Why you don't want to be a slow husky

By Paul Jardine

Ohalo

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

ESG

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

ESG

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.

​Fixing a Broken Broking Process

By Carlos Mingo

Netcall

​Fixing a Broken Broking Process

Using Netcall’s Liberty Create, ECMS help businesses to build apps that unite processes, systems and data together in one automated workflow.InnovationInnovation is key to thriving in a competitive market. We all know that to innovate effectively, we need to deliver the right product at the right price at the right time. More often than not timeliness are a large barrier to success due to long development and release cycles. We are leveraging Liberty Create to deliver to innovate at pace.Standardising and simplifying processesAcross the insurance industry processes can be challenging, prone to error and double data-entry occurances. Many organisations have a larger number of existing systems which house data and do not effectively and efficiently connect to each other, meaning there are many opportunities for improving processes and user experience while delivering cost savings. Improve the broker experienceWith Liberty Create we can standardise and simplify processes, helping organisations to build apps that brings together all the processes, systems and data together in one automated workflow, meaning a reduction of the risk of errors and double data-entry.The application can be easily configured to work across the entire lifecycle of insurance journeys. As an example, in a broking process it can manage the workflow from pre-placement and placement, quotation and negotiation to firm order and binding, including endorsements and renewals. The power of Liberty Create means that stakeholders involved in the process can be prompted to act at specific moments and consequently, data flows between all relevant systems automatically. This results in improved compliance controls and operational resilience.Creating a top-line revenue opportunityWith a platform that enables business users to respond to customer needs rapidly, for example through the deployment of new products and optimising processes, customer experience can be enhanced. In our experience, this leads to fewer drop outs through online and offline customer journeys, delivering increased revenue for organisations.Contact us today for more information on how Netcall can help you digitise your offering.

Comprehensive Windows 10 Migration For Specialty Insurer

By Mark Weller

Comprehensive Windows 10 Migration For Specialty Insurer

The TaskTo migrate business units running Windows 7 to Windows 10, streamline the company’s use of the software and related applications, educating new users while finding cost and workflow efficiencies where possible. The ChallengeFollowing a number of acquisitions, a global specialty commercial insurer and reinsurer found it had several business units using Windows 7 in different tenants. There was widespread duplication of licenses and a large number of redundant applications, creating unnecessary cost for the organisation as well as increasing confusion. The business was finding that service levels were much lower than expected and users complained they couldn’t work efficiently. It risked being left behind in the market.This roll-out was also being conducted among users who were largely non-IT professionals or enthusiasts. The 2,500+-strong workforce were working across a range of different applications, with little visibility of what even colleagues in the same department were using. Some aspects of even commonly-used Office suites were troublesome to users, such as the use of Excel add-ins that come as standard. Many couldn’t always fully articulate which applications or add-ins were most needed during the initial technology audit. Initial ‘Understand the User’ workshops were critical groundwork for the project.Additionally, due to a policy of comprehensive outsourcing in the past, the insurer hadn’t yet built up an internal IT resource with the capacity to fully oversee the migration. Similar projects with two other consultancies had stalled, resulting in some internal scepticism that an outside agency could resolve the problem.  The SolutionTransparency from the outset was key. ECMS worked in partnership with a global specialty commercial insurer and reinsurer to establish a team, led by a programme director with extensive experience in stakeholder and technology transformation management. Clear lines of communication meant internal leaders at the client had visibility of every stage in the process, including budget accountability and workstream progress. This was critical in an environment where there were multiple moving parts to the project, all progressing at different speeds. The year-long project focused on four, core remedial areas:  Centralisation: single location laying the groundwork for future changeConsolidation: a strategic solution secure-by-design and fit for purposeSimplification: review and rationalise configuration, integration and operationsCost reduction: eliminate wasteful processes and surplus technologies. The work of migrating from Windows 7 to Windows 10 itself involved creating centralised management of the company’s software use to improve visibility of usage and application versions. Multiple software variants were rationalised to remove licence duplication and a full desktop refresh was undertaken. An extensive employee survey programme across all 2,500+ Windows users across 26 countries, plus an audit of existing solutions discovered which applications were in use and business critical. This led to a streamlining process where more than 1,000 applications were whittled down to 800. The process was also created to be flexible and able to integrate new add-ins and user-specific personalisation as their importance to the users came to light. ECMS’s support during the migration and solution deployment was significant with five members of the team on site educating employees on new technology, as well as supporting the company during a switchover to its new service manager, Infosys. Stakeholder support during the handover to the new service provider was in addition to the original brief but ECMS made sure that the client was fully equipped to handle its technology needs with its new provider going forward. Flexibility had been the watchword across the 12-month project and additional resource or skills were always on hand to bridge gaps in expertise as they arose. The OutcomeThe migration project is year one of a three-year strategic technology investment plan. It created a basis for the client to build a single platform that will drive business benefit from reduced application installs and improved security access. Ultimately, improved business effectiveness will drive long-term cost savings in the business, as well as contribute to improved customer experience and brand value. Through improved employee collaboration via the Windows suite, the company is now more agile and responsive, able to adapt better to new market conditions, innovations and customer needs. The project also instilled greater employee confidence in using Windows 10 solutions. This has generated more interest in adopting new technologies, that could set this global specialty commercial insurer and reinsurer up as a future-ready insurer with the competitive edge.  The ECMS Secret SauceThis was an IT project aimed at non-IT people. With ultimate transparency on processes and costs from the start, ECMS didn’t just deliver technical expertise but confidence to the client that the project would be delivered on spec, on time and on budget. A ‘white glove’ handover process also made sure that this global specialty commercial insurer and reinsurer was never left to manage its new technology infrastructure without the necessary supportsupporting to hand, either from third parties or internally.​"ECMS were able to deliver great strategic value to the client throughout this programme and delivered a bespoke solution to a complex set of business challenges. The ECMS team collaborated extensively, taking advantage of team member’s individual expertise, combining these towards a common goal. Feedback at the design, build and implementation stages was overwhelmingly positive and the client from the early stages began seeing benefits from our delivery, approach and knowledge." - Programme Lead

