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Shirine Khoury-Haq blog: TOM turns two

TOM is turning two in a few months, providing a landmark to reflect on what has been achieved, what has been learnt and what next.

I hope everyone has managed to have a well-deserved break over the summer. We return to find the TOM turning two in a few months and while, as a mother of year-old twins, I have been amply warned of the Terrible Twos, I am pleased to report that there have been no temper tantrums or throwing of toys out of prams either on the home or the work front. While I am sure this will change at home, I very much hope it doesn’t at work!

However, this landmark does provide us with a good point to pause and reflect on what we have achieved, what we have learnt and where are we going next.

Real benefits
There are very real achievements. The genesis of some was prior to the TOM and others were born within it, but they are all building together to deliver real benefits to different market practitioners. On electronic placement for example, nearly half of all FinPro risks are now going through the Placing Platform Limited platform. For delegated authority business partners, the number of required audits has dropped drastically by 1,500 in 2017 alone. 98% of LMA members have signed up for AiMS, the delegated authority audit tool, and key larger coverholders can expect the number of annual audits to drop by over 90%. The ability to pass data between market participants has been on senior managements’ wish list for seven years – this year the TOM delivered it in the shape of Structured Data Capture which is live and seeing widespread market interest.

Market input
And we have learnt lessons. The first is that we have sometimes been overambitious in our timescales of getting solutions into the hands of practitioners. The law of “more haste, less speed” has meant that we have had to announce some delays on some solutions or take things down while they are reviewed. We have also proven that we can’t do it without you – we need market input and, while it takes longer to obtain than I had originally envisaged, we have to wait till we get it before moving forward. And finally, a recurring lesson is that in a programme with a number of projects running at any one time, and so many stakeholders, it is not possible to under communicate.  It feels like we talk about it all the time and yet there are people who still say they don’t know enough and want more.

Build to adoption
So, what’s next?  We must move solutions that are up and running from build to adoption and then into a more business as usual environment. The major focus for LM TOM is to support any and all adoption, and so we have a change management team who are here to help brokers and underwriters understand how to get the best out of what we are delivering for their business. We also need to create the right infrastructure to fund and manage these solutions as they move forward.

I am confident that we are using what we have learnt to deliver on our promise of making London an easier place to do business, and I hope the market shares this confidence as well.