SSL Endeavour Group Managing Director Karen Allen outlines her three core focuses as the newly combined SSL Endeavour platform builds out its expert offering.
Here, Karen outlines how her experiences so far have shaped her thinking on the SSL Endeavour platform, and offers three core focuses for vision, strategy and culture going forwards:
I started my insurance career working for large, global brokers, but I decided to leave that environment because I saw a real differentiator in the combination of SSL Insurance Group and Endeavour Insurance Services. More than that, I saw an opportunity to be part of shaping a truly diversified specialist platform that gets closer to the needs of clients.
It’s my experience that integration needs to start on day one. Physical relocation can take a couple of months, but in the meantime you need to develop one shared vision and strategy, because there can only be one culture.
London – where innovation thrives
London is the hub for specialist insurance expertise and innovation, and that isn’t likely to change. As a market, we are now attracting some of the highest calibre of young people who are choosing a career insurance, where the typical experience (which was my own) was that previously people found they just “fell into” the business.
Insurance touches every aspect of our lives as well as the business world and it can be really fascinating, so I am glad that this perspective has finally been accepted and I find myself having to make this point less and less!
The London Market is an entrepreneurial environment where good ideas matter, and the businesses within it must mirror this if they are to flourish. So, here are my three core focusses as we shape the SSL Endeavour vision, strategy and culture:
- Client service – bring value to the equation
- Clients come first. They have to be the core focus of what we are doing; and of everything we build out. Too often I feel this gets lost, or blurred, particularly as I watch competitors focusing on contingency and side car arrangements to maximise their brokerage earnings. Where is the consideration or benefit to the client in those arrangements?
- Investment in Technology. Technology is a long overdue disrupter which will revolutionise insurance services offered to clients. We are extremely proud of our Advantage claims management platform. The platform brings together multiple functions to offer dramatic efficiencies. Sarah Newman our Chief Operating Officer has done a fantastic job bringing our vision to reality and I urge prospective clients to get in touch to find out more about what the platform could offer them.
- Attract and retain the best talent – and let them use their talent!
- We will focus on nurturing a truly entrepreneurial environment where individuals and teams – both new and existing – can thrive because they are empowered to make decisions relating to their business. And we’ve already started with expert, talented new hires in our property division.
- Empowerment, autonomy and responsibility are critical. My view is you create the framework to hire the best people, and then you let them get on with running their area of the business – let them use the talent you hired them for.
- We need to have flexibility and agility in the workplace and that means thinking a bit differently to make sure we are supporting parents with families; we are creating the right environment, working mechanisms and offering meaningful employee benefits so our people have the best chance to succeed personally, as well as contributing to the success of the company.
- Build a unique business
- Points one and two are the critical factors in building a unique business, and both are united by a single vision, strategy and culture.
- SSL Endeavour is a unique specialist, we are not the combination of two competing brokers, and we aren’t inhibited by bureaucracy in the same way that can impact bigger brokers. We can make decision quickly and that alone is a significant factor which increases our chances of success. I want to look way beyond the way things have been done in previous decades, both internally and externally, to help build a brokerage relevant to today.
- We’ve come a long way in establishing the unique SSL Endeavour platform, and there is so much more to come. Now the hard work begins! I can’t wait. Watch out for further updates on our One Vision, One Strategy, One Culture mission.