D is for…Data

Digital has been the buzzword across the Insurance sector for some time.  But as the industry gets to grips (or less so in some cases) with digitization, business leaders are increasingly focused on another D … and that is all things ‘Data’.

Insurance has always been a data rich industry. The exponential development of technology – not least the smart phone – has led to an explosion of easily available information.

Insurers, like most businesses, want to know as much as possible about their customers. Traditionally this has enabled pricing strategies, but many are now using their newfound ability to monitor activity as a means to influence customer behaviour, employing the principals of behavioural economics to positive effect. Examples can be seen in the Life and Health Sectors where customers are rewarded for leading a healthy lifestyle, and where telematics encourages safer driving.

Rightly or wrongly from an ethical standpoint, there’s an obvious risk/reward model in play, with insurers accessing and attempting to prioritise multiple data sources.

Elsewhere insurers are using data for other purposes. From loss prevention and fraud assessment, through to enabling targeted marketing for specialist products. The list is seemingly endless in our data-rich world.  In a recent survey, the Boston Consulting Group noted: “In today’s market, anyone can obtain vast amounts of data and buy the latest analytics tools. But new technologies alone don’t bring competitive advantage.”

With a focus and reliance on data, it is easy to understand why a clear Data strategy is paramount to the success of the modern insurance business. In reality however, many sector business leaders are (at best) unclear how data will transform their organisations.

At Norman Broadbent we have a track record of engaging with, and attracting, the best talent from, and into, the insurance sector.  Much of our work is currently focused on senior strategic roles in and around data strategy. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you, or perhaps discuss a specific assignment, please do not hesitate to contact David Cooper, Director & Head of Practice, Insurance, on +44 (0) 207 484 0000 or via david.cooper@normanbroadbent.com   for an initial confidential discussion.

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Cyber-attack: will you be on the hook?

From December 2019, the revised Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) framework will come into force. Along with the many new responsibilities and accountabilities, Senior Stakeholders need to understand that they may be partly, or fully, responsible for any cyber breaches that occur. Indeed, a failure to act proactively across the Information Security function could be construed as a breach of the conduct rules. Given the short timescale, what can you do to ensure that your firm, as well as other accountable executives, are ready for the deadline?


With over 90% of all cyber security breaches due to human error, it’s safe to say that mistakes in the workplace are more than costly. This, together with sometimes outdated or badly implemented technology and processes, means that it is “WHEN” rather “IF” an event occurs. Understanding not only preventive measures, but also the potential ramifications, is key to managing Cyber Resilience successfully. The need for having the right people in place, asking the right questions at the right time, is business and risk critical.


For starters, we advise reviewing the CBEST security exercise from the Bank of England. Whilst focused on the technical side, it provides an accurate representation of how secure your systems are, and identifies any weaknesses which need addressing. The following Bank of England CBEST link may be of use: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/financial-stability/financial-sector-continuity/cbest-implementation-guide

In addition, experts in the field advise that a full process mapping program is conducted. This may help to identify where human weaknesses in the chain may occur. Training will almost certainly be required to mitigate risk. Your CIO, COO, CISO should be able to evidence these, together with a plan of action. It goes without saying that your CRO should have full oversight. The following link may be of use: https://www.cyberessentials.ncsc.gov.uk/


Ensure you have enterprise wide programmes running to address any weaknesses, and that these are owned by an ‘accountable executive’ on the senior Leadership team or ExCo. The threat is ever changing, so it is best practice to ensure this becomes part of BAU. Also run regular simulations to understand what the most effective and appropriate responses are.  Should the worse happen, you need to be able to evidence to regulators that you have taken all reasonable steps to protect the organisation and its clients. Other stakeholders are also important to consider. Being able to show preparedness to the media or other external influencers is important to manage reputational risk.


Marriot, British Airways, Equifax and Facebook were some of the largest Cyber breaches of last year. Cybersecurity experts agree that with the right protection, most data breaches are avoidable. However, if your company does become the next Equifax or Facebook, the manner in which both firms and senior individuals react is critical to the longer term survival and rehabilitation of the brand. The example of TSB, whilst not a malicious data breach, serves to underline how not getting in front of the issue can be damaging to both organisation and careers.

