Beazley’s commitment to modernisation and operational efficiency is illustrated by its support of Placing Platform Limited (PPL). Declan Marshall describes how his firm’s open-door policy and proactive communications strategy are paving the way to successful change adoption.
As a specialist insurer, Beazley has operations across Europe, the US and Asia, with a workforce of over 1,000 employees globally. Beazley manages six Lloyd’s syndicates and the London Market represents a significant proportion of Beazley’s premium.
Declan Marshall, Beazley’s eTrading Operations Manager, took a lead early on in the London Market’s journey to modernisation and presented on the issues raised in the London Matters report to Beazley’s underwriting teams. Declan outlined the challenges that the London Market was facing and highlighted the need to adopt LM TOM Solutions to both maintain London’s leading position in the global insurance market and preserve Beazley’s own competitive advantages.
The insurer illustrated its commitment to modernisation by establishing an internal Beazley-LM TOM Steering Group, sponsored by the Group COO, Ian Fantozzi, and chaired by Declan. The group’s participants included the Head of UK and ROW Operations, the IT Enterprise Architect and Risk Management and Business Sponsors for each of the four LM TOM Solutions (PPL, Central Services Refresh Programme, Delegated Authority and Data Integration) that Beazley planned to adopt. Declan led the PPL work-stream and was clear from the start that the group’s senior executive team were supporters and sponsors of PPL.
Declan says: “Beazley, as an organisation, supports innovation to drive operational efficiency while helping the market move forward. The key is to have an open-door policy for any employee queries and proactive communications organisation-wide that deliver a consistent message.”
Beazley used various existing communication channels, including a weekly newsletter, Executive Q&A sessions, its intranet and other internal forums to inform staff about PPL, how it would impact them and their work, along with timelines for adoption.
Declan explains that it is crucial to communicate regularly with employees on such a key issue and to seek out proactively their buy-in, particularly if the organisation is undergoing multiple technology integration and process improvement projects at the same time.
Customising your approach and supporting people
“A ‘One solution fits all’ method won’t work in an organisation like Beazley where employees are encouraged to ask questions and raise their hands when things don’t seem right,” advises Declan. “We understand that each line of business works differently and that the individuals within those teams behave differently too. It’s important to customise your approach to ensure a positive outcome.”
Declan invited the LM TOM PPL team to provide a demonstration of the system before it went live, and, working with Beazley, the PPL team addressed any difficult questions, which gave staff a chance to get help and advice as soon as any potentially problematic issues arose.
Planning a slow and easy transition
Regular and consistent communications and robust support are essential for any firm going through transition, advises Declan, who adds that carefully timetabled training is also key to successful adoption. Declan worked with Beazley’s Underwriting Assistants and Divisional Operations Managers to schedule PPL train-the-trainer sessions for the insurer’s larger teams. Expert users were selected from the teams to act as SMEs post go-live of their respective lines of business. Some of the users had helped the PPL team shape the Solution’s requirements in the Practitioner Working Groups and Market Acceptance Testing sessions. This, says Declan, brought continuity and the best knowledge to support wider adoption through the organisation.
“Introducing PPL was made easier as we already used Ebix Exchange widely within Beazley. We also ensured that our staff saw the value of making London and our processes more modern. However, there were some challenges and difficult situations that needed to be addressed,” explains Declan. “For example, we had to repeatedly remind staff of the benefits of PPL and how it is just replacing paper in the placement process, we are retaining the face-to-face contact, and saving them time spent on administrative work. For example, underwriters don’t need to be at the box to do an address change or small endorsements if they use PPL. Furthermore, it is clear that we will be able to service our clients better when we hold all the data in one place.”
Throughout the process Beazley encouraged constructive feedback from its staff with the adoption team ready and prepared to address any difficult or challenging questions.
Showing leadership support
Beazley trusts the London Market and the measures it is taking to modernise and become an easier place to do business. Beazley’s executive team is fully supportive of the LM TOM programme, especially in terms of increasing adoption, and this important message has been cascaded throughout the insurer’s divisional teams.
Beazley reinforces these key messages through various communication channels keeping anyone impacted by the changes fully informed of the process and its impact.
Keeping the momentum going
Beazley, like any other underwriting firm in the London Market, is undergoing numerous internal changes. Declan advices that it is important to not lose focus of these internal goals but align the organisation’s vision to the market’s modernisation work.
Beazley is ensuring that PPL usage increases and that the new way of working lasts through:
- Using a reporting dashboard to compare the number of risks bound on PPL versus its Lloyd’s PAS system. This provides Beazley with the data to measure the adoption percentage and track the progress.
- Using internal data visualisation tools to report back statistics on risks bound on PPL to the Beazley Underwriting Committee for each line of business live on PPL.
- Putting up the ‘Ready for PPL’ sign at its boxes at Lloyd’s.
- Exploring ways of bringing PPL training modules onto its internal Learning Management System so user access and progress can be tracked internally.
- Using Business Analysis resource to work with all Lines of Businesses to understand how teams are using PPL and provide them with a best practice solution.
Declan adds: “Our teams want to do the right thing and support modernisation efforts. While we aren’t declining business that hasn’t come through PPL, we are meticulously encouraging our underwriters to use PPL. Modernisation and change are harder things to sell but we would like to encourage people to give PPL a try and see the benefits for themselves.”
The LM TOM team and PPL thank Declan and Beazley for their support in providing this case study.