Bill Dye has been at the helm of Capita Insurance Services for a year now. Elliot Lane talks to him about his plans
This time last year a shockwave went through the loss adjusting fraternity. Capita Insurance Services gained a new managing director and at the same time, a voice that offered opinions at odds with the common consensus.Bill Dye began espousing controversial statements about the cost benefits of sending loss adjusters into the field for small claims and questioned the profession's future. He cast a critical eye from the perspective of an outsider.One year on, his opinions are still strong but the loss adjusting community has started to listen."The more time I spend with Bill, the more I seem to be coming around to his philosophy," said one chief executive of a leading loss adjuster.Dye is open about his objective, which is to bring "insurance specialists and non-insurance experts" under one roof. "We need to introduce into the industry skilled people who can offer different disciplines so there is a healthy mix in our teams." He says that loss adjusters and service providers are often "fishing from the same pond" so need to "cast the net wider".Dye says the hardest part of last year was trying to bring together the diverse elements of Capita Insurance Services and make them coherent. "At that stage we were perceived as Eastgate, McLarens, and London Market. Even the way the media approached us was as all these different things. We are now one business, a single function to bring all these services to our clients."
Innovative systemAfter ticking off many of the boxes of his business plan last year, the most successful, in his eyes, is the IT platform created with SAP announced last week. "This is how we can leverage the financials we have to something stronger."The system will be eventually rolled out to all Capita business clients to improve claims efficiency. "We were very much behind last year, and had many problems, in our claims system. That has now been addressed."So what is Dye's ultimate aim? Will Capita be a loss adjuster or a management consultant? "Our history was about acquisition of service providers in the insurance industry. So we are about being a service provider in the insurance industry."People often get confused with this and outsourcing. The fact of the matter is, the majority of what we do is offering the insurance industry products as a service provider."
Branching outReal growth for the company will come from outsourcing, Dye says, especially its contract with Abbey National. Expanding those services, possibly into the legal and medical professions, and developing the outsourcing part of the business. "We want to show the skills sets that will help the insurance industry, not just show the skill sets of the companies we acquire."Did the redundancies this year make the company more efficient or do you regret some of them? "There is no question the company is more efficient than it was before. One of the critical goals to achieve through restructuring the operations is efficiency, by home working and remote working. "But more than that was streamlining the management structure. What was most frustrating in the loss adjusting business where most of the redundancies came from was there were so many layers of management between those doing the work. The message often did not travel down." Capita acquired Aurora, the run-off company dedicated to the outstanding claims of Independent Insurance, earlier this year and has been pitching for other run-off work such as The Accident Group (which it missed out on) and certain Lloyd's syndicates. Dye, though, is pragmatic about this element of insurance service as a major growth sector: "Run-off is an opportunistic business by its nature. It is not something I want to be dependent on." One aspect of the Lloyd's business under review is whether to take some of the run-off business offshore. He says people "fall in love with the opportunity of going offshore". "We will inevitably go offshore because insurers, our clients, are going that way. "But in some areas it is not always the right thing to do. People are missing a trick by not outsourcing onshore. There are great opportunities to get the efficiencies right onshore, rather than sending the risk thousands of miles away."