensions it considers most critical, culture being one. The easing of the market's compliance burden should help free up management time and resource to focus on growth and innovation. The market has indicated it understands each firm's approach to meeting the principles outlined under Project Rio will, appropriately, vary depending upon the size and maturity of the organisation. But as always, the tone must be set from the top. In order to foster an environment in which colleagues feel adequately comfortable to share their personal data, it is essential to communicate what the benefits are and how their information is being used. The workforce must first understand the why, and then the how. Active allyship programmes help to foster cultures of inclusion and acceptance. Returner programmes are among the more innovative recruitment methods which can help to tap into more diverse talent pools, supporting women - for instance - who have taken a career break to start a family. Recognising the importance of transferable skills as the industry evolves allows firms to look far beyond the confines of EC3. Successive CEOs of Lloyd's have pushed the market forward in raising minimum standards for performance, and culture is now recognised as a critical dimension to that. It is a journey and will not happen overnight. But if, as a business, you can demonstrate you are instilling a positive and authentic culture with proper representation of inclusion and diversity across your team and board, the Corporation expects your organisation will grow and drive value over time. And, crucially, it will give you the space to get on with delivering on your strategic goals.

ESG: Why insurers must be the change

By Paul Jardine

insights

ESG: Why insurers must be the change

​​Forget the disappointments of COP26. This is the insurance industry's opportunity to step up and drive the Race to Zero by offering industry-wide transition incentives, a building-back-better approach to claims and funding crucial scientific research. Such an approach will improve the underlying risk to the benefit of all stakeholders. It is fair to say there was some disappointment following the COP26. A feeling that the targets agreed in the Glasgow Climate Pact did not go far enough, with only a few countries making their pledges legally binding. What was also clear at the climate summit was the essential role of insurance, both in absorbing the physical toll of a more extreme climate but also, and crucially, in driving risk mitigation and resilience. As world leaders backed away from making tough decisions, the opportunity grew for the insurance industry to drive the transition we all need to see. But it needs to be joined up, transparent and go beyond the requirements of TCFD and other climate risk reporting frameworks. Re/insurers, MGAs and brokers know that the "E" in ESG is far more than a tick-box exercise. They also know that insureds that are incentivised to invest in climate adaptation and mitigation ultimately benefits their book of business by reducing claims volatility. To date, we have seen admirable industry initiatives that aim to bring some of our best thinkers around the table to come up with joint solutions and initiatives, including innovative risk transfer schemes for some of the world's most vulnerable and underinsured regions. One of the lasting images from COP26 was when the foreign minister of Tuvalu addressed the summit knee-deep in water. It was an undeniable representation of the climate crisis that faces us all, but that will disproportionately hit our island nations. The UN-convened Net-Zero Insurance Alliance holds great promise. There are examples of policies that offer premium discounts to energy firms that can demonstrate they are meeting their SDG targets. At Lloyd's, an ESG-syndicate is launching in January 2022. And Willis Towers Watson has made significant strides with its Climate Transition Pathway solution. ​​Time to scale up But we need a consistent, industry-wide approach to drive and financially support and incentivise insureds' transitions to zero carbon. It is time to scale up some of these different approaches and get everyone to buy in. By providing our clients with information that helps them to be better businesses, we also benefit ourselves and society more broadly. When their risks are better managed, they become better risks from an insurance perspective, whilst becoming greener and more sustainable. From a risk mitigation perspective, the principle of 'building back better' must be widely adopted and discussed. It should become common practice that any flood-hit property, for instance, is restored in a flood resilient manner - and that we have frank discussions about insurability. I always remember a photo taken during a UK flood event. It was of a field clearly within a flood plain, completely submerged in water with only the top part of a sign showing, promoting an exciting new housing development. In this country, we have a shortage of housing stock, but we need to be building with future climate in mind. These, after all, were the principles upon which the government-backed Flood Re risk pool was based. Insurers and their loss adjusters and claims managers should be funding clients to rebuild in a sustainable way, rather than perpetuating the status quo. Some insurers are being very creative in the remediation and adaptation type work, because they recognise it improves customer retention and it's the right thing to do. But the examples are too few and far between. As an industry, we must also invest more in research as eventually the science and data will help to inform policy. We need more industry practitioners to invest in initiatives like the Nekton Foundation (where I sit on the Board of Trustees), which carries out deep ocean exploration to gain scientific evidence and knowledge so we can better protect our natural world through innovative policy design. ​I have always been surprised the insurance industry has not been more involved in such crucial research. The data and insights generated are essential to our transition journeys and restoring and protecting naturally resilient ecosystems, such as coral reefs and mangrove forests. And, as we have mentioned before in this blog, actions speak louder than words. As an industry, we have to walk the talk, be authentic and embrace the changes required. It requires true leadership and the ability to collaborate for a greater purpose, even if that initially means giving away some of the secret sauce It struck me as depressingly ironic that on the day I read about the new Lloyd's ESG framework, there were two supercharged petrol-fuelled cars sitting outside Number 1 Lime Street - supercars waiting to be flogged to wealthy City workers. It is the kind of activity that has to be consigned to history, because it sets the wrong tone at a time when we need to be leading by example and being altogether more accountable as an industry.