Programme Management Office, Global (re)insurer
Programme Management Office, Global (re)insurer

A leading global insurer with a large cross border portfolio of technology and business programmes were at risk of losing control and oversight.  Challenge The main challenge was to understand the business-critical projects, and associated global dependencies, in a period of increased scrutiny on spending whilst delivering on an increasing number of business-driven technology projects.  ​Solution A structured Programme Office approach was proposed to control dependencies, scope and budgets whilst instilling a central governance process. We deployed a specialist advisory programme consultant to review the processes and set up a new governance framework with better oversight across all projects, with a focus on project dependency outcome assessment and spend control.  Outcome As a result, we provided the client with a robust framework approach that allowed a focus on delivering whilst maintaining budgets, and ensuring the pipeline of project work had a better end to end governance. Projects identified that were at risk of failing the programme were reviewed and delivered whilst maintaining a focus on spend at a programme level.  

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. ​

Technology adoption in insurance: and evolution or revolution?

By Sarah Roebuck

The GRID

Technology adoption in insurance: and evolution or revolution?

As an industry, insurance is often lampooned for its lack of adoption of technology. Characterised as an industry where brokers carry leather-bound binders, beholden to physical inky stamps and fax machines, it’s fair to say we’re still seen as behind the times. But those in the industry will know we’re slightly more sophisticated these days. Multiple efforts to move to electronic placing are finally gaining traction, enhanced by the enforced remote working nature of the past 18 months. But is it more accurate to say we've undergone a technological evolution rather than a revolution? Hear insights from top executives across the insurance and (re)insurance market on the GRID Podcast from Eames Partnership, including:Greg Hendrick, CEO at Vantage, Karen Graves, former COO at Inigo, Maamoun Rajeh, CEO & Chairman at Arch Re, Rachel Conran, CEO at RSA Luxembourg, Shevawn Barder, CEO at AM Re Syndicate, Kenrick Law, Head of Asia Pacific at Allianz Re, and Steve Arora, CEO at Axis Re.Listen below, or subscribe on Apple and Spotify.​

Rethinking company culture

By Sarah Roebuck

The GRID

Rethinking company culture

How has the Covid-19 pandemic made insurance executives rethink company culture, and how do you ensure that it permeates to office, remote and hybrid workers? Hear insights from top executives across the insurance and (re)insurance market on the GRID Podcast from Eames Partnership, including:Greg Hendrick, CEO at Vantage, Karen Graves, former COO at Inigo, Maamoun Rajeh, CEO & Chairman at Arch Re, Rachel Conran, CEO at RSA Luxembourg, Shevawn Barder, CEO at AM Re Syndicate, Kenrick Law, Head of Asia Pacific at Allianz Re, and Steve Arora, CEO at Axis Re.Listen below, or subscribe on Apple and Spotify.​

