Terry Hayday looks at the support available for insurance non-executive directors and explains what they can learn from the world of snooker-¦
Why are non-executive directors like snooker balls? They both have to be well rounded, durable, run perfectly straight, bounce off each other and be diverse. They are also essential in their respective spheres and must be fairly well polished.
The comparison is not entirely fanciful, given that many attributes are innate, while others can be taught. That is where The Worshipful Company of Insurers' (WCI) iNED initiative has a role to play for all insurance non-executive directors (iNEDs).
Delegates at last November's Standards in the Boardroom Forum were informed that they should recognise that iNEDs are part of a team; they must look out for each other and exchange ideas-¦ surely a description of bouncing off each other?
Today, there is a desire for boards of directors to be diverse and to embrace many shades of opinion, especially when it is acknowledged that all members have to interact to produce the best result, although a 147 is not assured in every frame.
It is iNED's emphasis on being well rounded that makes the comparison compelling. It sits at the heart of the 2017 iNED programme. Professional development for iNEDs encompasses a wide range of issues with a focus on regulation, commerciality, technical knowledge, behaviour and corporate governance.
The WCI is addressing topics that are designed to equip iNEDs to play their games well. In February, PwC and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries discussed: 'Why NEDs should understand disruptive and enabling technology' -- featuring an explanation of blockchain technology, an introduction to robotic process automation and the actuaries' MAID project (modelling, analytics and insights from data).
Our regulators' Senior Insurance Managers' Regime presents its own challenges so in April, 'Key governance issues' will be explored, including the content of board packs and the questions and roles that face iNEDs sitting on audit, risk, remuneration and appointments committees.
Commercial, technical and exposure issues are inherent in emerging risks; all of which will be analysed by the London market panel, who will be at the heart of June's iNED Forum.
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
In September, iNED will invite underwriting experts to join economists, market association leaders and regulators to paint the '2018 backcloth to business', thereby helping to set the appropriate tone for the following year-¦another iNED duty.
iNED Forums are held at the Insurance Hall and are open to all, not just WCI members. They are fully accredited for Chartered Insurance Institute CPD purposes. Full details can be accessed at: www.wci.org.uk
The WCI's iNED Information Bank can also be accessed from this site and performs an important role in producing highly polished iNEDs. It is free, in the public domain and web-based to enable ease of access. It takes its cue from a desire to educate all iNEDs across the entire UK (re)insurance market.
Terry Hayday is chairman of the WCI iNED committee