Fri day 24 Jan 2014 -On her first day as Lloyd’s new CEO, Inga Beale talks to lloyds.com about the challenges and opportunities ahead. (source: Lloyd’s of London)
What attracted you to the role?
Lloyd’s has an amazing franchise all around the world and can open up doors like no other insurance brand. This role is interesting for me because it combines both a market oversight element and a commercial side and getting that balance right is critical to ensure that Lloyd’s has a sustainable future. I love taking on challenges and continuing to learn new things and I’m sure this role will provide both of those elements.
What are the key things you’d like to achieve during the first few months?
There are some key stakeholders that I want to spend time listening to. It’s important that we continue to provide a market place and modern platform that retains and attracts market participants and I want to learn about what’s working well and what we need to improve on. I would also like to understand more about the growth opportunities that are out there and how we can position Lloyd’s in the best way to be part of that growth. All of this will feed into the next iteration of Lloyd’s Strategic Plan.
In your opinion, what are the biggest opportunities and threats currently facing the Lloyd’s market?
The market is challenging for all participants with changing distribution dynamics, an abundance of capital and emerging risks that we don’t yet understand enough about. However, this is a great opportunity for the Lloyd’s market to showcase that underwriting expertise and discipline combined with innovation – great strengths of Lloyd’s – is a winning formula.
What are you most looking forward to as CEO of Lloyd’s?
Being able to drive the 2025 Vision for the market and, while doing so, meeting and working with some of the most talented people in the (re)insurance industry.
How would you describe your management style?
I’ve always enjoyed teamwork and see great benefit in having diverse teams working well together. I therefore do my best to be inclusive, get people involved, particularly when they are the experts, and build solutions and plans together. However, there are times when the CEO needs to make some key decisions and I don’t shy away from making tough calls when required.
What are you most proud of in your career to date?
You continue to learn and take on new challenges throughout your career and along the way there have been many proud moments. However, one time that sticks out most for me was taking on the challenge of the turnaround at Converium after a difficult period following downgrades from all the rating agencies. There’s nothing that beats the endorsement of engaged employees, loyal customers and brokers, and shareholders who showed their support by sticking with Converium throughout that period.
What keeps you busy in your free time?
I split my life between London and Zurich and enjoy each place differently. Switzerland is a place to enjoy the beautiful countryside and get up into the mountains for some serious hiking. When we’re in London, we take advantage of great restaurants and theatre and catching up with friends. I used to do a lot of sport when I was younger but my rugby boots have been hanging up for quite a while now!