RSA and NIG integration – what does it mean for the market?

Company has brought forward its "north star" ambition

RSA and NIG integration – what does it mean for the market?

Insurance News

By Mia Wallace

Since Ken Norgrove joined RSA as CEO, UK & International in January 2022, he has been clear about his “north star” ambition for RSA to become the best commercial insurer in the UK market by the end of 2026.

Earlier this year, the timeframe for hitting that target was expedited an entire year by news of RSA’s acquisition of NIG and FarmWeb, making RSA the third-largest commercial lines insurer in the UK.

Discussing the integration of the businesses in her new role as MD of RSA’s commercial lines business, Sonya Bryson (pictured) emphasised the ‘better together’ ambition at its heart. Essentially, she said, the integration is about bringing together two hugely complementary businesses, and delivering a breath of fresh air to the commercial lines market in the form of a broadened product suite with stronger relevance for brokers and their customers.

The next steps in the integration of RSA and NIG’s businesses

While May 1 was operational transfer day, which saw NIG’s people come across to RSA, and the transfer of products and customers is slated for June, Bryson highlighted the heavy lifting going on behind the scenes to get ahead of the curve of integration of the two businesses under a shared P&L accountability. As MD of NIG for six years before she came across to RSA, and formerly as director of FarmWeb, she knew the scale of the task at hand – but also the opportunities presented by the deal for every stakeholder.

“I’ve done the job of running a P&L commercial business, intermediated to brokers, but when you think of this combined entity, it’s just at a different scale,” she said. “We’ve now got a great management team in place who bring a hugely wide range of experiences between them. It’s a real mix of both RSA and NIG colleagues which I think is so important because it brings diversity of thought and experience. And the biggest thing that stands out for me is their energy and their desire to make this a winning team.”

The path to becoming the best commercial lines insurer in the UK

Bryson pinpointed Norgrove’s accelerated ambition to make the combined entity the best commercial insurer in the UK market by the end of 2025 as the North Star the whole team is heading towards. She’s a strong believer that bringing the businesses together will make the resulting entity greater than the sum of its parts.

“It’s about getting that message out to the market that we are better together,” she said. “The important thing in all of that is having one voice to market. We need to be really easy for brokers to navigate, we need a united front across all the different segments that are within this business and all the different products that we deliver to the market. Ultimately, that’s to help us get closer to the customer to help brokers win new business.”

What does ‘better together’ look like for brokers and customers?

As to what ‘better together’ looks like in action, she noted that NIG brings with it some products that RSA doesn’t write, while RSA has some products previously unavailable to NIG brokers. The focus now is on working to give brokers access to a much wider portfolio of products, she said, which comes back to harnessing the strength of both businesses.

“If I think about NIG, I think about the frequency of trading, the reasons to say ‘yes’ not ‘no’, and the ambition to always find a way to get closer to customers,” she said. “Then you marry that with the strength that is the underwriting and pricing sophistication in RSA; the heritage and legacy of the business; and its capability in terms of complex and multinational business, coupled with its SME footprint.

“And at the heart of it all is people. We’ve been doing a lot of roadshows recently to enable teams to get to know each other and about our ambitions, and the analogy I’ve used is that I feel I’ve got the highest-grade ingredients ever to make the best cake that’s going to win Bake Off! The challenge now is just how we get those great ingredients in the right proportions to create that perfect bake.”

How the market has reacted to the integration

Reflecting on the feedback received from the market about the acquisition and integration, Bryson said they had been able to tangibly offset any early concerns that the deal would represent the loss of a market. As the integration has progressed at pace, brokers have responded keenly to the rejuvenated offering.

“The whole idea that this is the loss of a market is gone,” she said. “Conversations are now about the opportunities this will create for brokers dealing with the new RSA, and the new reach that comes with that. Brokers are giving us their feedback and we’re listening, shaping and tweaking in line with that. It comes back to the basics of having an open dialogue, and keeping an outcome focus on every decision we make because you’ve got to live with those decisions.”


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