Post magazine – 5 June 2014

The front cover of the 5 June Post magazine

The latest issue of Post Magazine is now available for Post subscribers. Download the latest Post iOS App Edition on the App Store or read the Post Digital Edition online.

In this issue, Callum Brodie meets Stephen Hester. The former RBS chief executive took the reigns at beleaguered insurer RSA in February and immediately had to deal with concerns over his lack of insurance pedigree. However, he explains it was his appetite for what he terms “business change situations” at companies with “the right underlying ingredients for future success” that first attracted him to make his third major sector change.

“I never said [I didn’t want to return to financial services],” he says. “I probably would have said I wasn’t keen to be involved with a government-owned company again – that was clear in my mind, as it’s not an ingredient for enjoyment or success.”

In the news, the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department has rejected calls to establish regional offices to tackle growing levels of insurance fraud across the country following claims the police unit is “London-centric”; LV and Zurich are among the major insurers looking to capitalise on RSA’s motor cuts, despite question marks being raised over the business sense of such a ploy; and general insurance players have backed calls from the Financial Conduct Authority for firms to take steps to identify conduct risks earlier.

QBE Europe’s director of property Peter Fice and Towergate Group chief executive Mark Hodges are in the C-Suite; Fice argues that insurers must stop unsustainable commodity pricing in commercial property claims, while Hodges points to a busy 12 months of M&As across the insurance sector as an encouraging reminder that the industry remains as dynamic as ever.

Our countdown to the 20th British Insurance Awards continues with a Q&A with something of a legend in the insurance industry, Robert Hiscox. Post asked Hiscox how he thinks the market has changed since the BIAs began.

The insurance industry has made a big noise about increased anti‑fraud efforts in recent years, but how significant has the impact been – and where could firms do more? Francesca Nyman reports on a roundtable Post recently hosted on the subject, in association with Callcredit, in which a selection of industry fraud specialists discussed how lessons learnt from tackling home and motor fraud can be transferred to niche classes such as pet and travel insurance.

Katie Marriner reports how the importance of the Arctic as a rich mineral reserve and the logistical benefits of its shorter shipping routes have not escaped oil and gas companies and cargo carriers, which want to boost their presence in the area, and looks at the opportunities and risks facing insurers in the region.

Francesca Nyman investigates the ownership of legal firms by non-lawyers via alternative business structures and finds out whether the existing structures are being used as ‘quick fix’ for lost revenue.

Enjoy the read!

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