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Ed CEO: London’s position in global insurance world is changing

Ed CEO: London’s position in global insurance world is changing | Insurance Business

Ed CEO: London’s position in global insurance world is changing
London’s position in the international insurance landscape is changing as the rest of the world moves at pace, with Brexit acting as an accelerant, according to Ed’s group CEO.

“I think Brexit is almost certainly an accelerant to change, but the reality is London’s position in the global insurance world had been changing for some years,” Steve Hearn said, adding that while Brexit is helping speed the process, it is certainly not the sole factor.

“The world is not changing, it has changed, and we’ve got to work out what London’s role is within that context. And it is not 50-year-old, white, Englishmen getting on airplanes and turning up to teach ‘Johnny Foreigner’ about the insurance industry, which is what we used to do,” the CEO said while speaking at the Brokerslink annual conference in Marrakesh.

The rest of the world are not just catching up, but are innovating in their own ways.

“[Other markets] have the intellectual property, they understand the customer, they speak the customer’s language, they are pioneering. And that’s happening around the world. We’ve got to work out what London’s role is within that, and I think we’ve got a lot of work to do before anyone has got the answer,” Hearn commented.

As for Brexit, there are “significant implications” for the insurance industry, and for the London market in particular.

“There is incredible uncertainty. We voted for something without actually understanding what the consequences would be. We are now starting to see that as we get into very difficult negotiations,” said Hearn.

The vote has been “divisive” for the nation, according to the CEO, who pointed out that not all regions were in favour of Brexit – “most of London didn’t vote to leave.”

“Having said that, I’m a broker and I’m very proud to be a broker. I look for the opportunity. We are a resilient nation… our city is resilient to the challenges that’s been thrown at it, and even our industry has been able to adapt and identify the opportunities,” Hearn said.

“As a leader of a business headquartered in London, I try to convince our partners around the world, our customers, their customers, my colleagues, and our business that we will find the opportunity, but it is a pretty dark moment.”

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