In this jam-packed podcast, Nick Cook, CEO, BMS Group, speaks about his company’s ambitious plans to increase its global footprint into North America, Latin America, Asia and Europe, in addition to other emerging markets. Nick also discusses how far his organisation has come in the last seven years and his strategy for the future.
We also hear Nick’s views on M&A and organic growth as part of BMS’s expansion strategy, why data is key to the value proposition for brokers, his thoughts on Lloyd’s Blueprint Two, diversity, the London Market’s unique selling point and why clients love coming to London because of the whole London experience.
As the conversation turns to data and technology in the market, Nick explains that BMS has a number of technology projects on the go and that innovation has always been at the heart of BMS. The organisation was the first company to trade on an iPad on the floor at Lloyd’s and the first to launch an innovation lab in the broking community.
Nick is also candid about his views on ensuring that a balance is maintained between technology investment and hiring the right talent, as he says, “we want to see that influx of technology speed up our ability to provide capital solutions to our customers in a far more cost effective and efficient way, but it must not replace the face-to-face negotiation and broking and it won’t, I just don’t think it will.”
The London Market is internationally recognised for its unique proposition. Still, many in the industry have argued that in order for London to thrive on the global stage, it should perhaps focus less on what makes it so different. In this episode, Mark and Nick discuss if the future of EC3 not only depends on embracing technology but recognising that London’s USP as a place for specialist insurance is an advantage that should be maintained.
Commenting on this subject Nick said, “ultimately everyone is in agreement that the future of the market is a hybrid model between using technology to take cost out and speed the efficiency of the market but equally embrace and continue to embrace the unique selling point of our market and what EC3 is all about.”
He adds: “I think there is a consensus across the whole market place that face-to-face negotiation is all that EC3 stands for… it is the London Market’s unique selling point, but what we do behind that is archaic, is slow, is cost-prohibitive, and that’s what we need to focus our attention on in terms of investing in that data.”
As the insurance sector looks to bring in more diversity and create a more inclusive marketplace, Nick explains how BMS is focused on maintaining and building the high-touch value service his organisation delivers while investing in people and particularly looking at hiring people from non-insurance backgrounds. Commenting on this, Nick says, “diversity of thought diversity of talent is a natural progression as we move into a more technological market.”
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