Ahead of the Brokerslink conference in Hong Kong, StrategicRISK caught up with Jacqueline Legrand, chief executive officer to hear her thoughts on the changing nature of relationships between brokers and risk managers.
We speak a lot about the tripartite relationship between brokers, insurers and risk managers. Could you give us your thoughts on how this relationship has changed to fit modern organisations?
CROs face increasingly complex risks. A growing scope of responsibilities that include for instance cyber risks and human capital risks, all clearly identified as business risks for companies and have to come to the plate with often time very lean teams and resources. The impact of major claims /catastrophes drills down to business interruption and damage to reputation. In this context, the tri-partite relationship between CROs, brokers and insurers, is critical to provide the required risk advice, prevention, business continuity planning & emergency crisis response, adequate coverage and alternative risk transfer solutions. We all benefit to working well together to reduce uncertainty, provide the right level of protection to companies’ employees, property assets and liabilities and work together on efficient claims management to enable speedy return to business, for the benefit of all parties.
What are some of the key risk trends you have seen emerge in 2018 and how will they continue to play out in 2019?
Key trends are consolidation, digital transformation and the complexity of risks. Which means brokers and insurers need to have the necessary scale to invest in technology, talents and innovation. Technology investments are critical to gain efficiencies and deliver better risk services to our clients. Good access to their insurance information, and data analytics tools to provide predictive analysis or catastrophes modeling for instance. Talents are also necessary as we need to be multi-specialised to provide advice, support and brokerage services to our clients in a vast array of risks.
What are some of the ways risk managers could get more from their broker partners?
I think that communication is key: it is all about building trust and relationships. The closer the broker is to his client, the better he will understand the company operations and evolutions as well as the risk management strategy. Because he also is abreast on the market he can discuss with his client on various programs structure and work together on the best solution at a given period of time. The environment is changing fast, both on the client’s and insurer’s side. It is critical to review the structure of the program on a regular basis, with a good knowledge on both the client’s operations and business plans and the insurance market trends. It is an ongoing dialogue. Insurance purchasing is not commodity procurement, it is protecting the company human capital, property assets, liabilities and balance sheet with a good mix between prevention, retention and transfer of risk.
How can you see the relationship changing in future between risk managers, insurers and brokers?
With the rising of catastrophic events such as natural catastrophes, large cyber-attacks, political violence and terrorism, the relationship between CROs, brokers and insurers is critical to protecting companies and the society at large.
Tell us a little more about the work Brokerslink does and the upcoming conference
We recently transformed from a network of independent brokers into a corporation after a private offering within our member firms completed in 2016.
Today Brokerslink is a Global Broking Company with 55 shareholders from 40 countries, managing a network with 18,000 professionals in more than 100 countries. The internal offering has brought enormous alignment in our organization as we have now a shared financial interest rather than just goodwill among members. Our unique structure, with one retail broker per country, alongside with wholesalers, specialized brokers, risk services and risk consulting firms, enable us to provide integrated services across the board with common processes and IT platforms, whilst delivering high level services on the ground with local, entrepreneurial and agile brokers that work with a long-term perspective with a focus on clients. Our main objectives remain to deliver value to our partners and affiliates, helping them to grow their business and to provide their clients with high-level brokerage and risk consulting services.
The annual conference is a key profile raising activity for Brokerslink. We expect 250 attendees from 50 countries. It is a private event for our partners & affiliates, sponsors, and guests.
The return to Hong Kong for the 10th conference marks an important milestone in the history of Brokerslink and provides the opportunity to demonstrate the growth and success of the business since the first conference back in 2009, when we were still a network.
Our 2018 conference will feature the 2nd edition of our Risk Management Forum, this year in partnership with PARIMA and moderated by Franck Baron. A dozen Risk Managers from around the world will gather and exchange insights on the current challenges of their industry. We will also launch innovative tech tools, namely our new platform, Agora, that will be a critical tool to share information and collaborate between all the retail brokers and specialized firms from our network; and Blink, a proprietary multinational program management tool to provide our international clients with consistent and integrated global services.