Why you don't want to be a slow husky

By Paul Jardine

ESG

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.

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.  

Capital Remediation Project Deployment, Insurance
Capital Remediation Project Deployment, Insurance

An insurance client was under pressure to deliver a capital remediation project following regulatory and market changes, in a challenging and competitive market. Challenge Recalibration and re-modelling would require an additional specialist resource to help meet key delivery dates throughout 2020 and the required submissions to Lloyd's. In a challenging environment, speed was critical in deploying experience consultants quickly and remotely, with the relevant specialist expertise to deliver. ​Solution ECMS provided a Projects as a Service model with Specialist Actuarial Associates identified by the ECMS network, to provide specialist capital remediation support.  Our agile approach and strong network allowed us to deploy quickly and remotely. Outcome ECMS Associates that were deployed to support this project also supported the wider business in recalibrating the model, preparing and extracting data remediation and supporting with IFRS 17 data requirements.  

New look, same ECMS

By Sarah Roebuck

News

New look, same ECMS

​We're excited to share today our refreshed visual identity for ECMS - a more refined look and feel to support our growth into new markets, be digitally more competitive and help us leverage opportunity in closer alignment to the other brands under Eames Group. Of the refreshed branding, Sarah Roebuck, head of marketing, shared: "We know there is opportunity in leveraging the advantages of being part of wider Group. First, with the launch of Eames Group in August, and now this visual refresh for ECMS, we are moving towards the goal of a more closely unified brand presence. As we seek to grow and expand into new markets, we can do so with a more contemporary, progressive brand identity. We’ve made a significant investment in solidifying our visual identity, and are excited to finally bring it to the market. From today, you'll begin to see a slow rollout of our refreshed ECMS branding, with a new website in the New Year. While our logo and look have changed, who we are and our commitment to our customers remains unchanged. This refresh is a reflection of our growth and evolution." ​​​About ECMS ECMS is a specialised management consultancy providing specialist, high impact, agile services across technology and business change with a focus on the insurance and financial services sectors. From early-stage strategy to design, delivery, recovery and transfer, ECMS have deep domain consulting expertise in delivering transformation projects. Our solutions are fully tailored as we recognise our clients are all unique, and our approach is designed to enable the delivery of your business objectives. We are agile in approach and adapt to your methodology whilst applying our in-house governance and delivery standards. We are part of the Eames Group - the parent company to our three non-competing businesses, Eames Consulting, Eames Partnership and ECMS. ​About Eames Group Eames Group is united in one common purpose: to make opportunities happen. Across our three non-competing businesses (Eames Consulting, Eames Partnership and ECMS), we work in partnership with our clients and candidates to empower them to shape their futures. We do this not with a short-term view but by developing long-term strategic relationships. Through talent solutions in recruitment, executive search, market intelligence and management consultancy, we move our clients forward with deep knowledge of their business and our refined expertise.

We've been named on the UK's Best Companies list

By Sarah Roebuck

Our Journey

We've been named on the UK's Best Companies list

​We couldn't be prouder to have achieved a 2-star accreditation from Best Companies, the UK's workplace survey that sets the standard for workplace engagement.Best Companies lists ECMS as an 'Outstanding' place to work and sees us recognised among the UK's 100 Best Small Companies to Work For and London's Best 30 Small Companies to Work For.When the pandemic took hold in March 2020 in the UK, and the first national lockdown was imposed, we had to react quickly to ensure our employees remained safe, motivated, and happy, but also to maintain business continuity under circumstances unlike any seen before.We leaned on our values and focused on our people – prioritising staff wellbeing, introducing home working, ensuring clarity of communication, and maintaining connections between teams.Employees characterised widespread faith in the focus on staff wellbeing and cultural connectivity. The introduction of flexible working hours, coupled with remote working, has afforded employees different ways of working. Feedback from our employees is vital for us to continue to create opportunity as an organisation. The output from this survey will be invaluable for us to understand what we are doing well and where we can improve.We're delighted our team feel so connected and engaged, especially in a year when we've never been more separated through lockdowns, homeworking and restricted international borders.We look forward to working with our team to build on the platform we've created, continue to improve, and strive for a 3-star accreditation next year.​​---About Best CompaniesBest Companies was founded in 2001 and help make the world a better workplace by measuring, improving and recognising workplace engagement. Their world-class methodology powers The Best Companies to Work For list, spotlighting the UK’s best workplaces on a national stage. ECMS engaged Best Companies as part of the Eames Group and the 2-star accreditation recognises all UK subsidiaries including Eames Consulting Group and Eames Partnership. About ECMS:ECMS are a specialised consultancy focused on providing tailored agile solutions to the technology, financial services and insurance sectors. From early-stage strategy, through to the design, delivery and ongoing efficiency maintenance, ECMS provides unrivalled expertise to change and transformation projects. Our services include advisory, project management and project augmentation. Interested in opportunities to join ECMS? We are always looking for new Associates to join our network and we welcome the opportunity to discuss our current opportunities and projects with you. Explore more here. Contact: Sarah Roebuck, Group Marketing, sarah.roebuck@ecmanagedsolutions.com.

