Turning disruption to advantage

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1 Turning disruption to advantage 85% are confident about growth < Page 1 > 72% see more opportunities than threats < Page 4 > 87% believe regulation is the greatest industry disruptor < Page 4 >

2 This report highlights some of the key findings from the PwC survey of international insurance leaders based in Ireland, carried out among the Dublin International Insurance & Management Association (DIMA) members and launched at the 2015 European Insurance Forum in Dublin. Rapid, technology-led change presents many risks but also many opportunities. It s reshaping the relationship between customers and companies and breaking down the walls between industry sectors.it s making forwardthinking CEOs question the very businesses they re in as they reassess how their organisations differentiating capabilities can better solve customer problems.

3 Confidence on the up An overwhelming majority (85%) of international insurance leaders based in Ireland are confident about business growth in the year ahead, up from 72% last year. The single greatest growth opportunity is considered to be expansion in existing markets, followed by further product innovation, new joint ventures/ strategic alliances/m&as and developing new markets. One in five see an opportunity in tie-ups via a joint venture, strategic alliance or M&A as an opportunity and, based on our global experience, one of the key reasons for such initiatives is to access new customers. Business networks, customers and suppliers are seen as the most important focus for strategic collaborations. An example of this could be a telecom or internet giant wanting a tie-up with an insurer to help it move into the insurance market. The benefits of strategic alliances are also recognised as an opportunity to strengthen innovation and gain access to new and emerging technologies. Figure 1: Confidence about business growth in the year ahead Not confident 15% 25% Very confident Not confident 28% 32% Very confident Confident 60% Ireland 2015 Confident 40% Ireland 2014 Ireland 2013 Not confident Very confident 38% % The single greatest growth opportunity is expansion in existing markets Confident 52% Page 1

4 Figure 2: Most important growth opportunities Increased share of existing markets 25% 28% Further product innovation and diversification 22% 30% New JVs/Strategic Alliances/M&As 20% 13% Expanding into new markets 19% 15% Ireland 2015 Ireland 2014 People are living longer and have more wealth to protect Page 2

5 Implementing Solvency II is the greatest challenge The survey reveals that the greatest challenge for the Irish insurance industry right now is implementing Solvency II (60%), up by nearly 10% on last year reflecting the imminence of the new regime. This is followed by regulation in general (40%) and economic conditions/ investment performance (33%). Available talent, data analytics and product innovation are areas that have come into closer focus since last year. At the same time, the fact that people are living longer and have more wealth to protect presents insurers with a clear opportunity. Key talent and data analytics getting more focus Figure 3: Top challenges/risks facing your insurance business right now? Implementing Solvency II 60% 51% Regulation 40% 58% Economic conditions 33% 42% Investment performance/low interest rates 33% 36% Availability of key talent 27% 18% Leveraging Big Data /data analytics 23% 16% Product innovation 17% 7% Change management 13% Capital availability 13% Distribution strategy 10% 29% New market entrants 10% Ireland 2015 Ireland 2014 Page 3

6 Disruptions on the horizon Over half of global insurance leaders say it is likely that insurers will increasingly compete in sectors other than their own over the next three years. However, compared to other sectors, the range and extent of their inroads into other sectors is limited. For example, around a quarter of global banks say they are making moves into technology, compared to only 3% of insurers. There are real opportunities for insurers to use their customer data and relationships to develop new revenue streams. 72% of Irish insurance leaders believe there are more threats than opportunities Nearly three-quarters (72%) of international insurance leaders in Ireland believe that there are more growth opportunities today than there were three years ago, while at the same time a similar proportion also believe there are more threats. Almost nine out of ten are concerned about disruption from industry regulation. With Solvency II just around the corner, the key implementation challenges are to minimise the upheaval and to reliably and efficiently build the new requirements into business as usual. Many companies are using regulatory change as an opportunity to improve operational flexibility, promote greater collaboration and even reassess business models. Evolving regulatory demands can help clarify where and how urgently change is needed. Nearly two-thirds are concerned about disruption from changing customer behaviour and distribution channels. With millennials at one end and a longer living population at the other, individual tailoring of insurance products will become the norm. This will require insurers to really understand customers and how flexibly they can respond to their needs. Figure 4: How disruptive do you think the following trends will be for your industry over the next five years? Respondents stating very or somewhat disruptive Changes in industry regulation Changes in customer behaviours Changes in distribution channels Increase in number of significant direct and indirect competitors Changes in core technologies of production or service provision 87% 88% 64% 71% 61% 69% 58% 64% 52% 61% Ireland 2015 Global 2015 I think you ve got to look at the disruptors and see what you can learn from them, because they often come in with some very smart innovation and different service propositions. John Neal, CEO, QBE Group Page 4

7 Digital dividend The speed of technological change is recognised by insurance leaders around the world as a major game-changer. However, Irish insurers lag significantly behind their global counterparts in terms of the perceived value that digital technologies can create. For example, relative to Irish leaders, over a third more global insurance leaders consider that digital technologies create high value for their organisations when it comes to brand and reputation, distribution capabilities, digital trust and cybersecurity and collaboration. Around a quarter more global CEOs see the benefits in terms of operational efficiency and innovation capacity. In a world where many consumers are always on, the power of digital and its business opportunities cannot be ignored. The insurance landscape is changing rapidly and the survey suggests that Irish insurance leaders have an opportunity to really embrace digital technologies to engage with and better understand customers, improve operating efficiency and improve use and security of data. Figure 5: To what extent are digital technologies creating value for your organisation in the following areas? Respondents who stated quite high value or very high value A separate PwC survey of over 9,000 consumers worldwide (Insurance 2020) found that greater accessibility and tailoring the buying experience to their needs are the two most important steps insurers can take to appeal to customers. Digital capabilities would provide opportunities for life and pensions companies to rely less on agents to cultivate relationships. By enabling businesses to reach out to younger and other largely untapped sections of the population in new and engaging ways, digital could also greatly expand the addressable market. In turn, more efficient distribution and no commission costs would open up more cost-efficient options for less wealthy customers. Operational efficiency 62% 88% Innovation capacity 50% 71% Digital trust and cybersecurity 46% 81% Regulatory compliance Internal/external collaboration Risk-taking decisions Distribution capabilities 46% 43% 79% 36% 35% 74% Irish insurers lag behind global players on value from digital Brand and reputation 33% 69% Ireland 2015 Global 2015 Page 5