Streamlining IFRS 17 Compliance for enhanced control and risk mitigation

By Carlos Mingo

Featured-Blog

Streamlining IFRS 17 Compliance for enhanced control and risk mitigation

Implementing Mitratech ClusterSeven EUC Management ToolAs part of a larger finance transformation programme, our client, a leading insurance company, embarked on a journey to implement the new International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 17 for insurance contracts. The adoption of IFRS 17 necessitated the effective management and compliance of End-User Computing (EUC) applications, particularly Excel spreadsheets and existing aggregations/reports that were now within the scope of IFRS 17. They faced challenges in managing and ensuring compliance of their EUCs in the context of IFRS 17. The existing Excel sheets and aggregations/reports, which were previously used for various financial processes, now required adaptation to meet the specific requirements of IFRS 17. The lack of visibility, control, and accountability over these EUCs posed risks of errors, data inconsistencies, and non-compliance. They needed a solution that could effectively manage both newly created Excel sheets and existing aggregations/reports, ensuring compliance and mitigating risks associated with IFRS 17. To achieve this, they partnered with ECMS to implement the Mitratech ClusterSeven EUC Management Tool. The approachNeeds Assessment and Scoping: we conducted a thorough analysis of our client's Finance IFRS 17 project and identified the Excel sheets and existing aggregations/reports that fell within the scope of IFRS 17. Assessing the specific requirements and adaptability of these EUCs to meet IFRS 17 compliance.Solution Design: Based on the needs assessment, we designed a tailored solution using the ClusterSeven EUC Management Tool. The solution encompassed the management of both newly created Excel sheets and existing aggregations/reports, ensuring compliance and risk mitigation for the entire EUC landscape under IFRS 17.EUC Inventory and Analysis: Working closely with our client's finance teams, we created a comprehensive inventory of both new and existing EUCs relevant to IFRS 17. Then analysed the functionalities, data flows, and calculations within these EUCs to ensure accurate compliance with IFRS 17 requirements.Risk Assessment and Control Measures: The EUC Management Tool performed a comprehensive risk assessment on the identified EUCs which allowed us to identify and mitigate risks associated with data accuracy, formula errors, and potential non-compliance. From there, we implemented control measures within the ClusterSeven tool to address these risks.Compliance Monitoring and Reporting: ClusterSeven provided real-time monitoring of EUCs for compliance with IFRS 17. The tool verified adherence to predefined compliance rules, regulatory standards, and internal control frameworks. We configured the tool to generate automated compliance reports, simplifying audits and regulatory reporting.The benefitsEnhanced Control and Compliance: The EUC Management Tool enabled our client to maintain control, visibility, and accountability over both newly created Excel sheets and existing aggregations/reports within the scope of IFRS 17. It ensured compliance with the requirements of IFRS 17, minimising the risk of errors and non-compliance penalties.Mitigated Risks and Increased Accuracy: Through thorough risk assessments and control measures, the tool mitigated risks associated with data accuracy, formula errors, and compliance gaps. This resulted in increased accuracy and reliability of financial calculations and reporting under IFRS 17.Streamlined Adaptation Process: The ClusterSeven tool facilitated the adaptation of existing aggregations/reports and the creation of new Excel sheets for IFRS 17. It provided a centralised platform for managing these EUCs, streamlining the adaptation process and ensuring consistent compliance across the organisation.Improved Efficiency and Auditability: Our client experienced improved efficiency in managing EUCs related to IFRS 17, reducing manual efforts and enhancing productivity. The comprehensive audit trails and automated compliance reports generated by the tool simplified internal and external audits, ensuring transparency and auditability.By implementing the Mitratech ClusterSeven EUC Management Tool in the context of their Finance IFRS 17 project, we successfully addressed the challenges associated with managing and ensuring compliance with Excel sheets and existing aggregations/reports under IFRS 17. Our client streamlined their adaptation process, improved efficiency, and increased auditability, establishing themselves as compliant and trustworthy in the insurance industry. 

