Leadership posts

These posts are all about ethical leadership. It's a big subject that is getting lots of attention, so explore these posts to see what it means in the world of insurance. 

Ethics in Insurance: the challenges ahead in 2018
2018 looks like it will be an eventful time for ethics in insurance. Here are 11 areas where insurers will find the big ethical challenges.
Could this Digital Tool transform the Ethics of Insurance?
Artificial intelligence could be used in ways that could transform the ethics of insurance. One development in particular could have widespread implications
How to teach leadership on ethics in a way that actually works
If leadership on ethics is on your learning and development agenda for 2018, you need to remember three important things about how to structure it.
The Great Accountability Challenge facing Insurance Leaders
Technology is reshaping the business models of insurers. Yet this reshaping presents a new accountability challenge that needs to be addressed.
9 ways to set a better ‘personal example’
How you handle the responsibilities you have marks out the type of leader you will become. And having high ethical standards is crucial, for business leaders rank it as their number 1 competency.
Destructive demand: Is it happening in insurance underwriting now?
Destructive demand can damage the reputation of insurance. It happened with referral fees. Could it be happening again with underwriting data?
What risks does big data pose for professionalism in insurance?
Big data is starting to transform insurance. It could also transform professionalism in insurance, in ways that present some pretty new risks. So what should professional bodies around the world look out for?
Sounds crazy, but consider putting your top sales person in charge of ethics
I’ve never come across an insurance firm  that has put responsibility for the firm’s ethics programme into the hands of[...]
Addressing the key question for 21st century insurance head on
Europe’s leading experts on computing, privacy and data protection (CPDP) will be brought together at a conference this week in[...]
Interesting Research into the Ethical Orientation of Insurance Managers in India
When we’re questioned about how ethical we are, most of us respond very positively, and that’s great, but it’s not[...]
Which rules should ‘insurtech’ disruptors break?
There’s a lot of attention being given at the moment to the startup firms that are entering the insurance market[...]
Is Leadership on Ethics Optional?
Is leadership on ethics optional? Could executives just get along without it? Well, executives can always try to get along[...]
Setting a Personal Example – why it often fails, and how to fix it
While there’s certainly more to ethical leadership than ‘setting a personal example’, it’s still an important component. After all, why[...]
Ethical leadership – there’s more to it than just ‘setting a personal example’
There’s a tendency amongst business leaders to put ‘setting a personal example’ at the heart of their approach to ethical[...]
It looks like the FCA really does not understand big data
A recent speech by the chief executive of the UK regulator for insurance focused on big data. It clarified one[...]
How to build momentum into our ethics plan for 2017
It’s the time of the year when firm’s are planning the ethical steps they want to take next year. And[...]
Are your firm’s values less ethical than you think?
Ethical dilemmas provide great material for use in corporate training, for they can easily be tailored to reflect the learner’s[...]
Too busy to incept a big ethics project? OK, so do this simple change instead…
With insurance firms under so many pressures to adapt, compete and innovate, those in charge can sometimes see ethics as[...]
Why Warren Buffett’s famous quote on integrity has a strong message but doesn’t reflect reality
The insurance chief executive and investor Warren Buffett is famous for quotes that are pithy and often prescient. One of[...]
Analytics is the new frontier for insurance – exciting but dangerous
When investment returns look uncertain and market conditions are challenging, executives often listen that bit more keenly to new ideas[...]
Will life insurers show leadership on big ethical issues?
Two years ago, a senior manager at a leading reinsurer wrote an article entitled “NO wearable device = NO life[...]
Are we seeing the start of a ‘retreat from insurance’?
It’s becoming fashionable amongst insurers to talk of turning themselves into providers of lifestyle services to customers. It’s portrayed as[...]
Six steps towards a more robust ethical risk assessment
It’s approaching halfway through the year and, let’s assume, you’re on notice to give a presentation to management about the[...]
5 approaches to engagement on ethics
An ethics project is better if informed by insight from the people it is seeking to influence. Here are 5 ways in which ethics engagement can take place.