Spotlight on... Carlos Mingo

By Carlos Mingo

Careers

Spotlight on... Carlos Mingo

​What is your role at ECMS?I lead sales and business development, helping ECMS to expand and grow.What is the best piece of advice you have been given?You miss all the shots you don’t take. Many times the worst thing that can happen is that you get a “no” and that is not that bad.What is your advice for anyone who is starting out in their career?Do as many things as you can; pick up tasks, responsibilities and projects and learn from them what you like and don’t like.  What is your favourite part about what you do?I enjoy getting involved in many different projects, where I get to interact with lots of different people.What is the biggest development and or change you see for the market within the next few years?The way we interact with each other, both internally with colleagues and externally with clients, partners and suppliers, has changed and that impacts all areas of the business. We will be seeing digital transformation projects fall under these changes for a long time.What has your career journey looked like?When I finished my MSc in Physics/Nano electronics I knew I didn’t want to spend my life in a lab, so I joined the sales team of a consulting company which specialised in electronics for satellites. When I was there, I realised that I enjoyed helping clients solve challenges, so I built my career around sales and business development working in consulting services. I’ve also lived in different countries– Spain, Paraguay, France, China, Portugal and UK, working for large and small consulting organisations across professional services, engineering and IT.When you won your first piece of business in your career, how did you celebrate?I got myself a DSLR camera – I picked up photography in my last years of university and had been looking forward to a ‘serious’ camera for a while so landing my first PO was a fantastic excuse for getting one.Why ECMS?We are committed to succeeding in everything we do, with our consultants and our clients. We are nimble and move fast, while doing things right.What does being an opportunity maker mean to you?Having the ability to bring the right solution to clients that will solve their challenges while bringing real, tangible value.If you're looking to get a change project off the ground, contact Carlos now.​

ECMS partners with Ohalo Data X-Ray to shine a light on unstructured data

By Mark Weller

News

ECMS partners with Ohalo Data X-Ray to shine a light on unstructured data

Our strategic partnership with Ohalo allows us to extend high-precision unstructured data extraction and classification services for enterprises in the insurance and financial services sector. Solving the unstructured data conundrum Data X-Ray empowers data privacy, compliance, and security teams to locate and understand their unstructured data at scale, regardless of where it is stored. The Data X-Ray connects to data regardless of environment or data source type, extracts metadata and file content to understand what that data means to the organisation, and automatically maps that information to privacy and security policies to action against. Downstream actions include records and retention management, data migration governance, file activity monitoring alerting, unstructured text redaction and more. “We're delighted to partner up with ECMS to provide their clients with our innovative Data X-Ray solution. With ECMS's understanding and expertise of financial institutions' transformation needs, we're confident that they will help take Ohalo's Data X-Ray solution to a larger market.”Mark Law, Head of Alliances and Partnerships - OhaloHow we work with Ohalo “The addition of Ohalo’s Unstructured Data Discovery and Data Classification capability to our customers toolkit enables a transformation in the way that they operate for our insurance and financial services clients. The Data X-Ray product has a wide range of use cases enabling our clients to manage risks around PII data and GDPR at scale, through exposing data which can be used in the underwriting and claims processes. Our partners are carefully selected for the innovation they bring and the ability to add value through a deep understanding of our clients’ use cases and the sectors they operate in. With 80% of data within an organisation held in unstructured formats we are incredibly excited about the future, and the solutions we can bring.” Kevin Hall, Delivery Director – ECMSIf you would like to chat further about Data Xray and what it can do for your business - contact us.

Spotlight on... Adele Bywater

By Adele Bywater

News

Spotlight on... Adele Bywater

What is your role at ECMS?​I have joined ECMS as the Talent Manager, to support the growth strategy and strategic hiring of the permanent and associate communities.What do you enjoy most about being in talent acquisition?I enjoy the balance of using my recruitment knowledge, with listening and responding to applicants and supporting their career development. I get the most out of my role by matching talent with an honest and consultative approach, to the relevant stakeholders we partner with, whilst providing strategic insight where possible. You have recently come back from a career break – what has career journey been like so far?​I started my career in recruitment straight after graduation. I was hired by the support agency I approached to find work for me and moved from an admin position to a branch manager. After working there for just over 8 years, I decided I needed a change and moved to an agency that specialised in placing HR professionals in financial services.The high point in my career was when I was offered a job in-house after working at the agency for 2 years. This new role was working in the HR department of an international investment bank.​My role here grew to become the EMEA Team Lead in Talent Acquisition for the Asset Servicing arm. I was working at VP level, hiring for various local offices, our London offices and for a period, our Frankfurt office, as well as extensive project involvement. Again, after another 8 or so years, I left this role to have a career break to raise my three girls. Now that they have all started school, I am excited to join ECMS to manage their talent pool.​What part of flexible working is important to you?​Management buy-in is essential. The ability to work flexibly needs to not just be on paper, but in the reality of the day to day. I have been fortunate enough to find a great company that sees the value in allowing its workforce to be flexible. This means I can both manage my workload and ensure it balances with my external home commitments.​What are you passionate about that influences your work?​I am passionate about helping people. In my day-to-day role I help people develop and grow their professional careers, ensuring they are in the right roles, at the right time. At ECMS it’s important for me to make sure that each of our projects are well resourced with the right individuals, who have the correct skill base. The marrying of these two sides of the talent process is something I am passionate about getting right.​What is the best advice you have been given?​At a conference on career development an influential woman in leadership said,‘wherever possible, and sometimes when it seemed impossible, I would always say “yes”.  This opened doors I didn’t always expect, it gave me opportunities that might have otherwise been lost.  And it gave me the chance to get involved and develop’. This stuck in my mind as a positive way to approach things, although I do appreciate that a balance must be maintained at times.​Why did you choose to work for ECMS?​ECMS have been exceptional in accepting the flexibility I need for my home commitments, but above and beyond the flexibility, is the passion and drive which came across from the members of the team. The strategic direction of the company is exciting, and it’s a great time to really come in and make an impact.  Where there is such a focus on growth, I am excited to own the talent process, as this is such an important part of the jigsaw.Adele is working on a number of exciting roles at ECMS, view them here.