Just-in-case versus just-in-time: A supply chain analogy
Just-in-case versus just-in-time: A supply chain analogy

We are living through a period of massive upheaval and uncertainty. Predicting what even the next 24 months will hold is nigh on impossible. One thing we do know: You can't shrink to greatness.Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you will be aware of the ongoing global supply chain crisis. Manufacturing companies around the world have experienced significant disruption for over two years, exacerbated by the global pandemic, trade wars, staffing issues within transport and logistics and latterly the impact of geopolitical events, most notably Russia's war in Ukraine.From lockdowns in Shanghai to the pressures of Brexit on our doorstep, many large multinationals are rethinking their approach to supply chain risk management. Previously, the emphasis was on 'just-in-time' lean manufacturing and gaining efficiencies by holding onto as little stock as possible.But the pendulum has swung back. Corporates are considering whether they need to retain some 'just-in-case' stockpiles - looking to high-profile examples, such as PPE shortages - as proof that sometimes it is good to hold onto a bit of stock for a rainy day.And, of course, times are changing. Globalisation as we once knew it may have seen its heydayConcerned about the impact of decisions and events on the other side of the world, some companies are moving their supply chains closer to home (so-called reshoring and 'friendshoring'). This is no small trend with up to a quarter of global supply chains are currently on the move, according to McKinsey.The perils of holding onto too much capitalSo what does this mean for the insurance industry? It is in fact a prescient analogy when you take a step back and consider the turmoil we find ourselves in.The insurance and reinsurance industry remains well capitalised, but for how long? Global reinsurance capital declined from $675 billion at the start of the year to $645 billion at mid-year 2022, according to the latest data from Aon.The industry is facing mounting Ukraine-related losses, the prospect of inflation and financial market volatility, and the Atlantic hurricane season has only just begun. In and around the usually sheltered streets of Leadenhall there is growing disquiet surrounding the cost-of-living crisis (there is no ignoring it at the petrol station or the supermarket) and how it will trickle through.There is a temptation in such uncertain circumstances to hold onto too much capital and taking an overly cautious 'just-in-case' approach while continuing to emphasise cost optimisation. This is what we see many clients doing as their margins begin to narrow.Of course there are merits in taking a cautious approach, boosting reserves, focusing on fewer, more profitable classes of business and divesting of expensive and unnecessary office space given the shift to hybrid working, for instance. But it is essential to manage such strategies very carefully: Cut too deep and it will be difficult to return.Not everyone is at the same stage in the cycle. Some remain doggedly in growth mode, seeking M&A opportunities and tapping into private equity investment. There is still money around, but it comes with greater scrutiny attached and growing pressure to generate the right level of returns.What of the middle road? How do you grow and optimise the business while holding onto some capital? What levers do you pull? Either you reinvest, or you think differently. Time to reinvestAs Paul Jardine mentioned in his latest blog post, the time to act is now. You've got to overcome your hesitancy and take some bold steps on your transformation program. Don't wait until the next soft market and/or market shock because it will be too late and the market will have moved on.Think about your growth strategy and how you're going to get the revenue up. We are currently seeing a lack of investment in acquisitions (with a few notable exceptions), but the hard market cycle can't last forever and the organic growth opportunities will begin to dwindle.There is a lot of guesswork around what the immediate future holds but you need to live and die by the data that you have. Based on the data, you should know how to move forward.The trends we are seeing play out in global supply chains thus apply to the world of insurance when it comes to cost versus revenue, or just-in-case versus just-in-time. Ultimately, you can't keep shrinking to greatness and companies have got to reinvest. Those that do should find ample opportunity to take market share.​​

