This week’s guest on The Voice of Insurance is Caroline Wagstaff, who was recently confirmed as permanent CEO of cross-industry body the London Market Group (LMG). Caroline has spent her career working in media relations and communications for top organisations in the industry, so she intimately understands how the market works. In this podcast, Caroline speaks about the LMG’s 5 point plan for relevant regulatory and legislative changes to help grow the industry in the coming months and years, key priorities such as its London Makes it Possible campaign and the recently launched London Insurance Life initiative.
Kicking off the discussion, Mark asks if her new role as CEO will mean a change of emphasis at the LMG. Caroline answers that “The LMG has always been a campaigning body and will continue to be a campaigning body. That is what we do on behalf of the London Market, and if you think about what that means, it means putting together a series of communications and asks of different stakeholders and pushing through to get action, and that’s what communications people do.”
The London Matters Report has become a barometer of where the market is, and speaking about the report, Caroline says, “The London Matters Report is the sort of the heartbeat of the LMG, and we’ll be producing another one next year. It marks our homework, so it talks about the size of the market, the composition of the market, it allows us to track changes. We’ll have 12 years of data next time, and one of its fantastic strengths is that it allows us to go to the UK government or another government and really talk about the strength of the London Market.”
Elaborating on the achievements of the London Matters Report thus far, Caroline acknowledges the work her predecessors have done in starting conversations with the UK government and other institutions and ensuring that the LMG has a seat at the table and is being asked for its opinion.
However, Caroline says that more work needs to be done with the Government, the City, and other trade bodies, which is part of the LMG’s 5 point plan. “We need to do a better job at showing people how insurance and specialty commercial insurance fits into that overall City picture.”
Mark asks about London Makes it Possible campaign, with Caroline explaining how the campaign has evolved. Moving to a digital campaign has allowed the LMG to reach a wider audience, with plans to broaden its geographical scope.
Caroline also discusses the LMG’s newest campaign, London Insurance Life, with future talent a key focus. With no single source of truth about the London Market, the LMG has created a website that shows what the market does, with ambassadors sharing information on what it’s like to work in the insurance sector. Caroline explains, “The point is, I want, and I think the market wants insurance to be a destination career, not a kind of random turn on the road of life.”
Mark asks about diversity and inclusion, culture, and if the LMG has a role to play in some of those initiatives, Caroline responds, “One of my views is, this is slightly the law of big numbers, we have to get more people, young people coming into our market, by definition that will improve diversity and inclusion." Speaking about the future of the London Market, Caroline talks about the LMG’s strategy to keep on championing initiatives that attract new and young talent.
“I feel really confident in the future of our market when I look at these people – they’re smart, they’re diverse by every metric you’d want to look at, they’ve come from different backgrounds, and you just think, if this is our future, I feel really confident about it,” says Caroline, “We need new talent; we need more talent…. I think if we can get more young people interested, that does more for the future of the market than almost anything else we can be doing.”
Enjoy the podcast.
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