​Fixing a Broken Broking Process

By Carlos Mingo

Netcall

​Fixing a Broken Broking Process

Using Netcall’s Liberty Create, ECMS help businesses to build apps that unite processes, systems and data together in one automated workflow.InnovationInnovation is key to thriving in a competitive market. We all know that to innovate effectively, we need to deliver the right product at the right price at the right time. More often than not timeliness are a large barrier to success due to long development and release cycles. We are leveraging Liberty Create to deliver to innovate at pace.Standardising and simplifying processesAcross the insurance industry processes can be challenging, prone to error and double data-entry occurances. Many organisations have a larger number of existing systems which house data and do not effectively and efficiently connect to each other, meaning there are many opportunities for improving processes and user experience while delivering cost savings. Improve the broker experienceWith Liberty Create we can standardise and simplify processes, helping organisations to build apps that brings together all the processes, systems and data together in one automated workflow, meaning a reduction of the risk of errors and double data-entry.The application can be easily configured to work across the entire lifecycle of insurance journeys. As an example, in a broking process it can manage the workflow from pre-placement and placement, quotation and negotiation to firm order and binding, including endorsements and renewals. The power of Liberty Create means that stakeholders involved in the process can be prompted to act at specific moments and consequently, data flows between all relevant systems automatically. This results in improved compliance controls and operational resilience.Creating a top-line revenue opportunityWith a platform that enables business users to respond to customer needs rapidly, for example through the deployment of new products and optimising processes, customer experience can be enhanced. In our experience, this leads to fewer drop outs through online and offline customer journeys, delivering increased revenue for organisations.Contact us today for more information on how Netcall can help you digitise your offering.

Spotlight on... Carlos Mingo

By Carlos Mingo

Careers

Spotlight on... Carlos Mingo

​What is your role at ECMS?I lead sales and business development, helping ECMS to expand and grow.What is the best piece of advice you have been given?You miss all the shots you don’t take. Many times the worst thing that can happen is that you get a “no” and that is not that bad.What is your advice for anyone who is starting out in their career?Do as many things as you can; pick up tasks, responsibilities and projects and learn from them what you like and don’t like.  What is your favourite part about what you do?I enjoy getting involved in many different projects, where I get to interact with lots of different people.What is the biggest development and or change you see for the market within the next few years?The way we interact with each other, both internally with colleagues and externally with clients, partners and suppliers, has changed and that impacts all areas of the business. We will be seeing digital transformation projects fall under these changes for a long time.What has your career journey looked like?When I finished my MSc in Physics/Nano electronics I knew I didn’t want to spend my life in a lab, so I joined the sales team of a consulting company which specialised in electronics for satellites. When I was there, I realised that I enjoyed helping clients solve challenges, so I built my career around sales and business development working in consulting services. I’ve also lived in different countries– Spain, Paraguay, France, China, Portugal and UK, working for large and small consulting organisations across professional services, engineering and IT.When you won your first piece of business in your career, how did you celebrate?I got myself a DSLR camera – I picked up photography in my last years of university and had been looking forward to a ‘serious’ camera for a while so landing my first PO was a fantastic excuse for getting one.Why ECMS?We are committed to succeeding in everything we do, with our consultants and our clients. We are nimble and move fast, while doing things right.What does being an opportunity maker mean to you?Having the ability to bring the right solution to clients that will solve their challenges while bringing real, tangible value.If you're looking to get a change project off the ground, contact Carlos now.​

