London Market Group Chairman Steve Hearn Sets 2014 Agenda

March 25, 2014

Steve Hearn, Deputy CEO of Willis Group and Chairman of the London Market Group, has launched the organization’s 2014 agenda. Addressing an audience of senior market figures in the Willis Auditorium, he announced that the LMG would be expanding its remit to focus on all issues that affect the competitive position of the London Market.

Hearn described the LMG’s view that at its best the London Market “provides a unique and unrivalled service to our customers. We provide solutions to their problems in a way that no other insurance center or capital market can do. We provide help when they most need it.”

But, he added, “there is increasing evidence that London’s position in the global industry is slipping. So I want to use the unique cross-market vehicle that LMG is to understand why that is, to understand our customers’ needs better and then do something about the issues we have.”

Hearn cautioned that while the LMG’s members “must not lose our focus on operational reform, we need to accept that, although this is very important, it cannot be the whole solution.

“We need to be talking about the major influences that can sustain or even grow London’s influence in the global marketplace,” he continued. To do that we need to understand what it is that makes a successful financial center capable of delivering high quality customer service.

“And then we need to determine which of those elements we need to improve upon if we are to retain our position. And so I am announcing today that LMG is to expand its remit to ensure it provides this service to the market. We have agreed with the Association Boards enhanced terms of reference to enshrine this and have identified a series of initiatives to take this forward.”

The announcement said the “market wide initiatives would include the following:

• Develop talent and promote diversity;

• Co-ordinate a common voice for the market in its dealings with Government and regulators; and

• Commission research to understand our customers base better and to identify ways to make the London market more attractive to them.

He stressed that the use of “we,” isn’t meant in the royal sense, because, he said: “I will need your ideas; your support; and your contribution if any of this is to go somewhere and deliver the sorts of outcomes I think we need.

“Together, we can get to work and progress the agenda I have outlined. That will result in a London market reinforced in the position where it belongs. The pre-eminent insurance center in the world. That is a pretty positive story. I hope I can rely on your help as I seek to develop it.”

Source: London Market Group (LMG)