General Insurance & Specialty

The General Insurance & Specialty industry provides financial protection for both individuals and businesses. It allows them to take risks they would otherwise be unable or unwilling to bear and gives financial security. It is fundamental to how we survive and thrive as a society, and underpins the pace and ambition of economic growth. Industry leaders are hungry for innovation yet remain focussed on the fundamentals as they seek to differentiate themselves and create value. Our experience and capabilities enable us to help our clients position their businesses for success.

How we work with clients

Through our deep consulting and industry expertise in the General Insurance & Specialty market, we provide experienced teams who can deliver on a range of areas to help clients optimise their business.

Our support includes:
  • Strategy definition and delivery. Definition, challenge, and support through your strategic planning and execution phases
  • Target operating model design. Supporting you to design an operating model to effectively deliver your strategy and customer offering
  • Enterprise transformation. Leveraging our market leading skills in the end to end transformation journey including technology and operating model implementation and transformation
  • Cost optimisation. Bringing our extensive experience to review and challenge the cost base of your organisation to allow you to compete and win in your market
  • Tailored CXO support. Recognising not all executive challenges fit neatly within a box, we provide flexible, confidential, seasoned support for priority C-suite initiatives
  • Technology enabled transformation. Helping you with end to end CIO advisory including defining strategy, developing transformation roadmaps, solution design, conducting market scans and selection processes, transformation delivery and assurance reviews
  • Product and proposition innovation. Helping you develop products and propositions which face into emerging market demand and integrate third parties and InsurTechs in a frictionless way
  • Bringing digital into the organisation. Not everyone is convinced by digital. We help make the case and define a strategy which aligns to the broader business ambitions
  • Redesigning the client experience. By defining personas, processes and journeys, we can help you deliver an enhanced customer experience

Why Alpha?

We understand your business and the General Insurance & Specialty market and we bring deep experience from working within the industry and consulting to clients across the market. We have led significant change programmes in the industry in recent years and bring that expertise, lessons learnt and hindsight to our clients. Our specialism ensures that we will bring consultants with deep GI and Specialty experience that understand your challenges and opportunities, to work alongside your teams to deliver rapid results.

Q&A with Miles Bishop, General Insurance and Specialty Director

What is driving change in the General Insurance & Specialty market?

The General Insurance and Specialty market faces an ever growing number of issues, broadly split between ‘traditional’ challenges and new emerging threats.

Traditional challenges include investors and shareholders applying relentless pressure for faster, cheaper, higher quality businesses to drive up profits and value. Larger insurers are often relying on complex and inefficient operating models – typically following M&A activity seeking to create scale and diversification on the balance sheet coupled with under investment in the back office. Separately, stale strategic planning processes often remain - relying on “+X%” goals based on prior year performance.

Emerging threats include increasingly agile capital extracting profits from the market on a transactional basis distorting the historical longer term relationships between insured and insurers. Additionally, customer needs are evolving with increasing demand for digital interaction in underwriting and claims processes. And of course, the longer term effect of COVID-19 on commercial activities and the impact on the underlying businesses themselves remains to be seen.

Realising change from these and other issues is made more complex against the backdrop of heavy regulatory scrutiny, and in many cases the desire to differentiate whilst still participating in a wider interconnected market.

How can the General Insurance and Specialty market adapt to meet these challenges?

Businesses should remain committed to regularly reviewing and challenging their operating models as they look to increase shareholder value. Leaders should look both at the overall enterprise level and also within divisional & functional areas. Reviews should focus on the core components of people, process, and technology. Traditional heavy ‘transformation’ mindsets should be challenged as rapidly evolving new IT capabilities allow new solutions to come off the page and into reality far more quickly and far cheaper than in recent years.

Coupled with relentless challenge of the operating model itself, leading companies will recognise the need to foster innovation to challenge the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of their existing propositions. Future leaders should be encouraged not only to deliver annual targets, but also to take ownership of challenging the status quo and exploring enhanced propositions. In addition to the core product, distribution, and capital components of their offerings, business should think more widely about the customer experience and opportunities presented by digital capabilities.

Finally, cost pressures remain a perennial challenge. Periodic review of the cost base is critical to ensure expense ratios remain competitive. Assessments should look top down at the overall shape of the business and also take a granular look at the detailed level to ensure all opportunities have been identified.

How can Alpha help our clients to meet these challenges?

Alpha are building a truly differentiated consulting team with deep market specialism and delivery excellence at the core of the business. We are focused on the issues at the heart of the C-suite agenda. We can help our clients from initial issue identification and scoping, through analysis and design, to implementation and delivery.

Our close relationship with IT colleagues and partners means we can seamlessly recommend and develop technology solutions where required. Our network of Alpha insurance consultants reaches across Europe and we can leverage specialist skills, such as IFRS led finance transformation, to assist our clients.

We provide a unique mix of industry practitioners and experienced consultants, our goal is to act as you trusted adviser, and believe we are uniquely placed to help you meet your strategic objectives.