How to make ethical leadership more persuasive
Leadership is often thought of in terms of decisiveness and energy, of focus and delivery. And when it comes to[...]
Price optimisation: will insurers face new rules?
The Chartered Insurance Institute has recently published a paper I wrote about the implications of price optimisation for the UK[...]
Ethical awareness for claims people – pt3 – conformity
People have a tendency to think differently in a group than how they might do so when on their own.[...]
A hugely significant decision for personal lines pricing
A landmark decision by US insurance regulators could translate into significant disruption for the UK personal lines market if the[...]
Ethical Awareness for Claims People – pt1 – Framing
This is the first of a four part series of posts looking at ethical awareness for claims people. In each[...]
Whistleblowing – rewrite the policy, the processes, the lot
The new rules on whistleblowing that UK insurers will soon have to adhere to will bring about more fundamental change[...]
Ethics and Insurance: what to watch for in 2016
Every insurance firm should be monitoring the ethical events and trends that influence its business. This reduces the unexpected, enables[...]
What employees say about managers and ethics at work – Part 2
Much is made of the ‘tone from the top’ – the strength and consistency with which senior executives guide the[...]
What employees say about ethics at work – part 1
Every three years, the UK’s Institute of Business Ethics surveys the employees and managers of UK organisations for their views[...]
The most important ethics training for 2016
If I was asked to recommend only one session of ethics training that every insurance firm should undertake in 2016,[...]
Insurance marketing and the dangers of manufactured vulnerability
Marketing is adopting the tools of big data and some of the practices that are emerging would, if used by[...]
Could price optimisation soon be banned in the UK insurance market?
We know that price optimisation is an established feature of many markets – hotel beds and airline seats for example.[...]
Does your Code of Ethics send the right signals to employees?
Following on from this recent post, your employees should now be convinced that your firm’s code of ethics is worth[...]
What lessons should insurers learn from the VW scandal?
The scandal currently engulfing the car maker Volkswagen will undoubtedly feature in many an ethics course for years to come,[...]
What do you need a Code of Ethics for?
Most of you will work for firms that already have a code of ethics. That's great, but most firms with[...]
Ethical dilemmas are the last stage of ethical decision making – here’s stages 1 and 2
I write many ethical dilemmas - it's fun assembling the characters and devising a situation when conflicting values have to[...]
A revealing window into insurer thinking on big data
A recent conference on 'big data and insurance' opened a window into the UK insurance sector's current thinking on what[...]
Why story telling is vital to delivering the new conduct standards
The first of the new conduct standards for insurers being introduced by the UK regulator from March next year is[...]
Four signs that senior people at your firm are struggling with ethics
Delivering an ethical ‘tone from the top’ can be a challenge at times for some business leaders. The UK’s Co-operative[...]
How to start getting results from ethical due diligence
The UK insurance sector has been told in no uncertain terms that it isn’t doing enough ethical due diligence. The[...]
Conduct risk appetites are double edge swords, so handle with care
Many insurance firms will be checking their conduct risk appetites after the UK regulator emphasised their importance in a recent[...]
Ethics survey reveals a lot about the insurance profession
What do insurance professionals think about the ethics of their sector? A recent survey of over 3,000 members of ‘The[...]
Four legs that a conduct risk appetite needs to stand on
The UK regulator has castigated insurers for not having a clear conduct risk appetite for their delegated authority business. Some[...]
The most powerful ethics measure of them all
Management information about ethics does exist in the insurance market, but it’s patchy at best. It tends to focus on[...]
Assessing integrity: how should insurers respond to the new rules?
Insurers in the UK will soon have to carry out ‘fit and proper’ assessments of executives performing certain key functions,[...]
How to get real value from ethical dilemmas
Many insurance firms have corporate values, promoted to staff and consumers to give insight into ‘who we are’ and ‘how[...]
Measuring ethics: the move into mainstream
Measuring ethics is starting to become mainstream in insurance. This is because the soon to be introduced senior insurance managers[...]
How objective is the data your firm uses to make decisions?