The truth about unstructured data

By Kevin Hall

Ohalo

The truth about unstructured data

What is the true cost of unstructured data? Unstructured data makes up around 80% of many organisations' data. Kevin Hall, Delivery Director at ECMS, offers up three compelling reasons why you should know where it is and what to do with it.There is a sector wide challenge around data, more specifically unstructured data which has traditionally been owned and used by many functions within organisations. The lack of a single point of accountability however can create a lack of impetus for solving the challenges around it.This comes into sharper focus when it is recognised that data, structured and unstructured, is being more heavily scrutinised by the regulators, under the guises of operational resilience, which extends further to financial and technical resilience. Data, data everywhere We live in an age of Big Data, where the explosion of information means we have more opportunity for insights at our fingertips than ever before. For the insurance industry, the perennial challenge is how to distil these down into what is material to the organisation, and how to gain access to them -in real time if we can.But a growing amount of our organisation's data - up to 80% to 90% according to Gartner - is held in 'unstructured' formats, such as email messages, PDFs, photos, videos, and audio files.Here are three reasons why your organisation needs to keep tabs on and actively manage its unstructured data.Cutting costWith inflation spiralling and recession looming, the unnecessary cost of storing duplicate (or multiple) copies of the same unstructured data files suddenly appears extravagant.Many organisations encourage the use of collaboration portals, such as SharePoint, to encourage information to be stored centrally, but in reality people opt for the most convenient tool - typically email - which means there can be multiple versions of the same files in different repositories.This is particularly wasteful when you consider that most unstructured data in the enterprise is either cool data (over 30 days old and infrequently accessed) or cold data (over 90 days old and rarely accessed). It is like clutter in a house, as Larry Ponemon describes it, lying around but not being used.Consider that the cost of storing a petabyte of data on premises for five years could be well over £1m (for both on premises storage and cloud) and that some insurers store hundreds of petabytes. The ability to delete unused files and reduce duplication is therefore a big saving off the company's bottom line.According to some estimates, we will be creating 463 exabytes (with one exabyte equivalent to 1,000 petabytes) of data globally by 2025, much of it generated by IoT technology. Some of this information will be useful and will need to be stored long term, but much of it will not.If too much of your unstructured data is sitting on expensive primary storage systems, there are obvious cost cutting benefits to taking a different approach, particularly as the gap between data growth and storage budgets widens.Preventing leaksUnchecked data growth, combined with a lack of visibility, is increasing the risk of breaches, ransomware and compliance violations dramatically. It is a trend that has been exacerbated with working from home and hybrid working, which has encouraged the wide use of multiple data repositories. Cybercriminals know unstructured data is the low hanging fruit. Most employees create, share and store thousands of documents in a given year in informal repositories such as email and Slack, very few of which are properly classified, stored or secured.Moreover, unstructured data is an attractive target because it contains a wealth of personally identifiable and sensitive business information that can be leveraged for ransom or identity theft.If consumer data within unmanaged files is exposed during a data breach, it can result in hefty fines (up to 4% of global annual turnover under GDPR regulation) in addition to significant reputational damage and potential litigation.And for insurance buyers, cyber premiums are likely to be significantly higher if you cannot demonstrate to your underwriters that you know where all your unstructured data is held and that you have taken proactive steps to manage it.Extracting valueDetermining whether there is any value to the organisation contained within unstructured data is no easy task, but it can offer an important competitive advantage. For insurers, the insights contained in some data sources - including satellite and aerial imagery and IoT connected devices - could offer the opportunity to innovate, using telematics or parametric triggers, for instance. There are use cases for claims processing, underwriting and detection of fraud among other things.But in order to identify and extract the useful data (and discard content that is lacking in value) unstructured sources of information need to be approached and mined in a different way to conventional data sources.These days, some of the more emerging technologies - including AI and NLP - are being used to develop scanning tools that can extract value and save time. The hardest part is identifying rules around the data you want to source, or having the ability to write your own custom rules so you can tailor the product to your own organisational needs.Inevitably, many of the early scanning tools are based around data compliance with a focus on identifying PII. The next stage will be the creation of something that is more bespoke and tailored, so organisations can start to properly unlock the unstructured data goldmine.

Why you don't want to be a slow husky

By Paul Jardine

Ohalo

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

ESG

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

ESG

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.

​Fixing a Broken Broking Process

By Carlos Mingo

Featured Case Study

​Fixing a Broken Broking Process

Using Netcall’s Liberty Create, ECMS help businesses to build apps that unite processes, systems and data together in one automated workflow.InnovationInnovation is key to thriving in a competitive market. We all know that to innovate effectively, we need to deliver the right product at the right price at the right time. More often than not timeliness are a large barrier to success due to long development and release cycles. We are leveraging Liberty Create to deliver to innovate at pace.Standardising and simplifying processesAcross the insurance industry processes can be challenging, prone to error and double data-entry occurances. Many organisations have a larger number of existing systems which house data and do not effectively and efficiently connect to each other, meaning there are many opportunities for improving processes and user experience while delivering cost savings. Improve the broker experienceWith Liberty Create we can standardise and simplify processes, helping organisations to build apps that brings together all the processes, systems and data together in one automated workflow, meaning a reduction of the risk of errors and double data-entry.The application can be easily configured to work across the entire lifecycle of insurance journeys. As an example, in a broking process it can manage the workflow from pre-placement and placement, quotation and negotiation to firm order and binding, including endorsements and renewals. The power of Liberty Create means that stakeholders involved in the process can be prompted to act at specific moments and consequently, data flows between all relevant systems automatically. This results in improved compliance controls and operational resilience.Creating a top-line revenue opportunityWith a platform that enables business users to respond to customer needs rapidly, for example through the deployment of new products and optimising processes, customer experience can be enhanced. In our experience, this leads to fewer drop outs through online and offline customer journeys, delivering increased revenue for organisations.Contact us today for more information on how Netcall can help you digitise your offering.

