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Business, capital and people Meet the man charged with ensuring Lloyd’s has a big global future By Michelle Hannen

THE LLOYD’S NAME IS SYNONYMOUS WITH INSURANCE. At some points in its long history that association has not always been positive, but the world’s oldest insurance market is currently enjoying a purple patch. While its capital position and financial results have arguably never been better, Vincent Vandendael, the new Director of International Markets at Lloyd’s, says the strength of the Lloyd’s culture is what he noticed most when he joined the corporation in December. “When I arrived at Lloyd’s I found an incredible difference from a market company,” he told Insurance News. “People are generally proud of Lloyd’s and what Lloyd’s represents – the quality, the history it stands for. I found that very, very special.” Mr Vandendael is a Belgian who spent five years with Chubb before joining Zurich in 1994 in a range of roles from financial lines to, most recently, chief executive of the global corporate unit in Asia-Pacific. He is clearly relishing his latest somewhat sizeable challenge. He jokes that he may be the only person in the industry whose job description relates to a building, as “everything that happens outside One Lime Street (the location of the Lloyd’s building in London) falls in my responsibility”. Jokes aside, it is a large role, with the director of international markets responsible for promoting and protecting Lloyd’s business across the globe, seeking new business opportunities and monitoring the development of emerging markets, while also managing Lloyd’s international operations. In contrast to his predecessor, Jose Ribeiro, Mr Vandendael’s remit also includes North America. He explains that a key reason for this is that the US, due to its size, is an excellent market to test new ideas, and that leveraging on best practices and rolling them out globally is an important function for the international markets team. And with the increasing complexity of legal and regula28

tory requirements for insurers worldwide, it also made sense for former Lloyd’s Director of North America and General Counsel Sean McGovern to relinquish his North American responsibilities and focus solely on the legal and regulatory aspects of his job. With a role of such scope to digest, Mr Vandendael’s first priority after joining Lloyd’s was to embark upon a feedback exercise. “Basically the approach I took was that the market is my customer,” Mr Vandendael says. He sat down with Lloyd’s stakeholders across the globe during his first 100 days and asked questions such as: What is it that you want me to focus on? What are we doing well, and what are we not doing? And what do you want us to focus on or what are we doing that you want us to do differently?” A large part of Mr Vandendael’s role will be to execute Vision 2025, the strategic plan for the future of Lloyd’s, which was unveiled last May. The strategy, launched with much fanfare by British Prime Minister David Cameron, was driven by new Lloyd’s Chairman John Nelson, who, upon taking over from longstanding Lloyd’s chairman Peter Levene in 2011, recognised that the market needed to diversify its income but lacked a coherent vision for the future to enable it to do so. Mr Vandendael says Vision 2025 is “a recognition that the economy is shifting from west to east”, a realisation that has dawned on many large corporations looking for future growth. The key countries being targeted by Lloyd’s include China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Turkey, as well as a second tier of countries such as Indonesia. Mr Vandendael has statistics at his fingertips to explain the need for such diversification. He says that in 2010, the world’s developed economies had a combined gross domestic product of $US25.5 trillion, while developing nations had a combined GDP of about $US6.5 trillion. By 2016, those figures are forecast to hit combined GDP of $US52 trillion from developed nations, while GDP from the

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June/July 2013

Profile for Insurance News (the magazine)

JUN/JUL 2013 - Insurance News (the magazine)  

The wide world of insurance is well illustrated in the latest edition of Insurance News (the magazine), which will be posted out to subscrib...

JUN/JUL 2013 - Insurance News (the magazine)  

The wide world of insurance is well illustrated in the latest edition of Insurance News (the magazine), which will be posted out to subscrib...