Doug Laburn, Executive Manager Partnerships at Lombard
Doug Laburn, Executive Manager Partnerships at Lombard spoke to me about the significance of advice in the short-term industry.
COVER: Last year has really brought out the value of advice, not just for clients but also as one of the value propositions that carried the broker environment and the specialist insurance environment through this difficult time. Please tell us, from your perspective, what role do you see a relationship between Lombard partnerships, and the specialist partners play in this regard?
Doug: The vast majority of our businesses is oriented towards specialist classes, and we pride ourselves on partnering with what we see as the best in the business and the most knowledgeable experts in their various spaces. The role we play within partnerships, to our specialist partners, is twofold in particular. Firstly, we are really focused on building platforms for them to deliver off, and that in particular, is around training. So as you know, in the UMA market, we can’t deal directly with the client and who gives the advice is quite a technical regulatory issue. We have to be careful about that.
However, we are committed to putting our brokers in as strong a position as possible with firstly, the right skills around our products and around the parts of it we do wright and, secondly being available to them to help, support and fill whatever role needed to get the best outcome at the end of the day.
The second element is a strong focus on the client and really trying to understand their risk environments a whole lot better. I think the insurance market is, in particular, so focused on the insurance products, that perhaps we missed an opportunity to really understand what the real question is around advice?
How do we advise or guide our clients as best possible to manage their risk environment, of which insurance is just one piece? So more and more a particular focus for the next couple of years is “how do we play a better, more proactive and constructive role in guiding the risk management process?”
COVER: The insurance value chain, in the case of businesses like Lombard, runs from Lombard to the specialist partner, through to the broker, and then through to the client. Where do you see the advice process start and finish in this chain? You’ve alluded a little bit that you sort of drop-in, in various places, etc. How does that process look for you, from yourself through to the client?
Doug: I guess, for me, it never really starts or finishes. It is a continuous process that is on the go. Thinking a bit about the as to what advice actually is and how it plays a role in our general daily life, I see it really being around general guidance, the recommendation as to how we should be going about things and thinking about the future. And so, whether you are a client in the context of the insurance industry or working with your colleagues, or our partners, understanding the challenges that they have in their business and opportunities they have, the principle of advice is ever-present.
So it’s always playing a part in how we think about things. What is important for us to realize is also the responsibility we hold. Understanding whom you are getting advice from and whose advice to trust. So it is very much a two way street between all stakeholders, right down to the client. For us, the kind of critical point is, how we put our brokers in the strongest position to give the right advice to their clients.