Friday, July 17, 2009


With the resignation of LoriAnn Lowery, president of Lloyd’s North America, one of the premier posts in the insurance market is open, fueling talk in the industry about what kind of candidate might be tapped to take the U.S. helm of the organization, according to a story in this week’s BestWeek U.S./Canada.

Lloyd’s declined to comment, other than to say it has launched the recruitment process to fill the position. Whoever is hired will find it’s an important role, with North America being responsible for 44% of Lloyd’s revenue.

“The candidate should first and foremost be a brilliant strategist,” said Linda Henman, author of “The Magnetic Boss: How to Become the Boss No One Wants to Leave,” and a consultant who works with companies to set strategy, plan succession and develop talent.

BestWeek Europe takes a look at how U.K.-based financial services group Friends Provident plc has countered an earlier takeover offer from Resolution Ltd. with its own merger plan that would see it become the holding company for an enlarged life insurance and financial services group. This would allow for “a simpler overall group structure and governance in line with accepted public company best practice,” Friends Provident said in a letter outlining the plan.

Also, in BestWeek U.S./Canada, the insurance industry has developed a sophisticated level of underwriting and claims avoidance procedures as it responds to the growing threat of attacks on Internet networks such as those targeting United States and South Korean Web sites earlier this month, industry experts said. “The use of technology and the reliance on technology has been increasing drastically for years, but only recently did insurance coverage offer a viable risk transfer piece. ... Now you’re seeing the coverage starting to address the risks that are in that increased dependence on and use of technology,” said Robert Parisi Jr., a Marsh Inc. senior vice-president responsible for technology-related issues.

He said that market penetration for such coverage “is growing very, very rapidly” because businesses and the insurance industry recognized the need “to address the information and privacy and data risks.”

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