Comprehensive Windows 10 Migration For Specialty Insurer

By Mark Weller

Featured Case Study

Comprehensive Windows 10 Migration For Specialty Insurer

The TaskTo migrate business units running Windows 7 to Windows 10, streamline the company’s use of the software and related applications, educating new users while finding cost and workflow efficiencies where possible. The ChallengeFollowing a number of acquisitions, a global specialty commercial insurer and reinsurer found it had several business units using Windows 7 in different tenants. There was widespread duplication of licenses and a large number of redundant applications, creating unnecessary cost for the organisation as well as increasing confusion. The business was finding that service levels were much lower than expected and users complained they couldn’t work efficiently. It risked being left behind in the market.This roll-out was also being conducted among users who were largely non-IT professionals or enthusiasts. The 2,500+-strong workforce were working across a range of different applications, with little visibility of what even colleagues in the same department were using. Some aspects of even commonly-used Office suites were troublesome to users, such as the use of Excel add-ins that come as standard. Many couldn’t always fully articulate which applications or add-ins were most needed during the initial technology audit. Initial ‘Understand the User’ workshops were critical groundwork for the project.Additionally, due to a policy of comprehensive outsourcing in the past, the insurer hadn’t yet built up an internal IT resource with the capacity to fully oversee the migration. Similar projects with two other consultancies had stalled, resulting in some internal scepticism that an outside agency could resolve the problem.  The SolutionTransparency from the outset was key. ECMS worked in partnership with a global specialty commercial insurer and reinsurer to establish a team, led by a programme director with extensive experience in stakeholder and technology transformation management. Clear lines of communication meant internal leaders at the client had visibility of every stage in the process, including budget accountability and workstream progress. This was critical in an environment where there were multiple moving parts to the project, all progressing at different speeds. The year-long project focused on four, core remedial areas:  Centralisation: single location laying the groundwork for future changeConsolidation: a strategic solution secure-by-design and fit for purposeSimplification: review and rationalise configuration, integration and operationsCost reduction: eliminate wasteful processes and surplus technologies. The work of migrating from Windows 7 to Windows 10 itself involved creating centralised management of the company’s software use to improve visibility of usage and application versions. Multiple software variants were rationalised to remove licence duplication and a full desktop refresh was undertaken. An extensive employee survey programme across all 2,500+ Windows users across 26 countries, plus an audit of existing solutions discovered which applications were in use and business critical. This led to a streamlining process where more than 1,000 applications were whittled down to 800. The process was also created to be flexible and able to integrate new add-ins and user-specific personalisation as their importance to the users came to light. ECMS’s support during the migration and solution deployment was significant with five members of the team on site educating employees on new technology, as well as supporting the company during a switchover to its new service manager, Infosys. Stakeholder support during the handover to the new service provider was in addition to the original brief but ECMS made sure that the client was fully equipped to handle its technology needs with its new provider going forward. Flexibility had been the watchword across the 12-month project and additional resource or skills were always on hand to bridge gaps in expertise as they arose. The OutcomeThe migration project is year one of a three-year strategic technology investment plan. It created a basis for the client to build a single platform that will drive business benefit from reduced application installs and improved security access. Ultimately, improved business effectiveness will drive long-term cost savings in the business, as well as contribute to improved customer experience and brand value. Through improved employee collaboration via the Windows suite, the company is now more agile and responsive, able to adapt better to new market conditions, innovations and customer needs. The project also instilled greater employee confidence in using Windows 10 solutions. This has generated more interest in adopting new technologies, that could set this global specialty commercial insurer and reinsurer up as a future-ready insurer with the competitive edge.  The ECMS Secret SauceThis was an IT project aimed at non-IT people. With ultimate transparency on processes and costs from the start, ECMS didn’t just deliver technical expertise but confidence to the client that the project would be delivered on spec, on time and on budget. A ‘white glove’ handover process also made sure that this global specialty commercial insurer and reinsurer was never left to manage its new technology infrastructure without the necessary supportsupporting to hand, either from third parties or internally.​"ECMS were able to deliver great strategic value to the client throughout this programme and delivered a bespoke solution to a complex set of business challenges. The ECMS team collaborated extensively, taking advantage of team member’s individual expertise, combining these towards a common goal. Feedback at the design, build and implementation stages was overwhelmingly positive and the client from the early stages began seeing benefits from our delivery, approach and knowledge." - Programme Lead

