Joining Everest now, as clients’ demands are rapidly shifting in new directions, makes me excited about what we can achieve together. Placing clients’ needs and expectations at the core of our energy and construction plans is our priority, and the essence of Everest’s overall strategy to drive growth and further evolve the international business. I know that for many insurers, this might be easier said than done, particularly because of legacy structures and systems; but it is absolutely what we’re committed to, and that commitment can make all the difference.
It starts with understanding
Prioritising the client starts with a deep, nuanced understanding of their sector. This includes knowing every aspect of their business – the internal systems and stakeholders, external pressures and changes they are dealing with, and the expectations they have of their partners. Energy and construction are critical industries right now, and under intense focus from many angles: climate change, geo-political issues, the ‘cost of living crisis’, and so on. There isn’t an area of human life, nor a stakeholder group, unaffected by the movements in these sectors. With so many of these movements being unpredictable, sudden and even seismic, the whole notion of ‘risk’ is being redefined – and insurers need to be aware of this, and prepared for new types of conversations with their clients about the risks their businesses face.
- What is an acceptable rate of change from one business model to another, recognising that there will always be an energy market – albeit a vastly different one from what we have now?
- How should clients deal with stranded assets as they go through this change?
This is where we see the second dimension of understanding: at the personal level. The idea of trust has always been central to insurance, and central to good relationships; it’s now more important than ever. This is where we can bring a new spirit to the market through our willingness to navigate new conversations alongside our clients, and bring fresh perspectives and true partnership. Insurers need to be comfortable taking lead positions on placements, genuinely showing themselves as partners for their clients on what might well be an arduous journey as they learn and adapt together. We believe that this notion of leadership applies not only to a client’s insurance placement, but also to engagement with the market as a whole; it’s not about size or price, it’s about having the right priorities and attitudes.
A third dimension to our understanding comes into focus as we delve deeper into the wider trends that are likely to impact our clients’ business and strategies. The environmental, social and governance agenda, for example, has become a prominent factor in determining how companies are evaluated and led, and insurers need to be aware of the role energy and construction can play in improving their clients’ performance in that area.
We’ll endure by doing more – with, and for, our clients
In this rapidly changing environment, adapting and growing in new areas requires a degree of courage – and we are committing for the long haul. The sector has surprised itself in achieving so much fundamental change over the past two years, and it needs to continue to embrace that level of innovation and disruption. Dealing with risk in this environment demands a different skill set from what might have been typical even five years ago. We think this is even more important as we enter what is undoubtedly a ‘hard market’: pricing is always going to be critical, but right now we all need to be prepared to work through options. This is another reason why it is a good time for Everest to be launching an energy business, because we have the proven capacity and eagerness to stay open-minded and solution-focused.
Clients will find us curious about their business and the sector in which they operate, they will see greater creativity and problem-solving from us, and an even stronger desire to deliver the right solution for each individual client. All done, of course, at a faster pace, and with sharp insights through data and analytics that drive better decisions and a better overall experience.
That is how we’re building the Everest business – bringing together all the elements of a preferred, trusted partner in one place, creating small, specialist teams sharply focused on their needs. We believe these are the foundations of a superb suite of products and an excellent balance sheet.
As my colleague, Jason Keen, Senior Vice President, Co-Head of Everest International Group, said, “We’re excited by the challenge and by the potential of our team.” This is a sentiment I share, and I look forward to sharing learnings and progress as we carry out our plans.