Claims Optimisation of a Global Insurance Broker using Low Code

By Pete Machin

Netcall

Claims Optimisation of a Global Insurance Broker using Low Code

The TaskThe task was to support the implementation of an end-to-end claims solution to replace and improve the existing out-of-date governance database for a Tier one insurance broker, to create a fully integrated platform allowing claims to be tracked, resolved and closed on a global scale.The ChallengeWith over 80 different claims systems used across the board and within these a variety of unstructured and decentralised data, the need for a consolidated and centralised solution was clear.The SolutionECMS consultants from our BA CoE team successfully worked with a low-code platform provider and the end client to offer a cohesive delivery of the initially agreed scope while working with senior stakeholders to ascertain the unique requirements coming from each geography. We worked to offer UX/UI expertise and support to develop the relevant interfaces used by each type of business user up to the global administration. Using an agile delivery model the team was able to effectively deploy and test features to suit the specific needs of certain geographies and the wider business need.The system aimed to build on the existing solution while also maximising the value of the client’s insurance programs and supporting better carrier selection processes, across all the global geographies to provide a comprehensive standardised approach.Additionally, integrations to other data repositories acting as the one source of truth were considered.The OutcomeThe platform provided a dynamic working environment for its global users, with productivity features to enable more efficient and effective claims mapping, processing and historic comparison.The delivery of the platform was a core element of the client's commercial risk delivery and target operating model, providing key infrastructure to support a best-in-class service to the businesses external book of clients and offer a scalable product. The solution helped generate over $6m of advocacy fees in the first 6 months.The ECMS secret sauceECMS consultants from our BA CoE team were commended on their support during this project."ECMS provided us with Business Analysis services in order to allow us to ramp up the discovery and design of a Claims Management platform for a major global insurance broker. We were very pleased with how responsive ECMS were for our needs, and the quality of the Analysts provided."

Identifying and masking PII in unstructured data

By Carlos Mingo

Ohalo

Identifying and masking PII in unstructured data

Insurance organisations produce and manage a large volume of data, of which it is estimated that 80% of that data is unstructured. Understanding what information your unstructured data holds is key, not only for extracting valuable insights but also for complying with regulations such as GDPR and internal data retention policies. The opportunity​By its nature, unstructured data is not easily accessible as it can be hidden in a variety of formats, across numerous file types and stored in locations that might not be regularly checked or know to contain this information. Ohalo's Data X-Ray platform is an industry leading platform enabling the automated, real-time discovery, classification and redaction of unstructured data (down to a word level within a given file). How we can helpECMS is a specialist consulting partner to insurance organisations with deep understanding of the business and technical requirements of regulatory and compliance programmes such as GDPR or data retention. ECMS are a proponent using Ohalo’s X-Ray as a tool to quickly address the challenges that unstructured data brings to insurance markets in particular. ​We can support your needs through a phased approach utilising our delivery consulting experts across implementation, configuration and process design to support remediation activities.Initiation – agree data sources to deploy the agentless software and start producing impactful outputs with the native engine.Design and fine tuning – out the box rules can be enhanced and allow for new custom searches to be quickly configured to find insurance-specific areas of interest including hidden cyber coverage, outdated wordings, sanctions, identifying policies as part of inward/outward reinsurance.​Analysis - using the results to create MI reports for board level digestion as well as inform decision making via workflows, assign cases, and give evidence priority to unstructured data that needs immediate attention.Data X-Ray uses machine learning and natural language processing to cater for the most sophisticated data protection, compliance and governance use cases. The Data X-Ray tool brings vast benefits over other unstructured data analysis tools through its improved speed using ElasticSearch, advanced categorisation abilities and the power of custom rules created with ECMS’ insurance domain knowledge that rapidly meet the specific challenges of your data, strategic requirements and industry-wide challenges.Contact us today to get your change project off the ground.

