Diversity momentum increasing but more to do – Hoare

The new president of the Insurance Institute of London has said the industry has made strides to drive diversity and inclusions to the point where doing nothing is no longer acceptable.

Dominick Hoare, (pic) group chief underwriting officer, Munich Re Syndicate, assumed the role this week and in his presidential address spelt out the need for the market to continue on its road to greater diversity.

“As an industry, we still have much to do on diversity and inclusion but there is more momentum now than at any stage previously,” he said. “What’s particularly encouraging is the determination across the board to make progress and resounding agreement that, to ‘do nothing’ is no longer acceptable.”

However he said the process was far from finished.

“Progress has been evident, as the latest Lloyd’s cultural survey shows promising signs of improvement year-on-year, particularly with increasing parity across gender in leadership positions at a senior management level. But there is still much for us to do,” he continued.

Turning to the wider risk market Hoare said the industry cannot afford to stand still.

“While we have adapted to various new technologies and phenomena that has accelerated at great pace, not least through the pandemic, we must not rest on our laurels and now need to help economies adapt to balance the opportunities and risks presented by artificial intelligence,” he cautioned.”

Innovation would be vital as the industry sought to meet the needs of its clients, said Hoare.

“Climate change is better understood than ever before, and the world recognises the important role our industry has played and continues to play in quantifying geo-risks, but society now needs us to apply our ingenuity to the development of green solutions and technologies to enable and power the energy transition,” he explained. “We play an essential role in delivering solutions for our customers and advising on risks faced. However, the threats are real and we must do everything we can to protect against future economic shocks as the world continues to go through a heightened period of instability.

“While challenges evolve there is also great cause for optimism, and abundant opportunities.

“The longevity of both our institutions and our service to clients is known and envied worldwide.

“The current generation of talent coming through is the most diverse yet, and as we continue to make progress towards or ambitions and goals, I am heartened by their commitment to build a better future for both our industry and society.”

He said the industry needed to understand the vital role it plays in the world and society.

“As we reflect, it is particularly important to remember our purpose and why we are here, and that the work we do is about more than simply insuring or reinsuring,” he explained. “Our work is about enabling those we provide for to ‘get on’ with what they are doing with peace of mind and security.

This is an important mission which we all have a responsibility to go out there, promote and protect.

In a very real sense, nearly every single person in the world is in some way provided for by our work, directly or indirectly.

“For those people at the point of use for insurance, it isn’t simply about walking past the Lutine Bell or gazing at the towers of Lime Street before analysing a risk profile at your desk.

“Our impact is on food supplies being shipped across warzones; livelihoods being protected from economic shocks and accidents; artificial intelligence presenting cyber risks to businesses and governments; and climate change driving an energy transition with cutting edge technological sophistication at unprecedented speeds.

“Remembering our impact and the importance of our work is vital.”