UK insurance ‘dissected’


I felt compelled to respond to some comments that were prompted by a previous article:

IBM Insurance:: does the industry really care what customers want? I wonder…

The following comments come from a, highly experienced and senior, former insurance executive, who now works for one of the major Global Consulting firms. Obviously I wouldn’t name names without first gaining the approval of the individual in question but I really wanted to share my thoughts. After all that’s why I blog.

For many years I have eagerly anticipated some meaningful debate with thought leaders, passionate or concerned people from within the insurance industry. But I have been, consistently disappointed. I wish I was more confident that these views might spark some meaningful discussion…but I won’t hold my breath!

The comments:

I think David Wilson is making the point that despite the results of the IBM survey, he’s seeing little action from the UK insurance industry. I think at the moment UK and Western European insurers have their hands full with Regulation – Solvency II, RDR – and this is diverting their attention.

Even so, in terms of innovation, UK insurers (or at least Northern European insurers) are seen as leading the global pack in terms of capital effectiveness and optimisation, with the North American market looking to UK as an example of best practice especially in the area of risk management.

My response:

What are the key issues identified:

  1. Compliance with additional Regulation – brought about by cultural, operational and regulatory failures
  2. UK & Europe seen as innovation leaders – based upon the above, should this be the case? And,
  3. capital effectiveness and optimisation – are these correct metrics for innovation and compliance?
  4. risk management – where is the evidence of “best practice”? – I see plenty of evidence of “bad practice” that has become ‘accepted practice’ across the industry. What are current practices in relation to complexity, business resilience and systemic risk?
    Insurance and banking have convinced themselves that they have been/are innovative but, if this is true, why are they the least trusted and most complained about industries according to their customers? Does that not explain the perceived need for more regulation?

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Do you work in a “Corporate Death camp”?:: Prof Roger Steare on “Moral DNA”


One thing I have come to really appreciate about the “Corporate Philosopher’s” approach is his pursuit of the root cause of so many of the [Corporate] World’s ills. We can only really get reliable answers by establishing causality. That, albeit from a very different angle of attack, is what I attempt to do in business and what the technology developed by Dr Jacek Marczyk (Founder & CTO – “genius” according to this article) at Ontonix has facilitated with their model-free technology…but there is still a long way to go with spreading such understanding and insight!

But, if we are dealing with sources of systemic risk, that threaten the sustainability and resilience of ALL that we have come to rely upon, then this is a critical mission.

In the “risk society” we tend to get side-tracked, even bogged down, by the sheer volume of information that assaults our senses on a daily basis. Excessive complexity and the promotion of “flawed” correlations are allies of the leading exponents of the sick, prevailing, culture that the Prof. is intent upon “outing”. That is why TRANSPARENCY is such a threat to institutions or organisations that have cultivated and exploited an institutional mentality!!! Read more of this post

Updated: What was Machiavelli talking about?


I make NO APOLOGY for re-blogging one of my own posts and a pretty recent one at that!

I wanted to add Japan to the list of unforeseen events and to re-pose (if that isn’t just a word I have made up) the question: what can we, sensibly, “take for granted” or should we always expect and prepare for the unexpected?

What was Machiavelli talking about? Image via Wikipedia   Or is it really important to know? Because many of his words are so profound that they transcend disciplines, scenarios and centuries! “…in its beginning it is easy to cure, but hard to recognise; whereas, after a time, not having been detected and treated at the first, it becomes easy to recognise but impossible to cure.” – Niccolo Machiavelli If I had attributed the statement to: a respected Economist on the subject o … Read More

via Get “fit for randomness” [with Ontonix UK]

What was Machiavelli talking about?


Niccolo Machiavelli 1

Image via Wikipedia

Or is it really important to know? Because many of his words are so profound that they transcend disciplines, scenarios and centuries!

“…in its beginning it is easy to cure, but hard to recognise; whereas, after a time, not having been detected and treated at the first, it becomes easy to recognise but impossible to cure.”

– Niccolo Machiavelli

If I had attributed the statement to: a respected Economist on the subject of sources of the global banking crisis or sovereign debt; an experienced Political commentator about the situation in Egypt;  a GP, talking about Cholesterol; an Oncologist, talking about cancer; an ecologist on global warming; an accident investigator identifying the cause of a man-made disaster; or one of my colleagues referring to business complexity, there may be some scope to debate the finer points but not the “essence” of the message!

Prevention is better than cure!

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