6 Challenges Facing Construction Firms
The Risk List is presented by:
The Risk List is presented by:
Since the time it was established in 1863, Swiss Re has built a reputation as a prestigious and respected name in the insurance industry. Its rich heritage, financial strength and penchant for innovation speak for themselves. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions provides insurance products through its various insurance companies worldwide.
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, founded in 2010, continues to build and round out that legacy of excellence with a dedicated focus on the primary insurance market.
“Swiss Re Corporate Solutions now has more than 50 offices in over 20 countries, serving large corporations with a 5 to 10 percent market share in the segments we operate in,” said Adrian Hall, the recently appointed CEO Canada & Managing Director, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions.
Corporate Solutions excels in high-end specialty business as an excess lead insurer. It has been able to accomplish such rapid and sustainable growth because of its deep level of expertise in the industries it serves, a focused distribution strategy, commitment to the claims experience, and a client-centric approach.
Now, it is working to move into primary lead positions in the middle market. To do that effectively, it will leverage its global footprint while developing regional and local market focus.
Canada is just one of several regional markets the global insurer has targeted for its growth potential.
Canada is the eighth-largest commercial insurance market in the world — and growing. According to rating agency Moody’s, the Canadian property/casualty industry is experiencing stable demand, strong underwriting discipline, and increasing competition from insurers with strong balance sheets.
The marine, financial & professional services, cyber, general liability and property markets in particular seem likely to remain competitive in 2017.
A dedicated local strategy will be critical to maximize the opportunity these markets offer.
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions Canada business currently employs about 50 people with a premium of around CAD 184 million. It writes property/casualty lines, energy, financial & professional services, marine, engineering & construction and aviation business.
“We will continue to focus on those areas but look to expand into others as well,” Hall said.
Corporate Solutions demonstrated its commitment to a localized approach by creating a separate enhanced leadership structure to operate the regional businesses and execute a more boots-on-the-ground strategy.
That’s why Corporate Solutions brought in Adrian Hall to head up the Canadian business as CEO on May 1st — a role created to reinforce Corporate Solutions’ commitment to the Canadian market and grow its presence there.
“The new role reflects Corporate Solutions’ localization strategy,” Hall said. “Part of the expansion strategy is to have a local leader responsible for the strategic, managerial and institutional matters, from a position that is closer to our clients and to ultimately proactively service our clients more effectively.”
Hall has filled many roles in the insurance industry over his 24-year, globe-trotting career.
“I’ve held a range of leadership roles over my career in a range of markets internationally from positions in a number of European markets for a couple of years, and then in South America for a few years leading our distribution strategic direction,” Hall said.
“I was then in the Middle East for five years, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and then in Dubai, United Arab Emirates heading up the marketing and distribution strategy and external positioning of the company across the region. I then moved back to London for a short period of time, and I’ve been in Canada for the last 13 years where I have fulfilled a range of Commercial and Personal Insurance leadership positions.”
Hall’s global view of the insurance marketplace, combined with his firsthand knowledge and network of contacts within the Canadian market, made him a perfect fit for the new leadership role.
“I’m very much focused on that global strategic thinking while executing local delivery. We have to watch market dynamics and think proactively about where the market and clients are heading so we can ensure future sustainable success for our Clients and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions” Hall said.
Hall’s most recent prior experience as a chief customer officer aligned his strategic thinking with Swiss Re Corporate Solutions’ client-centric philosophy. That relentless client focus was one of the key differentiators that attracted Hall to the position of Canada CEO.
In addition to Hall’s leadership, a few key tenets of Swiss Re Corporate Solution’s business model and mission prime the organization for continued growth.
Not least among these is the company’s dedication to claims handling as an integral element of the proposition delivery for its clients. Corporate Solutions positions its claims team at the core of its organization, meaning it is integrated with every business unit in order to create a seamless experience for clients.
The company’s ‘Claims Commitment’ states its mission to pay covered claims within five business days, and advance payments of up to 50 percent of a loss estimate even sooner in the event of an insured first-party property loss. A member of the claims team will also contact clients within one day after a loss notification, and work with them to tailor a strategy best suited to their needs and preferences, whether that means settling or defending a claim.
“Our claims commitment is a key differentiator for us in the marketplace, and it stems from our client-centric approach,” Hall said. “We know that the way a claim is handled matters just as much as the eventual claim outcome. Creating a fast and smooth experience goes a long way in earning our customers’ trust.”
The insurer’ risk expertise also stands apart from competitors.
“At Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, we are focused on core business segments that we have a strong appetite in, and then we go deep. In the areas of property, energy, financial & professional services, aviation and engineering & construction, for example, there is deep, solid local expertise that our clients really benefit from,” Hall said.
A targeted distribution strategy also focuses on working with brokers that are aligned with Swiss Re’s philosophy and strategic thinking, which ultimately helps to build a more seamless insurance experience for clients.
