Shirine Khoury-Haq blog: we have come a long way

I write this as my final LM TOM blog, as I will be leaving Lloyd’s at the end of March.
Having created the Target Operating Model with my colleagues around the market I am delighted that, while this may be the end of my LM TOM experience, I leave having seen the market undergo a seismic change in its ability to make London an easier place to do business.
Departure allows for reflection, so I have asked myself what I think has made this set of activities more successful than those that have gone before.

I have always been clear that I love the London insurance market and its people. Having come from outside the market, I have not seen the camaraderie, collaboration, honesty and decency I see in this market elsewhere. The collective effort, borne by a desire to preserve and promote the market, which was made by so many people is the primary reason that the programme has been able to deliver. The value of the hours that people have given of their time, their enthusiasm and intelligence is beyond price when you are encouraging 350 firms to change processes and behaviours.
I have detailed what we have collectively achieved in my previous blog, so I won’t repeat it here, but nothing would have happened without you all, and the successes achieved are down to you.
I am particularly grateful to those who believed in what we were trying to do from the start, when there was no guarantee of success. You put your names to the programme, alongside mine, and we were able to collectively bring others with us until it gained enough momentum and credibility for others to join and lead elements without quite as much coercion! I am grateful to Joe Dainty, Adrian Thornycroft, Justin Emrich, Michael Gould, Sheila Cameron, Louise Day, James Livett, Rob Gillies, Tom Payne, Bronek Masojada, Steve McGill and many others who were kind and brave enough to take those first leaps.

Bite-sized chunks
Before I joined Lloyd’s, I was always confused about market modernisation. To me, it lacked context; clarity around how the individual projects fitted together and a clear narrative thread around the costs and benefits. And for any single London Market business there was a limit to how efficient it could be in a symbiotic market where there were so many manual processes, which were then duplicated by others.
What has succeeded this time has been the combination of seeing the bigger picture and building a comprehensive programme which delivered in bite-sized chunks. By looking at each stage of the value chain individually, we could get on with delivering artefacts that the market could adopt – demonstrating success.

So what’s next?
Many of you have asked me that question on a personal level.
By the time I leave, I will have been at Lloyd’s for almost 5 years. I and others have put many hours into our day jobs and into the LM TOM during that time. I was also lucky to have had our twin daughters right in the middle of the this journey, and I came back to work just a couple of months later to ensure the programme continued to have the leadership it needed to deliver. So, the honest answer is that the first thing for me is a little break during which I will hopefully spend some time with my family while deciding what to do next.
But I would also ask you all the same question.

We have come such a long way, but few of the challenges we faced when we started have disappeared. The global market place remains highly competitive.  Brexit adds another level of challenge to individual businesses, as well as to London as a world-leading financial centre. We cannot take our current status for granted and we need to ensure we maintain our focus, innovation and vigilance over our competition to stay in this privileged position. And the digital revolution continues to rage around us.
I spoke earlier about a seismic change in the market and much of that comes, I think, from the fact that London has succeeded at change from the centre and, to an extent, in individual firms. It has achieved things it probably never thought possible.

Let’s celebrate
Let’s celebrate for example that, through PPL, we have built the first ever electronic placement system across our market and that we are now driving almost half of our business through it. It may not be perfect, but it is a genuine first.  Everyone should hold their head high and have confidence that more can be done, and done even better.
On the other initiatives, the central solutions promised for Phase 1 have landed and, with the exception of CSRP proportional treaty, there are only a few smaller incremental deliveries left to come.

Competitive advantage
Some firms are adopting them quickly and are making the internal changes required to start not only reaping the benefits but to also use the new systems and processes to drive competitive advantage, for example, through expense reduction and much better use of data. Other firms are in the process of making this happen. Some others are waiting for it to be done for them. Unfortunately, this will not happen. Every firm has to drive its own adoption in order to obtain the benefits of LM TOM and, while the programme is available to help however it can, firms have to own the change for themselves.

New benefits and solutions
While Phase 2 of LM TOM is still being defined by those who will be here to drive it forward, it will provide a new set of benefits and solutions for our market, and the ability to make a step change in terms of the service and value we will be able to provide to our clients around the world.
I will end by saying that I am very grateful to have been able to work with all of you. I have learnt so much and feel very lucky to have been part of such a unique market at such an exciting time. I leave with many fond memories, many good friends and even more good wishes to all of you for the future.