How can Norman Broadbent Interim Management Help?

As a trusted partner to senior leaders for a number of years, our network of Interim Professionals is there to support, supplement and often lead business critical programmes. Bringing someone on board that has “been there, seen it, and done it” on numerous occasions and in different environments, can be the difference between success and failure. With Cyber Resilience, there may be no more important issue the organisation should address.

And as the holder of the SMF authorisation, the buck may stop with you!

If you would like to find out more about how Norman Broadbent’s Interim Management Network can support you, or discuss a specific assignment, please do not hesitate to contact Mike Davies,  Director, on +44 (0) 207 484 0000 or via mike.davies@normanbroadbentinterim.com for an initial confidential discussion.

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Our commitment to Diversity & Inclusivity

Dear Mike,

I am writing to thank you for your continued support and commitment to increasing diversity and inclusion as signatories to the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms (the Code).

BEIS has kept a register of all those signed up to the Code and is actively monitoring each Firm’s progress on demonstrating their commitment to signalling diversity and inclusion issues on their website in compliance with section 10 of the Code.

Our monitoring has shown that Norman Broadbent is excelling at this endeavour. We believe that it is important to demonstrate a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, and thus it is vital to actively show action and progress. Your website and related marketing literature stand as testament to your agreement with this sentiment.

BEIS would like to congratulate your Firm and thank you for your work in signalling and signposting your progress and the achievements you have made in furthering diversity and inclusion in the recruitment of senior leaders at Board, Executive and Direct Report level.

Kind regards,



Jack Queenan
The Hampton-Alexander and Sir John Parker
Tel: 020 7215 5840
1 Victoria Street, Floor 1, Victoria 2
www.gov.uk/beis | https://twitter.com/beisgovuk

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Real Estate & Property People Moves: April 2019

High profile moves within the real estate & property sector haven’t been slowing down recently. Organisations have been investing in talent at the top level in spite of the economic uncertainty. The following appointments have all taken place across the wider real estate marketplace over the past few months

If you would like to discuss the real estate & property practice or how Norman Broadbent can help your business, please contact Tony Robinson at tony.robinson@normanbroadbentsolutions.com

  • Two of the most senior figures in Birmingham’s retail sector have been appointed to lead a city centre business improvement district. Sam Watts, general manager of Selfridges, is Retail BID’s new chairwoman and she is joined on the board by head of John Lewis’ Birmingham branch Lisa Williams as deputy chairwoman.


  • Orlandis Capital, the joint venture equity provider to the residential development market backed by Christian Candy’s CPC Group, has recruited Adam Van West from Mace as commercial manager


  • CLS Holdings is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Kirkman as its new Chief Financial Officer and Director of the Company, with effect from 1 July 2019.


  • Galliford Try has appointed Graham Prothero  as chief executive.


  • Steve Jackson has joined Redrow as sales director.


  • CPMG Architects has appointed Richard Flisher as managing director.


  • The Home Builders Federation has appointed Neil Jefferson as managing director, commencing in 2020.


  • The London studio of global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will has appointed Jason Turner as associate principal to its workplace strategy services.


  • Don Bailey, former UK director of development at Delin Capital Asset Management has launched Lesingham, an industrial development business working with investors to develop existing sites and source new opportunities.


  • Nick Roberts, currently chief executive of engineering firm Atkins, is to take over as chief executive of builders merchant Travis Perkins.


  • Thomas Cook’s Alice Marsden will join  house builder Taylor Wimpey as group general counsel and company secretary from 4 November.


  • HOUSEBUILDER Crest Nicholson has appointed Peter Truscott, who joins in September.


  • Andrew Davies has been named Kier’s new chief executive, more than a year after he had been about to take the helm at Carillion


  • Morgan Sindall’s residential business has turned to Laing O’Rourke for its new managing director for south Wales and the South-west: James Duffett
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