Behind the Desk with Kim Gray

By Sarah Roebuck

Featured Podcast

Behind the Desk with Kim Gray

​The Behind the Desk Podcast from our friends at Eames Consulting gives an inside look at the careers of influential leaders in insurance and InsurTech who are driving change and innovation in the sector.​Mark Thomas is joined by Kim Gray, who leads her own company called Inclusive City, with a focus on Insurance & DE&I Advisory Consulting and Executive Coaching.Kim has a 20-year plus career history in insurance banking management consulting and has seen a lot over the years in the financial services sector. In this episode, Kim provides some brilliant insight and advice for people at all levels in their careers. She talks about her early life, how she climbed the ladder as a ‘dubious hire’, her advice for changing the narrative for women in leadership and her golden rule for success, with some interesting stories thrown in between.​You can listen below and subscribe on Apple and Spotify. ​

The importance of intersectionality

By Sarah Roebuck

Featured Podcast

The importance of intersectionality

​In this special 3-part series of The GRID Podcast from our friends at Eames Partnership, we celebrate Pride Month.The team bring together some of the LGBTQ+ community from within the reinsurance and insurance market. In this episode, an expert panel discusses some of the more challenging issues when it comes to LGBTQ+. We often hear complaints that employers are too quick to lump all members of the LGBTQ+ community together as a homogenous group and assume that all of their wants and needs are the same. In this episode, there is a poignant take on the lost learning opportunities from lumping everyone together, which then segues into some really important points about another topic I’m passionate about when it comes to D&I – the importance of intersectionality.You can listen to the full episode on Apple, Spotify and other podcast platforms. ​

True inclusion is driven by company culture

By Sarah Roebuck

Video

True inclusion is driven by company culture

Our friends at Eames Partnership have brought together some of the LGBTQ+ community from within the reinsurance and insurance market to celebrate Pride Month with a GRID Podcast special. In this episode, the expert panel downloads on what true inclusion looks like and how you drive this in the workplace. For Theresa Farrenson, customer experience and integration lead at Aon, true inclusion is driven by company culture. "You can have inclusive workplaces, processes and procedures, but if they are being ignored, then your workplace isn't inclusive. Fundamentally, the workplace, firstly and foremost, has to feel safe. So your employees need to be able to come to work and perform to the best of their abilities and go home feeling good about that. And that means not feeling they are subjected to bullying, harassment or just simply feeling bothered. And then the next level on the maturity curve is to create an environment in which people can flourish and be treated and respected as individuals and bring the best of ourselves to the workplace because therein lies the real secret about how to maximise human potential in your organisation."You can listen to the full episode below and subscribe on Apple, Spotify and other podcast platforms. ​

Spotlight on... Melissa Roach

By Melissa Roach

News

Spotlight on... Melissa Roach

What is your role at ECMS?Senior Consultant, Business AnalystWhat has been the biggest challenge in your career?Adjusting my skills to adapt to a hybrid role of Project Management and Business Analysis. In life we usually get situations and tasks thrown at us for many different reasons, a few years ago I was given an opportunity to take on a hybrid role as PM/BA for a large digital transformation Programme with my previous employer. ​I was aware that it was going to be a challenge given I had no PM experience at the time; however, it gave me the platform to enhance my skill set and learn something new. This opportunity taught me to overcome fear and how to appropriately adapt to something new. What is the best piece of advice you have been given by anyone?​Be kinder to yourself…If you were not a Senior Consultant, what would you be?Crime Scene Investigator.What is your favourite part of the job?Collaboration with various stakeholders across the business… It’s all about relationship building. I also enjoy investigating the task at hand providing viable solutions and ensuring the customer journey/business need is met. What is the proudest moment of your career?​Getting to where I am today, I have worked/studied tremendously hard to get to this milestone, and with the support of the team, I am confident I will be able to reach further heights in the future.What is your favourite way to relax on the weekends?Being with my family and making great memories.What is one thing not many people know about you?I am currently studying for a Master's in Project Management… I graduate next year.How do you balance work and your responsibilities at home?​Many people say ‘Mel I don’t know how you do it’ – my genuine answer to this is ‘I don’t know how I do it’ – but I will always find a way! ​I went back to work when my daughter was 3 months old, on both occasions (eldest is 8 years old) and I can honestly say it takes a village to raise children, having an amazing support network whether it be school mums, work colleagues, family or friends. I have a wide network of people who help with my girls, so I can focus on my career. I have always been ambitious and have always wanted a big family; I am grateful I have been able to achieve both.​Why ECMS?I joined ECMS, because of the role and how new and niche the consultancy firm is. This is my first time in a consultancy-based role as a Business Analyst, and already learning new things. From the interview to date, the team have been lovely and nurturing. I am looking forward to continuing my journey with ECMS.

