At Lloyd’s of London’s latest “Meet the Market” event in San Francisco on Oct. 7, CEO Inga Beale sat down with NU Managing Editor Melissa Hillebrand for this exclusive Q&A. Read the interview in full at propertycasualty360.com.
Melissa Hillebrand: I wanted to discuss the Lloyd’s City Risk Index, which analyzes the potential economic impact of 18 natural and man-made threats on more than 300 worldwide cities. How long did this project take to implement? How do you see brokers or risk managers using this new resource?
Inga Beale: It took three years, based off of the work from a lot of researchers. What we want to do—and it’s not just about scaring everybody—it’s about encouraging a dialogue, and recognition that the risks are changing. And so it’s not just risk managers, brokers and businesses, but we also want to have dialogue with governments. That’s what we really want to spark, to have people start having a dialogue of “These are the threats out there. What do we need to do to build resilience into our cities, our businesses, and how can insurance help?”
Hillebrand: What are you seeing, in the corporate assessment of cyber risks outside the U.S.? You had mentioned that the majority of Lloyd’s Cyber insurance buyers are for U.S. clients.
Beale: What’s interesting to me is, why is it that U.S. businesses are buying and practically nobody else? I think it’s because of the regulatory environment. The regulators are saying, “You have to report this information, you have to take necessary action if something has happened.” That approach hasn’t happened elsewhere in the world. In Europe, we would like that same approach. Right now, businesses are forced to put cyber on the board agenda, and you move away from this concept if the head of IT doesn’t want to admit that anything might be at risk in the firm. So they don’t want to volunteer that cyber issues are a risk. But if you force through regulation that every hack has to be reported, suddenly it gets on the board agenda. And then it’s OK for the IT manager to admit that this could happen and that could happen.
Hillebrand: What can you tell us about Lloyd’s global expansion plans?
Beale: This is really driven by the fact that the economic power by 2030 will be in the hands of a different set of nations. And that power is going to shift from the traditional west to these new economies. Growth and the future is going to come from new economies. So we are going after places like Brazil, Mexico, Columbia, looking at what we can do and how we can bring the Lloyd’s specialism to economies that are going to be needing insurance.
Hillebrand: What opportunities do you see in those countries?
Beale: Lots of energy, business and infrastructure development. You have the growing middle class, people buying insurance for the very first time. And they are not going to want any paper. Everything they do is mobile technology. They don’t even have bank telling machines, they don’t take cash out, they transfer everything with their phones and mobile devices. So if we don’t modernize ourselves, we can’t even think of competing in some of these emerging markets.
Hillebrand: You started off as an underwriter, and now you are the CEO of Lloyd’s of London. What have you learned that you can teach other women about pursuing a career in insurance?
Beale: When I was at St. Joseph’s University [in Philadelphia] and I saw how many women in the student group were studying risk management and insurance, it was still heavily biased toward men. Today, fewer than 1% of female graduates want to go into insurance, it ranks below banking. So there is something about insurance that is not appealing to them. Yet we do such a valuable service for societies, for business, governments and countries, and we don’t sell it enough. We really need to get out there and talk about it more, to appeal to people to come in.
Hillebrand: What have you learned at Lloyd’s about what it means to be a leader, and encouraging other women to be leaders?
Beale: We have launched “Inclusion@Lloyds,” which is about getting people to understand how beneficial it is to have diversity and diverse thought, that you don’t have the same homogenous people around the table, because that won’t drive modernization or innovation. We have a charter that we put out, and we have asked people to sign up—the syndicates and brokers—to commit to supporting diversity and inclusion, and encouraging them. We want to be sure we reflect our customer base. Everybody wants to deal with people that they can somehow relate to.