RSA's UK boss on Broker trading reviews, Biba and being shadowed for a day.
See also: Paul Donaldson interview
I’ve just finished our monthly trading review in our Broker business.
It’s a meeting I have where Paul Donaldson and his team talk through how we did in the month. We look in enormous detail at business won, business lost, business trends, our lead indicators of profitability, and we discuss plans for the next few months.
As everyone knows, the market is tough and I keep reflecting on our journey at this time. We’ve been clear that RSA is about sustainable profitable business... we want to grow but we must be able to do it in a way that works.
“At BIBA last year I got a bit of criticism for our approach on rate. But the tone was really different this year.
Paul and his team cut the data every which way. We look at it by trading segment and look for green shoots on our strategy. I look for the team to take action where they can, but I’m also realistic enough to know what can’t be done. I also let the team know that they’re doing a great job and I look to support them.
I love getting into the detail of the business. This is what I love about insurance: the way it can make your head hurt. I ask Colin, our underwriting director in Broker - and a person totally committed to delivering sustainable price and profit - to bring to me a review of clients that we’ve won and lost. No one likes losing business so we discuss what we did and whether we made the right call. This focus on the detail comes from the top down, it’s what we expect at RSA.
We’ve been talking about our lonely journey for some time now and it’s now 18 months since we started taking action on motor. I remember at BIBA last year I got a bit of criticism for our approach on rate. But the tone was really different this year. The RSA team has done a great job explaining our approach and we really appreciate the support we’re getting.
Talking about BIBA, our new brand was absolutely on show there and I really love the work our branding team has done. I always smile as I walk towards Leadenhall Court and get a glimpse of the new signs.
“This is what I love about insurance. The way it can make your head hurt.
Whilst I was at BIBA I spent time with a member of the Broker team. In fact, it turned out to be a lot of time as we ended up sharing a flight back to Stansted. We talked about a particular partner she works with and the challenges of the market.
She asked if she could work shadow me for the day. I said she would be very welcome, though I did mention the life of a CEO is not always exciting every day! And then I thought (and this brings me back to the start of this blog), she should workshadow me on the day of my monthly broker trading review.
That way, she’ll be able to see the way her bosses represent the broker team in the challenges of the market and, hopefully, she’ll see first hand the support and maybe the odd bit of challenge they get too.
Bridget McIntyre is UK Chief Executive at RSA