Programme Management Office, Global (re)insurer
Programme Management Office, Global (re)insurer

A leading global insurer with a large cross border portfolio of technology and business programmes were at risk of losing control and oversight.  Challenge The main challenge was to understand the business-critical projects, and associated global dependencies, in a period of increased scrutiny on spending whilst delivering on an increasing number of business-driven technology projects.  ​Solution A structured Programme Office approach was proposed to control dependencies, scope and budgets whilst instilling a central governance process. We deployed a specialist advisory programme consultant to review the processes and set up a new governance framework with better oversight across all projects, with a focus on project dependency outcome assessment and spend control.  Outcome As a result, we provided the client with a robust framework approach that allowed a focus on delivering whilst maintaining budgets, and ensuring the pipeline of project work had a better end to end governance. Projects identified that were at risk of failing the programme were reviewed and delivered whilst maintaining a focus on spend at a programme level.  

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. ​

Technology adoption in insurance: and evolution or revolution?

By Sarah Roebuck

Featured Podcast

Technology adoption in insurance: and evolution or revolution?

As an industry, insurance is often lampooned for its lack of adoption of technology. Characterised as an industry where brokers carry leather-bound binders, beholden to physical inky stamps and fax machines, it’s fair to say we’re still seen as behind the times. But those in the industry will know we’re slightly more sophisticated these days. Multiple efforts to move to electronic placing are finally gaining traction, enhanced by the enforced remote working nature of the past 18 months. But is it more accurate to say we've undergone a technological evolution rather than a revolution? Hear insights from top executives across the insurance and (re)insurance market on the GRID Podcast from Eames Partnership, including:Greg Hendrick, CEO at Vantage, Karen Graves, former COO at Inigo, Maamoun Rajeh, CEO & Chairman at Arch Re, Rachel Conran, CEO at RSA Luxembourg, Shevawn Barder, CEO at AM Re Syndicate, Kenrick Law, Head of Asia Pacific at Allianz Re, and Steve Arora, CEO at Axis Re.Listen below, or subscribe on Apple and Spotify.​

Rethinking company culture

By Sarah Roebuck

Featured Podcast

Rethinking company culture

How has the Covid-19 pandemic made insurance executives rethink company culture, and how do you ensure that it permeates to office, remote and hybrid workers? Hear insights from top executives across the insurance and (re)insurance market on the GRID Podcast from Eames Partnership, including:Greg Hendrick, CEO at Vantage, Karen Graves, former COO at Inigo, Maamoun Rajeh, CEO & Chairman at Arch Re, Rachel Conran, CEO at RSA Luxembourg, Shevawn Barder, CEO at AM Re Syndicate, Kenrick Law, Head of Asia Pacific at Allianz Re, and Steve Arora, CEO at Axis Re.Listen below, or subscribe on Apple and Spotify.​

Spotlight on... Carlos Mingo

By Carlos Mingo

Careers

Spotlight on... Carlos Mingo

​What is your role at ECMS?I lead sales and business development, helping ECMS to expand and grow.What is the best piece of advice you have been given?You miss all the shots you don’t take. Many times the worst thing that can happen is that you get a “no” and that is not that bad.What is your advice for anyone who is starting out in their career?Do as many things as you can; pick up tasks, responsibilities and projects and learn from them what you like and don’t like.  What is your favourite part about what you do?I enjoy getting involved in many different projects, where I get to interact with lots of different people.What is the biggest development and or change you see for the market within the next few years?The way we interact with each other, both internally with colleagues and externally with clients, partners and suppliers, has changed and that impacts all areas of the business. We will be seeing digital transformation projects fall under these changes for a long time.What has your career journey looked like?When I finished my MSc in Physics/Nano electronics I knew I didn’t want to spend my life in a lab, so I joined the sales team of a consulting company which specialised in electronics for satellites. When I was there, I realised that I enjoyed helping clients solve challenges, so I built my career around sales and business development working in consulting services. I’ve also lived in different countries– Spain, Paraguay, France, China, Portugal and UK, working for large and small consulting organisations across professional services, engineering and IT.When you won your first piece of business in your career, how did you celebrate?I got myself a DSLR camera – I picked up photography in my last years of university and had been looking forward to a ‘serious’ camera for a while so landing my first PO was a fantastic excuse for getting one.Why ECMS?We are committed to succeeding in everything we do, with our consultants and our clients. We are nimble and move fast, while doing things right.What does being an opportunity maker mean to you?Having the ability to bring the right solution to clients that will solve their challenges while bringing real, tangible value.If you're looking to get a change project off the ground, contact Carlos now.​