Trends and challenges for the Business Analyst community

By Steven Taub

Trends and challenges for the Business Analyst community

The business analyst community has been going through a major shift over the last few years due to a massive increase in digitalisation coupled with factors such as Brexit, IR35 and the global economy crises. Regulatory change in the insurance industry has created demand for financial transformation due to changes in IFRS17 and Solvency II regulation. All these aspects have increased the need for business analysts to action long-term plans and achievable goals to meet business objectives.​So, what are the trends impacting business analysts in transformational change and what are the challenges that business analysts experience in the current market.​Business Analysts are in high demandBusiness analysts are key to helping with change and transformation projects, as they can offer more than they have in the past in terms of domain knowledge, requirement management, facilitation, and a fresh perspective. Vast change in the insurance industry over the last 7 years due to SII and IFRS17 regulatory change, has enabled analysts to better understand the industry and gain domain knowledge, as well as considerable SME experience, operating as an analyst and a SME. Subsequently, organisations now have the confidence to employ analysts with the relevant experience, causing a shortage of talent in the market.Apart from domain knowledge, we see business analysts gaining filters into technology. Analysts working across the sector would have considerable experience with different technologies and know many of the venders. Therefore, analysts have been employed not only because of their business knowledge of the topic but because of their relationships with vendors and the success that can generate. In the insurance sector, analysts who have experience of Oracle cloud products, Moody’s Risk Integrity and Tagetik are in high demand.​Process engineering and workshopsThere is a big emphasis on process engineering and analysts that can think out the box and use techniques learnt from previous projects to meet company objectives. This creativity is essential for successful solutions. Process engineering helps identify inefficiencies in the business operations and guides the development of strategies to improve business effectiveness. The performance can be tracked over time, helping to identify areas of improvement to action relevant changes, providing more informed decision making and leading to better outcomes. Processes have also been used to train staff, so they better understand how the change in technology and operations best service the business.Business analysts hold the key in bringing stakeholders together through running effective workshops. This has given analysts more power to bring programmes together, guiding the project to meet the organisational objectives. Workshops allow analysts to have the ability and opportunity to manage transitions smoothly and effectively, taking responsibility of key actions in a way that minimises disruption to the business and ensuring targets and goals are met. ​Expectations are the challenge​As the growth and uptake of business analysts increases, so does the expectations for them to be effective subject matter experts.A challenge for business analysts’ is that their skill sets are often derived by working on a variety of different projects, in a variety of different sectors and industries. However, if they are not seeing a project end to end, we risk knowledge gaps. This can be alleviated by offering business analysts SME support and knowledge to better enhance their abilities.Business analysts are often working in high energy fast paced environments and are constantly stretched for time. To be effective, they need to be met with strong, honest, and reliable leadership teams and adequate resources. A good project management team and/or structure creates the perfect environment for business analysts to succeed.Change teams that have a database of business analyst material for them to peruse and utilise helps them be creative, innovative, and proactive. Materials such as example requirements, process flows, control matrices and traceability matrices to better test effectively. All this enables the business analyst to be effective, allowing them to focus on the change required rather than the format. Business analysts hold a lot of power and expertise for change projects, by using process engineering and workshops to hit key objectives and being surrounded by strong leadership teams – the sky is the limit. ​For our current job opportunities in BA, please visit our jobs page here.

Why you don't want to be a slow husky

By Paul Jardine

ESG

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.​

Why you don't want to be a slow husky

By Paul Jardine

Featured-Blog

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.

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.  

Capital Remediation Project Deployment, Insurance
Capital Remediation Project Deployment, Insurance

An insurance client was under pressure to deliver a capital remediation project following regulatory and market changes, in a challenging and competitive market. Challenge Recalibration and re-modelling would require an additional specialist resource to help meet key delivery dates throughout 2020 and the required submissions to Lloyd's. In a challenging environment, speed was critical in deploying experience consultants quickly and remotely, with the relevant specialist expertise to deliver. ​Solution ECMS provided a Projects as a Service model with Specialist Actuarial Associates identified by the ECMS network, to provide specialist capital remediation support.  Our agile approach and strong network allowed us to deploy quickly and remotely. Outcome ECMS Associates that were deployed to support this project also supported the wider business in recalibrating the model, preparing and extracting data remediation and supporting with IFRS 17 data requirements.  