An insurer told me recently that the only reason for a huge increase in a renewal premium was because of[...]
Will financial inclusion be even more difficult to deliver than in the past?
There are structural changes underway in the UK insurance market that seem to point to financial inclusion becoming even more[...]
Why fairness will be central to the insurance response. Financial inclusion pt2
The chief executive of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority said back in October 2013 that fairness would be the dominant[...]
What right do we have to insurance? Financial Inclusion pt1
What right do we have to insurance? A recent report from the UK’s Financial Inclusion Commission concluded that: “every adult[...]
How good are you at ethics? Are you sure? Is it enough?
Insurance is full of good people. Yet when you add up the cumulative impact of all those occasions when policies[...]
Is there such a thing as a bad insurance product?
It’s not difficult to think of insurance products that have hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Yet does[...]
Data, Equality and Insurance: a small survey
The insurance market is entering a new phase, in which underwriting and claims practices are being transformed through access to[...]
Tensions evident in ABI’s view on customer data
UK insurers are recognising that their use of customer data is becoming a key reputational issue for the sector, but[...]
What lay behind the FCA’s decision on the fare-dodging banker?
The director of a UK investment firm has had his career in financial services terminated after being caught fair dodging.[...]
The three ingredients of ethical behaviour
Many firms in the insurance market will be looking to make progress on ethical behaviours in 2015. That’s great, but[...]
Signals that conflicts of interest send out about your firm
A conflict of interest is not a stand-alone ethical risk. To borrow a phrase, it has friends, and not very[...]
A new era of accountability for senior insurance managers
The prudential regulator for UK insurance firms is consulting on regulatory changes that it hopes will herald a new era[...]
Is the London market sailing in troubled waters?
Changes underway in the London market are creating ideal conditions for ethical risks to multiply. No wonder internal auditors at[...]
Where do you start looking for ethical risks?
Some ethical risks are relatively easy to spot: over generous gifts from suppliers for example. Other ethical risks can be[...]
Ethical nudges and their role in tackling insurance fraud
It's common now when taking out an insurance policy or reporting a claim, to be greeted with a warning about[...]
Why pensions need more than just good governance – pt3
There are two significant sources of ethical risk associated with pensions: how you design them, and how you distribute them.[...]
8 reasons why ethics initiatives sometimes lose momentum
It's not uncommon to come across a corporate initiative on ethics that has lost its momentum. People often talk about[...]
Who is responsible for rebuilding trust in insurance?
The public does not trust the insurance sector. Indeed, it trusts it even less than retail banks. That’s the stark[...]
What’s the point of ethics training? And 3 things to make it work.
Some of you will be starting to build your business plan for next year and if ethics falls within your[...]
Pensions and annuities pt1: will insurers rise to the ethical challenges facing this market?
The pensions and annuities market in the UK is huge. It is also complex and undergoing considerable change, or to[...]
Should whistleblowers be rewarded? Here’s the FCA’s strategy on this.
Should whistleblowers be incentivised with monetary rewards? The UK Government challenged its regulator of financial services to seriously consider introducing[...]
How a risk wheel could improve policyholder choice
The UK financial services regulator and the trade body for the UK insurance industry are negotiating a set of rules[...]
Why data is the key regulatory challenge in financial services
Data is the key challenge facing the regulation of UK financial services. So said a representative of the Prudential Regulatory[...]
The fear of retaliation: a new milestone in whistleblowing
Regulators of the US financial services market have successfully concluded their first case involving whistleblower retaliation, against a firm who improperly[...]
3 ethical responsibilities that insurance firms are being ‘put on notice’ about
Two events from last week hold particular significance for the ethical responsibilities of the UK insurance sector. They signal a[...]
How good are your firm’s whistleblowing arrangements?
Insurance firms in the UK should allocate some time during 2014 to look over their whistleblowing arrangements, for whistleblowing is[...]
The ethics of big data – a critical window of opportunity for insurance firms
Insurance has always relied on data. And with the mainstreaming now of revolutionary techniques for how data can be acquired,[...]
