Lloyd's head of business reform Iain Saville wants Kinnect users to speak their mind
The Lloyd's market will be issued with consultative documents on their views of the interconnectivity platform, Kinnect, according to its new chairman.
Lloyd's has appointed Iain Saville as its first head of business process reform to modernise and improve business efficiency in the market. His role will include overseeing the introduction of the London Market Principles (LMP) and acting as chairman for Kinnect. Ashok Gupta remains as Kinnect's chief executive.
Saville said that once Kinnect had decided on its next risk class, opinion formers in the market would be approached to give honest answers to direct questions.
"We will ask them to be frank about what they like and don't like, and how it is failing to help them.
"When they respond, I'll tell them what I think. And if the comments seem self-serving, then I will say they are self-serving."
Saville, who was behind the electronic shares settlement system CREST, which eliminated paper from the process for the UK banking industry a decade ago, will spend his first few weeks sorting out the funding of the project.
"The crucial issue is whether Kinnect is at the appropriate stage to go looking for external funding. It is no secret that venture capitalist and software companies in the market have come forward and said can we help fund elements of the project."
But Saville said the real imperative for Kinnect and the Lloyd's Council is not so much the financial investment but "customer uptake".
Kinnect must be "nested" into all the areas of "business reform Lloyd's is introducing to make it more efficient".
"Successful projects of this sort are not seen by the marketplace as something that is done to them, but are seen as a shared endeavour."
He would not comment on rumours that, in all, Lloyd's has spent £70m on trying to create an interconnectivity platform. "Well how many fit-for-purpose industry wide financial systems have you seen developed for £50m-£70m?"
CREST only cost £35m, he admitted, but that was a decade ago versus today's prices and inflation.
"The council has committed £15m for 2004. I'll work within that budget."
He is adamant that the LMP slip, against the backdrop of disquiet among various brokers, will be mandatory. Even if it has to be enforced, which could mean Lloyd's publishing league tables.
He said: "Peer group emulation is a very powerful force. Once the market has reached a reasonable standard then we might want to bring sanctions against those who are wilfully not complying. And the last resort may be to fine them.
"Regulation of this market is changing very rapidly and operational risk is a very real issue. So eventually, it wouldn't surprise me if the FSA and the international regulators started to check on the operating efficiency and robustness of companies' internal systems."
He said Gupta and his Kinnect team "have done a good job" in two years and he does not "really care about whether the name has changed" because it's "not about rivalling Coca-Cola but giving people a professional system".
"When I saw the work done, I was impressed. From the primordial, chaotic soup it started out as, I think the initial launch group are happy with its progression.
"If in two year's time, Lloyd's brokers don't know what Lloyd's business process is, then I will have failed in my job."