New Chartered Insurance Institute president John Moore MBE tells Liz Booth about the importance of driving up standards in the profession
Tell us about yourself and what you do?
I am privileged to be the chairman of Thomas Carroll. It is a place that I have had a love affair with for almost 40 years. My job as chairman is to develop a future vision, assist in preparing the strategic plan and challenge the MDs around our compliance and performance against the approved budget. And for me, it is always important to protect the Thomas Carroll reputation.
Thomas Carroll offers a group approach with four trading companies -- a commercial brokerage, private clients, an independent financial advice (IFA) team and a health and safety consultancy. I also enjoy staying close with some client work, I still get excited with marketing and I'm fascinated by the technology improvements continually running through our business.
Tell us about your involvement with the CII to date?
It was a 'must' back in the 1960s to get qualified, so I took exams very seriously. I was fortunate to join the dear old General Accident and the company sponsored and encouraged me to go further with my qualifications. In terms of roles within the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), I was proud to be president of the Cardiff Institute back in the year 2000 and shortly after that I was invited to contribute with the Broking Faculty, so for about 10 years I agreeably met with many leading brokers to advise the CII around the trading market and what was important to our work colleagues and customers.
And what is your vision for your presidency of the whole CII?
There are a lot of exciting things going on at the moment. We have Sian Fisher as our new CEO and the CII is most of the way through a strategy review, which we have asked PwC to undertake. There will be some improvements, which I want to understand and contribute towards.
However, my passion is Chartered. My AGM pledge was to uphold the CII traditions-¦ to promote the highest standard of integrity, technical competence and business expertise. And coming from the regions, local institutes are most important and I am looking forward to visiting many-¦ to recognise the commitment and talk confidently about the CII's future.
The ambition is to be your Chartered Champion, to encourage the debate and challenge members, brokers, IFAs and corporate partners about the benefits of being Chartered. I take the view that being Chartered is not for us but, importantly, for our clients.
What are the trends in the market that will make a big impact in the next five years?
Inevitably, more advanced technology, plus the uncertainties of leaving the EU -- is that going to encourage our regulator to have another look at things? Consolidation always seems to be a factor and we have turbulence in the financial markets. That is all likely to take at least five years to settle and will challenge our business thinking to perhaps adjust our planning to prosper again.
How important is the drive toward improved standards?
Perhaps we need to communicate better, service deliverers must seek to innovate and improve, and the evolving risk management thinking must identify and manage risk for our customers before it happens. The ambition is always to find better ways and things to do in building trust and confidence with the public.
How can we encourage more people to study for CII exams?
It comes from the leadership behaviour that funds membership and exam costs, is generous with study leave, encourages senior colleagues to offer private tuition and financially rewards success. This structured study brings deep technical knowledge and with that comes expertise. That is what the customer buys.
For me, the correlation between this expertise and a sustainable profitable business is obvious. This guidance towards study attracts the right attitude and ambitious students -- it is a future investment, not just a cost.
How do we attract young entrants into broking?
We have been very successful with a graduate programme at Thomas Carroll for the past 15 years. The numbers in the regional insurer markets have dwindled quite dramatically in the past decade and with that, the historical broker recruitment opportunity. But now there is the responsibility to attract and develop our own talent. We engage with the local universities and have designed career training programmes for brokers, management and executives. It has to engage the youngsters and offer them something they can believe in. It takes the right graduate recruitment, patience and generous development funding to bring through the talent -- to lead with vision, offer challenging projects, encourage professionalism and, importantly, to reward fairly.
What makes a good insurance broker?
To be a good broker, you need passion, energy and a persistent determination to win. In creating a broking house, it all begins with a dream and a leadership charisma to attract a team and to build trusting and lasting relationships with clients, insurers and other business partners. Recruitment is everything. You have to get that right because any business is only as good as its people. You have to have a plan, for all to believe in -- it has to be workable and well resourced. But more than anything, you have to be Chartered and proud of it.