I was lucky enough to attend the NGIN / KPMG / TOM event on ‘Innovation and Emerging Markets’ at Lloyd’s last month. Contrary to my initial expectation, that this was an evening about insurance innovation in emerging markets, the programme actually consisted of five separate presentations all rounded off by a Q&A session.
Part 1: ‘The Insurance Innovation Imperative’ – KPMG
The event kicked off with a presentation from Gary Reader, Global Head of Insurance at KPMG. Gary showed some stats from a large study on global insurance CEOs views on innovation. To summarise: it’s important, but there’s not nearly enough of it and when it happens it’s slow.
Unsurprisingly, CEOs are most concerned about diminishing margins and increased competition, the latter from both established and new potential competitors. The hope is that greater awareness of potential disruption might trigger more innovation, but that doesn’t seem guaranteed as we know from other industries.
I found it particularly interesting that only 8% see lack of customer trust as a short term issue for the sector. All the research I’ve been involved with shows that trust is easy to lose and hard to build and it’s worth bearing in mind that some of the named potential disruptors to the insurance industry, e.g, Google or Amazon, regularly feature on ‘most trusted’ companies lists.
Parts 2 and 3: Introduction to TOM, and the TOM Innovation Council
Adrian Thornycroft then took to the stage to introduce the basics of the TOM to the Millennials in the market, very useful. He was followed by Justin Emrich, who spoke persuasively about the TOM and innovation. If you’re interested in what TOM is all about, you can join the other 1,600 people who already support TOM here: https://isupporttom.london/
Part 4: Insurance in emerging markets
Two actuaries from KPMG then presented the ‘emerging markets’ segment of the event. I felt there was some tension in the argument between the commercial opportunity to sell insurance to very poor people vs the benefits to those people if catastrophes happen. It seems like much bigger issues are at play and perhaps insurance shouldn’t stray too much into development but see itself as ‘part of the solution’.
The most inspiring and interesting part of the event was the Q&A session, where a number of challenging and intellectually curious questions were posed to the panel. It was a shame that this session was cut short, I imagine due to the presentations overrunning. I hope that future market events include more audience participation as it seems like a growing number of people are becoming engaged with the issues and have interesting things to say.
All in all this was a worthwhile, informative event and one that I would recommend to others.
Penelope Mantzaris, Director at Gracechurch Consulting.