8 Regulation and Solvency II Two-thirds of survey respondents believe that, as an international insurance centre, Ireland s regulatory regime is more demanding than other EU territories. The most competitive European Regulatory regime relative to Ireland, according to the survey, is Switzerland (32%), followed by Luxembourg (18%). The survey reveals that by 1 January 2016 over a quarter (29%) of the international insurance companies based in Ireland will have spent more than 5 million on implementing Solvency II. The greatest benefit by far of Solvency II, according to the survey, is greater governance and risk transparency (85%), followed by a greater risk focus and better use of capital. The most significant Solvency II related business/commercial changes are in the areas of capital structure, asset mix and corporate structure. Ireland s regulatory regime is more demanding than other EU territories Figure 6: Benefits of Solvency II Greater governance and risk transparency 85% Greater risk focus 71% Better use of capital 46% Improved data quality 29% Figure 7: Likely changes as a result of Solvency II Capital structure Asset mix 57% 46% Corporate structure 43% Reinsurance arrangements 25% Management team ownership 14% Product portfolio 11% Page 6

9 Preparedness for BEPS While the majority (70%) of respondents said they are prepared for the challenges presented by the OECD Base Erosion Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan, which will be finalised by the end of 2015, nearly a third (30%) are not. The OECD BEPS project will be a driver for international insurance and reinsurance groups to review their operating models and the location of key activities. A competitive, transparent corporate tax regime and the availability of a pool of highly-skilled insurance professionals mean that Ireland is ideally positioned to benefit from this trend and many groups will be encouraged to expand even further the high value activities they have located in Ireland. Government priorities The single key government priority, according to the survey, is to ensure that Ireland remains competitive and this measure increased by nearly 10% on last year. As an FDI centre of excellence and aspiring insurance hub, maintaining and increasing our national competitiveness in all key areas including labour, facilities, cost of living etc is critical. Other important priorities include available skills, promotion of Ireland as a centre of excellence and supporting skills in the Regulator. Just over one in five consider changes to the corporation tax regime as a key priority, up from 7% last year. Figure 8: Government priorities Ensuring Ireland remains competitive, including wage rates and rents 61% 52% Availability of key skills Concerted promotion as a location from which to operate insurance business 43% 43% Resourcing and supporting skills in the Regulator 29% Changes to corporation tax regime or other corporate taxes 21% 7% Changes to income tax rates (eg Special Assignment Relief Programme) 11% Ireland 2015 Global 2015 Page 7

10 Moving the business forward - some thoughts! How can insurers deal with short-term hurdles while creating a competitive platform for the future? Develop a truly customercentric business model Digital technology offers opportunities to engage more closely with customers and understand their needs better. But insurers focus on risk, ratings and products means their understanding of customers lags behind that of internet and telecommunications businesses, which have developed advanced customer data analytics programmes. The front runners are already developing the focused analysis and organisational collaboration they need to turn reams of unconnected data into telling customer insights and customised solutions. They re looking beyond the confines of reactive insurance cover to higher margin proactive risk advice and prevention. They re also looking beyond sensors and big data analysis as simply pricing tools as they seek to develop a new generation of information-based services. Simplify the business and operating model Many insurance companies take longer to make business decisions than their counterparts in other industries. Their products are difficult for consumers (and sometimes even insurers themselves) to understand, and operating costs are high compared to many leaner new entrants. Simplifying management structure, scaling back unprofitable business and using partnerships to reduce investment and delivery costs will significantly increase their competitiveness. Looking at regulation Effective compliance with new regulations and standards is hampered by lingering uncertainty over details and organisational impact on the one hand and often reactive, piecemeal implementation on the other. The key to navigating regulatory complexity is understanding how real and proposed changes may affect the entire organisation and then how to make what is often perceived as a burden a catalyst for positive change. One of the best ways for a multinational organisation to achieve this is via the creation of a global compliance team with strong executive leadership. This is an approach that has already proved beneficial to many global banks. The compliance team would be responsible for looking beyond basic operational compliance to how the developments may affect the entire organisation s strategy and structure and then working closely with the board, business, compliance and other teams to co-ordinate a clear and coherent group-wide response. This would include assessing competitive implications and looking at how to capitalise on potential opportunities. Proactively managing risk The risk landscape is evolving and cyber is one of the most prominent manifestations. Given the potential for sharply rising losses and ever more complex loss drivers, insurers can no longer manage the evolving risk environment solely through traditional approaches. Solving these complex and dangerous challenges requires a comprehensive risk facilitation leader to educate, promote and co-ordinate solutions across a range of stakeholders, including corporations, insurance/reinsurance companies, capital markets and policymakers across the globe. As the traditional intermediary in the risk transfer chain, brokers are especially well placed to identify and develop viable and innovative solutions to the changing risk environment. Page 8

11 Key contacts Padraic Joyce Tony O Riordan Ciarán Kelly Ronan Mulligan John O Leary Page 9

12 This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors PricewaterhouseCoopers. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see for further details

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