New look, same ECMS

By Sarah Roebuck

News

New look, same ECMS

​We're excited to share today our refreshed visual identity for ECMS - a more refined look and feel to support our growth into new markets, be digitally more competitive and help us leverage opportunity in closer alignment to the other brands under Eames Group. Of the refreshed branding, Sarah Roebuck, head of marketing, shared: "We know there is opportunity in leveraging the advantages of being part of wider Group. First, with the launch of Eames Group in August, and now this visual refresh for ECMS, we are moving towards the goal of a more closely unified brand presence. As we seek to grow and expand into new markets, we can do so with a more contemporary, progressive brand identity. We’ve made a significant investment in solidifying our visual identity, and are excited to finally bring it to the market. From today, you'll begin to see a slow rollout of our refreshed ECMS branding, with a new website in the New Year. While our logo and look have changed, who we are and our commitment to our customers remains unchanged. This refresh is a reflection of our growth and evolution." ​​​About ECMS ECMS is a specialised management consultancy providing specialist, high impact, agile services across technology and business change with a focus on the insurance and financial services sectors. From early-stage strategy to design, delivery, recovery and transfer, ECMS have deep domain consulting expertise in delivering transformation projects. Our solutions are fully tailored as we recognise our clients are all unique, and our approach is designed to enable the delivery of your business objectives. We are agile in approach and adapt to your methodology whilst applying our in-house governance and delivery standards. We are part of the Eames Group - the parent company to our three non-competing businesses, Eames Consulting, Eames Partnership and ECMS. ​About Eames Group Eames Group is united in one common purpose: to make opportunities happen. Across our three non-competing businesses (Eames Consulting, Eames Partnership and ECMS), we work in partnership with our clients and candidates to empower them to shape their futures. We do this not with a short-term view but by developing long-term strategic relationships. Through talent solutions in recruitment, executive search, market intelligence and management consultancy, we move our clients forward with deep knowledge of their business and our refined expertise.

We've been named on the UK's Best Companies list

By Sarah Roebuck

Our Journey

We've been named on the UK's Best Companies list

​We couldn't be prouder to have achieved a 2-star accreditation from Best Companies, the UK's workplace survey that sets the standard for workplace engagement.Best Companies lists ECMS as an 'Outstanding' place to work and sees us recognised among the UK's 100 Best Small Companies to Work For and London's Best 30 Small Companies to Work For.When the pandemic took hold in March 2020 in the UK, and the first national lockdown was imposed, we had to react quickly to ensure our employees remained safe, motivated, and happy, but also to maintain business continuity under circumstances unlike any seen before.We leaned on our values and focused on our people – prioritising staff wellbeing, introducing home working, ensuring clarity of communication, and maintaining connections between teams.Employees characterised widespread faith in the focus on staff wellbeing and cultural connectivity. The introduction of flexible working hours, coupled with remote working, has afforded employees different ways of working. Feedback from our employees is vital for us to continue to create opportunity as an organisation. The output from this survey will be invaluable for us to understand what we are doing well and where we can improve.We're delighted our team feel so connected and engaged, especially in a year when we've never been more separated through lockdowns, homeworking and restricted international borders.We look forward to working with our team to build on the platform we've created, continue to improve, and strive for a 3-star accreditation next year.​​---About Best CompaniesBest Companies was founded in 2001 and help make the world a better workplace by measuring, improving and recognising workplace engagement. Their world-class methodology powers The Best Companies to Work For list, spotlighting the UK’s best workplaces on a national stage. ECMS engaged Best Companies as part of the Eames Group and the 2-star accreditation recognises all UK subsidiaries including Eames Consulting Group and Eames Partnership. About ECMS:ECMS are a specialised consultancy focused on providing tailored agile solutions to the technology, financial services and insurance sectors. From early-stage strategy, through to the design, delivery and ongoing efficiency maintenance, ECMS provides unrivalled expertise to change and transformation projects. Our services include advisory, project management and project augmentation. Interested in opportunities to join ECMS? We are always looking for new Associates to join our network and we welcome the opportunity to discuss our current opportunities and projects with you. Explore more here. Contact: Sarah Roebuck, Group Marketing, sarah.roebuck@ecmanagedsolutions.com.

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.