Welcome: Melissa Roach, Senior Consultant at ECMS

By Pete Machin

News

Welcome: Melissa Roach, Senior Consultant at ECMS

​We are very excited to welcome Melissa to our BA Centre of Excellence Team.Melissa is a dynamic professional with ten years’ of experience within the financial services industry, who has proven to be self-motivated and able to work under pressure. She is clear and logical in her thinking, taking a practical approach to solving problems, and an innate drive to follow activities through to completion. She thrives on efficiency and prides herself on her organisation skills and trustworthy reputation amongst her peers. We are thrilled to have her on the team at ECMS.Pete Machin our Lead BA says, "Melissa is a great addition to our BA Practice. Melissa’s Insurance knowledge and experience will be a asset to our clients and partners. She has brilliant Lean Processing knowledge and AGILE working methods, which fit perfectly into our BA Practice Values of Operational Excellence and our ability to be dynamic and flexible.  I look forward to Melissa bringing her positivity to our team and helping me continually improve our unique Business Analysis as a Service model and client offerings.  Welcome to the team Melissa!”

Spotlight on... Alexia Agbaje

By Alexia Agbaje

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Spotlight on... Alexia Agbaje

What is your role at ECMS?I am a Project Management Officer (PMO) and my responsibilities include overseeing the entire portfolio of collective projects and programs across the organisation, analysing financial information, and collaborating with different departments to ensure all leaders understand where a project is at in the development process.What has been the biggest challenge in your career and how have you overcome it?It was learning how to say no. I would often feel overworked and stressed that I was not producing my best work, with the time that I had. I overcame this by shifting my mindset and focusing on aiming to produce my best work. This meant I would need more time, and resulted in me saying no to people. To be honest, it was more of a whisper when I first said it, but now I can say no, or not now with confidence.What is the best piece of advice you have been given?If you don’t understand a task that was given to you, ask follow-up questions. This has been the best piece of advice given to me because it saves me from having to repeat the work I've already done.If you were not a PMO what would you be?I would be a pediatrician. I love interacting with children and bringing smiles to their faces. Children are brutally honest, so it's always funny to hear their opinions on various topics. What is the best part about what you do?My favourite aspect of being a PMO is feeling like the glue that holds everything together. I can extrapolate information from various sources and feed it all the way to the top and I often display this information in fun, cool ways!What is the proudest moment of your career?When I was working with a difficult client, who had fired the two PMOs before me for not meeting standards. Initially, I was afraid to breathe too loudly. But I decided to be true to myself and speak up when I felt like he was being harsh. I assisted in bringing his visions to life and he was shouting my praises from the rooftops. I felt like I was walking on water!How do you relax on the weekends?I enjoy knitting and watching TV. Although all I can knit is a scarf, I can knit a pretty mean scarf.How would you sell being a PMO to someone looking to start their career?If you love problem-solving and find that everything in your life must have a clear structure and process in place, then being a PMO would be great. The role is vital to the success of many projects, and you tend to be the glue of the organisation.What is one thing not many people know about you?I'm very particular about what food I eat and how I eat it. People often tell me that I don’t eat, I dissect food. Why did you choose ECMS?Throughout the interview stages, everyone continuously reassured me. When I felt I could be myself and be more confident, it was at this moment that I knew ECMS was for me. This was the company in which I could grow, learn, and not be so afraid of making mistakes.

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