Our Strategic Manifesto was published at the end of the last financial year and set out an ambitious blueprint for the future with “building public trust” at its heart.
Our aim is to create an organisation which is equipped to inspire the same level of trust in the standards and ethics of the insurance and personal finance profession as the public has for other traditional professions. The test is whether people genuinely feel that our sector is ‘there for them’ through the perils and pitfalls that life throws at all of us.
The challenge this year has been to convert this ambition into a workable five-year plan and to start to deliver on it.
Last year, we made a commitment to becoming more modern, relevant and diverse. In addition, we committed to three areas we will deliver for the profession: relevant learning, engaged membership and insightful leadership. This report is an update on progress.
Modern, relevant, diverse
Internally, we have concentrated on getting our own house in order:
- We moved to an agile way of working, which will be further enhanced by our move into new, modern offices in the heart of the city at 21 Lombard Street;
- We appointed a new professional standards director, Melissa Collett, to give focus to the importance and power of standards;
- We created a new team of directors, with well-defined roles based around the manifesto workstreams to drive change;
- We conducted and implemented a full review of our corporate governance structure, connecting the board, its committees and executive; and
- We committed ourselves to a new set of values developed by our colleagues.
The art of leadership
I shared my belief last year that Insightful Leadership represents both the biggest challenge, and the greatest opportunity, for the CII to really fulfil its role as a professional body. It is therefore pleasing to see the progress we have made.
- We have focused on the design, implementation and launch of the Public Trust Index, which measures where the profession stands in the hearts and minds of its customers. This means we are now able to benchmark the success of our united profession in building public trust.
- Insuring Futures was established as part of our strategy to maintain our professional relevance to the next generation. In 2017, we conducted meaningful research on the risks women face, and discussed possible solutions with the insurance and personal finance profession, policymakers and the third sector at IWF Live.
- We have now established a taskforce of 15 senior professionals from the sector with eight meaningful workstreams to bring about change.
- As part of our leadership on standards and ethics, we conducted a review of the role of Chartered. The aim is to ensure the titles are fit for the modern market, and that they are improving the profession, and public trust in it, by representing quality, aspiration and value.
- We are also seeking to launch a new Chartered title – Chartered Insurance Underwriting Agent – next year, subject to approval from the Privy Council and our members.
- It is a success of the Personal Finance Society that we have increased our consumer presence and have been recognised by regulators as an organisation to consult with, both on changes in financial planning that might affect the public, and when they would like to engage the views of the profession.
Collaboration and support
- We are strong advocates of the Insurance United Against Dementia initiative, which hit the first £1m of its £10m fundraising target.
- We are big supporters of the DiveIn festival and, in 2017, held our own events in India, Hong Kong and London, in order to champion diversity and inclusion in our profession. In 2018, we are planning events in London, Glasgow and Manchester;
- The CII signed up to the Time to Change campaign, England’s most ambitious campaign to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people who experience mental health problems;
- We launched Forces MoneyPlan, building on the success of Citizens Advice MoneyPlan; We are working with the regulator on the ScamSmart campaign, in order to provide information to consumers on how to avoid investment and pension scams;
- The PFS’ Festival of Financial Planning demonstrated that professional events didn’t need to be dull, dry and predictable. Circa 3,500 delegates came together to experience a colourful and fun vibe resulting in overwhelming positivity and pride from all involved.
An international focus
The CII, and the profession we represent, are outward looking and open to new opportunities across the world, where we can provide quality learning and qualifications, and share our experience of good practice. In order to deliver more effectively, we have reviewed our international presence during the year with input from stakeholders and colleagues across the business.
We have successfully begun to move from strategy to action this year and I am delighted to be leading a re-energised team of talented people, ready to deliver change to build public trust.