Insurance firms should start preparing for two waves of whistleblowing reform
The UK financial services sector has a poor record on whistleblowing. Over the next few years, firms will be put[...]
Insurers warned of a step change in regulator’s expectations of ethical conduct
Recent research has exposed a worrying gap between UK insurers and their regulator around expectations of ethical conduct in the[...]
The Five Most Dangerous Words in Business
You might think that the five most dangerous words in business would be associated with a corporate takeover  or a[...]
Should a new professional body for banking interest insurers? Absolutely!
In recent years, UK insurance firms have been eager to reassure key audiences that when it came to ethics and[...]
Tone from the top is not enough. How everyone can show ethical leadership
The Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation held a round table yesterday to debate this question: “are consumers getting[...]
Please don’t talk about data misuse! …and other ambiguous terms.
The language we use when talking about an ethical situation is important. Words can sometimes convey more than their simple[...]
Wanted: a renewal of ethical leadership from the UK insurance sector
I believe one of the biggest challenges facing the UK insurance sector lies in the amount of ethical leadership that[...]
Aviva’s data theft response is revealing
Aviva's handling of the news of an apparent data theft by two of its own employees has been revealing. Some[...]
Are those who do the mis-selling victims or villains?
Should we see the sales advisors involved in the mis-selling of protection policies at Lloyds Banking Group as victims or as villains?
Insurance, Markets and the Common Good
Could insurance be considered as a form of common good? There's a case to be made, and it sheds light on some current trends in the global insurance market.
Ethical Leadership – 6 steps for making real progress
Ethical leadership doesn’t just happen – you need to build knowledge and skills around it. Here are six steps to help you make real progress.
Ethical leadership requires more than just ‘tone from the top’
How can ethical leadership start to make a lasting difference in at firm? Here are three ingredients to making it happen, starting with tone from the middle.
What every UK insurer should adopt as an ethical objective for 2014
The regulator expects every UK insurer to understand how its ethical culture is influencing 'why we do what we do'. There's a lot to be leant.
What are UK insurers telling us about their ethical performance?
I review four ethics metrics in the public domain and look at what this might tell us about the sector's handle on ethical cultures
7 reasons why assessing ethical risks is a ‘must do’ for firms
So, you've decided to set ethical objectives for your firm, but what do you focus them on? Here are 7 reasons why an assessment of ethical risks is the best starting point.
Having a business objective for ethics says a lot about your firm’s ethical culture
A recent study indicated that most insurers fail to set a business objective for ethics, yet to do so is a key indicator of a firm's ethical culture.
Arms and the underwriter
It's not often that I applaud a decision by an insurer to cancel cover mid-term without hearing the policyholder's side of the story first, but here's one case where it seems deserved.
Investing in Integrity
The new Investing in Integrity charter mark has much to commend it, but will, like many of those before it, face some challenges. Greater transparency around the results of its accreditation would be a worthwhile step.
World’s Most Ethical
Ethisphere's list of the World's Most Ethical Companies includes seven with strong insurance connections. Are insurers reluctant to put their efforts on ethics up for scrutiny? That would be a pity, for if it's worth investing in, it's worth reaping a return from it as well.
More on Homeserve
Homeserve are outsourcing their complaint handling. Hopefully this will involve pro-actively contacting those who could have been mis-sold one of their policies. Let's hope they're learning from this saga.
Cluster bombs still a live issue
The ABI and LMA need to show leadership on addressing the insurance of cluster bombs, as diplomatic scuffles continue around the convention banning them.
Contacting mis-sold customers
Homeserve is expecting to lose about 5% of its customers as a result of mis-selling problems in its household insurance[...]
Reflecting on landmines
The launch of a new landmine charity is to be applauded, but its supporters from the insurance and broking community need to reflect on any association they may have with companies who manufacture ordnance of similar indiscriminatory effect, cluster bombs being the most obvious example.
Insuring cluster bombs
There’s a lot to applaud in Aviva’s recent decision to stop investing in twelve arms manufacturers who failed to confirm[...]