ALL THE TOOLS ON THE TABLE – MARK CLOUTIER, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN & GROUP CEO, ASPEN
This week´s speaker on the Voice of Insurance podcast is returning guest, Mark Cloutier, Executive Chairman and Group CEO of Aspen. In this episode, Mark Geoghegan and Mark Cloutier talk about how the insurance, reinsurance, and capital markets fit together and collaborate with each other. Mark Cloutier also speaks about Aspen´s business strategy in today´s current trading conditions, unlocking capital, building a great culture, and Aspen´s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) initiatives.
Kicking off the discussion, Mark Geoghegan asks what Aspen is focusing on now post first half-results; Mark Cloutier responds, “Now we´re into the more natural, or normal mode that a business should be in of continuous pursuit of improvement in terms of quality of the portfolio, the overall performance of the business, continuing to develop the culture of the business.”
Mark Cloutier says that he likes to think of Aspen as a business that has been through significant change but is in constant pursuit of an element of change and improvement by striving to get a more efficient state and more optimal portfolio state. Commenting on this, he says they do this by “Just constantly probing and challenging ourselves – what can we be doing better.”
Is that how he wants Aspen of today to be perceived as constantly looking to be progressive, improve results, and continually improve? Mark Cloutier replies, “That´s how I would like us to be viewed. Also, as a business that is constantly in pursuit of providing solutions to our trading partners, our distribution partners in both insurance and reinsurance, our cedants in reinsurance, our distribution partners and customers in insurance.” Mark Cloutier discusses the interesting toolset at Aspen in terms of the range of platforms it has and that he´d like the company to be viewed as a business that brings all of that to the table an offering to help deliver solutions for its trading partners as opposed to a more traditional model.
ESG is a key topic in today´s insurance industry, and discussing this, Mark Cloutier comments, “its core to the culture we´re trying to develop here. We´re really emphasizing throughout the business that we are a diverse and inclusive business that has a very deep sense of social responsibility.”
Along with ESG, the insurance sector is committed to accelerating Diversity and Inclusion. Commenting on Aspen´s efforts in this area, Mark Cloutier says, “We´ve worked really hard. There´s been a sort of a steady stream of initiatives that we´ve brought to the business from changing recruiting practices to opening up the opportunity to demographics that probably historically only found this business, this sector by accident.” He adds that the organisation is proactively shifting the targeting of its recruiting practices at the internship, graduate, and apprenticeship levels. Mark Cloutier acknowledges that it will take time to get the diversity they are looking for right through the ranks but that the organisation is well on its way to getting there, “The will is there, the intention is there, the effort is there, it´s just going to take time.”