QBE executive calls for diversity of experience

Insurance must think outside the box

QBE executive calls for diversity of experience

Insurance News

By Nicola Middlemiss

A senior executive with insurance giant QBE has called on the industry to embrace new ideas, saying the sector must go beyond its standard way of thinking.

Speaking at the 2019 Insurtech Summit, chief data and analytics officer Ashok Nair discussed some of the challenges facing the industry and explored ways of overcoming the barriers.

“Most insurance organisations face a lot of challenge, there is challenge everywhere,” he told over 200 attendees gathered at the event.

Nair, who has over 20 years’ experience managing complex technology environments, drew particular attention to the challenge of legacy integration.

“Yes, legacy integration is a challenge, but it’s only a challenge when you look at it from a management perspective,” he said. “If you get a team of really smart engineers, they will solve it for you because they understand how things are put together.”

The point led Nair on to one of his key messages – that the insurance industry could see significant benefits if it can attract people with experience from outside the sector.

“It’s all about new ideas and inductive reasoning,” he said. “Basically, it means if I have worked in a certain space and gained experience there, can I then take that and apply it to other parts of the insurance value chain?”

While Nair said the insurance space is by no means short of innovation, he says it’s not uncommon for organisations to think too narrowly.

“The problem with purely insurance-based organisations is that sometimes, we only think insurance but what we really need is diversity of experience,” he said.

“We often hear people talk about diversity of thought but I would say it’s about diversity of experience – you need people with different experience.”

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