ECMS partners with Ohalo Data X-Ray to shine a light on unstructured data

By Mark Weller

Featured-Blog

ECMS partners with Ohalo Data X-Ray to shine a light on unstructured data

Our strategic partnership with Ohalo allows us to extend high-precision unstructured data extraction and classification services for enterprises in the insurance and financial services sector. Solving the unstructured data conundrum Data X-Ray empowers data privacy, compliance, and security teams to locate and understand their unstructured data at scale, regardless of where it is stored. The Data X-Ray connects to data regardless of environment or data source type, extracts metadata and file content to understand what that data means to the organisation, and automatically maps that information to privacy and security policies to action against. Downstream actions include records and retention management, data migration governance, file activity monitoring alerting, unstructured text redaction and more. “We're delighted to partner up with ECMS to provide their clients with our innovative Data X-Ray solution. With ECMS's understanding and expertise of financial institutions' transformation needs, we're confident that they will help take Ohalo's Data X-Ray solution to a larger market.”Mark Law, Head of Alliances and Partnerships - OhaloHow we work with Ohalo “The addition of Ohalo’s Unstructured Data Discovery and Data Classification capability to our customers toolkit enables a transformation in the way that they operate for our insurance and financial services clients. The Data X-Ray product has a wide range of use cases enabling our clients to manage risks around PII data and GDPR at scale, through exposing data which can be used in the underwriting and claims processes. Our partners are carefully selected for the innovation they bring and the ability to add value through a deep understanding of our clients’ use cases and the sectors they operate in. With 80% of data within an organisation held in unstructured formats we are incredibly excited about the future, and the solutions we can bring.” Kevin Hall, Delivery Director – ECMSIf you would like to chat further about Data Xray and what it can do for your business - contact us.

Spotlight on... Adele Bywater

By Adele Bywater

Homepage

Spotlight on... Adele Bywater

What is your role at ECMS?​I have joined ECMS as the Talent Manager, to support the growth strategy and strategic hiring of the permanent and associate communities.What do you enjoy most about being in talent acquisition?I enjoy the balance of using my recruitment knowledge, with listening and responding to applicants and supporting their career development. I get the most out of my role by matching talent with an honest and consultative approach, to the relevant stakeholders we partner with, whilst providing strategic insight where possible. You have recently come back from a career break – what has career journey been like so far?​I started my career in recruitment straight after graduation. I was hired by the support agency I approached to find work for me and moved from an admin position to a branch manager. After working there for just over 8 years, I decided I needed a change and moved to an agency that specialised in placing HR professionals in financial services.The high point in my career was when I was offered a job in-house after working at the agency for 2 years. This new role was working in the HR department of an international investment bank.​My role here grew to become the EMEA Team Lead in Talent Acquisition for the Asset Servicing arm. I was working at VP level, hiring for various local offices, our London offices and for a period, our Frankfurt office, as well as extensive project involvement. Again, after another 8 or so years, I left this role to have a career break to raise my three girls. Now that they have all started school, I am excited to join ECMS to manage their talent pool.​What part of flexible working is important to you?​Management buy-in is essential. The ability to work flexibly needs to not just be on paper, but in the reality of the day to day. I have been fortunate enough to find a great company that sees the value in allowing its workforce to be flexible. This means I can both manage my workload and ensure it balances with my external home commitments.​What are you passionate about that influences your work?​I am passionate about helping people. In my day-to-day role I help people develop and grow their professional careers, ensuring they are in the right roles, at the right time. At ECMS it’s important for me to make sure that each of our projects are well resourced with the right individuals, who have the correct skill base. The marrying of these two sides of the talent process is something I am passionate about getting right.​What is the best advice you have been given?​At a conference on career development an influential woman in leadership said,‘wherever possible, and sometimes when it seemed impossible, I would always say “yes”.  This opened doors I didn’t always expect, it gave me opportunities that might have otherwise been lost.  And it gave me the chance to get involved and develop’. This stuck in my mind as a positive way to approach things, although I do appreciate that a balance must be maintained at times.​Why did you choose to work for ECMS?​ECMS have been exceptional in accepting the flexibility I need for my home commitments, but above and beyond the flexibility, is the passion and drive which came across from the members of the team. The strategic direction of the company is exciting, and it’s a great time to really come in and make an impact.  Where there is such a focus on growth, I am excited to own the talent process, as this is such an important part of the jigsaw.Adele is working on a number of exciting roles at ECMS, view them here.

Blank

ECMS60 is a curated collection of sixty-second reads for leaders in the know.

Each month, our email digest shares insight on the key themes impacting leaders in the insurance, financial services and technology markets, coupled with analysis from our trusted advisors and leaders.