Finally, financial strength and capacity also provide clients the confidence that their exposures are covered and their claims can be paid. Balance sheet strength also provides Swiss Re Corporate Solutions with the flexibility and muscle to pursue growth in promising markets and be selective in the industries and risks they take on.
To learn more, visit https://corporatesolutions.swissre.com/.
This article was produced by the R&I Brand Studio, a unit of the advertising department of Risk & Insurance, in collaboration with Swiss Re Corporate Solutions. The editorial staff of Risk & Insurance had no role in its preparation.
R&I: What was your first job?
When I was 15 years old I had a summer job working for the city of Plentywood, mowing grass in the parks and ballfields, emptying garbage cans, hauling waste to the dump, painting crosswalk lines. A great job for a teenager but I thought getting a college degree and working in an air-conditioned office would be a good plan long term.
R&I: How did you come to work in risk management?
I was enrolled in the University of Montana as a general business student, and I wanted to declare a more specialized major during my sophomore year. I was working for my dad at his insurance agency over the summer, and taking new agent training coursework on property/casualty risks in my spare time, so I had an appreciation for insurance. My dad suggested I research risk management for a career, and I transferred sight unseen to the University of Georgia to enroll in their risk management program. I did an internship as a senior with the risk management department at Sulzer Medica, and they offered me a full time job.
R&I: What could the risk management community be doing a better job of?
We need to do a better job of saying yes. We tend to want to say no to many risks, but there are upside benefits to some risks. If we initiate a collaborative exercise with the risk owners — people who may have unique knowledge about that particular risk — and include a cross section of people from other corporate functions, you can do an effective job of taking the risk apart to analyze it, figure out a way to manage that exposure, and then reap the upside benefits while reducing the downside exposure. That can be done with new products and new service offerings, when there isn’t coverage available for a risk. It’s asking, is there anything we can do to reduce the risk without transferring it?
R&I: What emerging commercial risk most concerns you?
Cyber liability. There’s so much at stake and the bad guys are getting more resourceful every day. At Varian, our first approach is to try to make our systems and products more resilient, so we’re trying to direct resources to preventing it from happening in the first place. It’s a huge reputation risk if one of our products or systems were compromised, so we want to avoid that at all costs.
We need to do a better job of saying yes. We tend to want to say no to many risks, but there are upside benefits to some risks.
R&I: What insurance carrier do you have the highest opinion of?
I’ve worked with a number of great ones over the years. We’ve enjoyed a great property insurance relationship with Zurich. Their loss control services are very valuable to us. On the umbrella liability side, it’s been great partnering with companies like Swiss Re and Berkley Life Sciences because they’ve put in the time and effort to understand our unique risk exposures.
R&I: How much business do you do direct versus going through a broker?
One hundred percent through a broker. I view our broker as an extension of our risk management team. We benefit from each team member’s respective area of expertise and experience.
R&I: Is the contingent commission controversy overblown?
I think so. The brokers were kind of villainized by Spitzer. I think it’s fair for brokers and insurers to make a reasonable profit, and if a portion of their profit came from contingent commissions, I’m fine with that. But I do appreciate the transparency and disclosure that came out as a result of the fiasco.
R&I: Are you optimistic about the US economy or pessimistic and why?
While we might be doing fine here in the U.S. from an economic perspective, the Middle East is a mess, and we’re living with nuclear threat from North Korea. But hope springs eternal, so I’m cautiously optimistic. I’m hoping saner minds prevail and our leaders throughout the world work together to make things better.
R&I: Who is your mentor and why?
My Dad got me started down the insurance and risk path. I’ve also been fortunate to work for or with a number of University of Georgia alumni who’ve been mentors for me. I’ve worked side by side with Karen Epermanis, Michael Rousseau, and Elisha Finney. And I’ve worked with Daniel Dean in his capacity as a broker.
R&I: What have you accomplished that you are proudest of?
Raising my kids. I have a 15-year-old and 12-year-old, and they’re making mom and dad proud of the people they’re turning into.
On a professional level, a recent one would be the creation and implementation of our global travel risk program, which was a combined effort between security, travel and risk functions.
We have a huge team of service personnel around the world, traveling to customer sites to do maintenance and repair. We needed a way to track, monitor and communicate with them. We may need to make security arrangements or vet their lodging in some circumstances.
R&I: What do your friends and family think you do?
My 12-year-old son thought my job responsibilities could be summed up as a “professional worrier.” And that’s not too far off.
R&I: What about this work do you find the most fulfilling or rewarding?
Varian’s mission is to focus energy on saving lives. Proper administration of the risk function puts the company in a better position to financially support research that improves products and capabilities, helps to educate health care providers and support cancer care in general. It means more lives saved from a terrible disease. I’m proud to contribute toward that.
When you meet someone whose cancer has been successfully treated with one of our products, it’s a powerful reward.