The seven steps to turn QBE around
QBE has outlined the seven areas of its business it will look to improve following a tough 2017. Following a year which saw the major insurer sustain a statutory net loss after tax of US$1.2 billion, compared to a profit of US$844 million in FY16, Pat Regan, QBE Group CEO, has announced seven steps the firm will take to turn around its fortunes. Firstly, following the sale of its Latin America operations, QBE will look to simplify in markets and products but, as earlier reported by Insurance Business the company will not look to “a wholesale reduction in size.” “While we do have many high performing businesses at QBE we do need to further simplify our business, reduce risk and reduce volatility,” Regan said. “We will do this by ensuring that we only offer markets and products where we have a good market position and a realistic plan that can deliver an acceptable return.” The business will also look to “forensically focus” on its “brilliant basics” in underwriting, pricing and claims with Regan announcing a new Brilliant Basics program aimed at “delivering consistent excellence in our underwriting, pricing and claims everywhere that we do business.” “It is imperative that basics of insurance, of underwriting pricing and claims are not just performed at a consistently high standard but brilliantly,” Regan continued. In addition, he highlighted that the firm has developed a set of global underwriting standards which have been implemented across the business as it looks to hire a new chief underwriting officer to oversee the work. In terms of pricing, Regan said that the business has developed a customised pricing tool that can rank and assess all QBE pricing models throughout the group as the firm looks to work through a systemic program to deploy the best pricing model. The business will also look to deliver its 2018 plan which will see detailed cell reviews of all of the Group’s business as the firm looks to meet its target ranges for the financial year. Repositioning the North American business, so that it delivers underwriting results on par with Australia and New Zealand and European operations, is another area QBE sees “significant opportunities” in as the business will additionally look to remediate Asia to improve pricing and risk selection in a number of key portfolios. In Asia, Regan said that the firm has identified 18 portfolios that “are significantly underperforming and need specific profit improvement plans” as there is “a lot of work to do” to improve the Asian business. Talent and culture also form a key strand of QBE’s 2018 priorities as the business will look to “embed a culture that supports our objectives and drives the right behaviours.” Regan identified seven dimensions of the QBE culture that have been successful within the Australian and New Zealand operations of the business, which he hopes will be successful across the group: accountability, technical excellence, fast pace, decisive and courageous, putting team first, being customer orientated and being diverse and inclusive. Finally the firm will look to build for its future by turning to innovation and technology. “To be successful in the future, as well as having underwriting discipline, we also need to be innovative, more customer focused, invest in our talent, have a distinct culture and have a clear technology roadmap embracing digital,” Regan said.