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The TOM programme is a great catalyst in modernising the London Market, says Kim Darrington, Senior Market Modernisation Executive for the International Underwriting Association of London (IUA).
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The shape of things to come

The TOM programme is a great catalyst in modernising the London Market, says Kim Darrington, Senior Market Modernisation Executive for the International Underwriting Association of London (IUA).

“London Market insurance is one of the UK’s most successful exports and we need to make sure that it stays that way,” says Kim Darrington, Senior Market Modernisation Executive for the International Underwriting Association of London (IUA).

The IUA is the association which represents insurance and reinsurance companies in the London Market outside of Lloyd’s. Its members are diverse and range from huge multinationals through to smaller specialist carriers. Kim is responsible for ensuring that their interests are represented when it comes to market modernisation and spends a significant amount of her time working with the TOM programme. This role can be challenging, acknowledges Kim, who joined the IUA just over a year ago. However, her varied insurance background has provided invaluable experience.

Shape of the market

After spending several years in loss adjusting and claims Kim moved to work on change programmes within insurance. “My claims and loss adjusting experience has been key to understanding the importance of getting back-office processes right. The systems work furiously hard in the background allowing other departments to run smoothly and go about their business. The TOM programme is bringing clarity as to how future technology and processes will work together which will build on the strengths of the London Market and its diverse and expert insurers,” explains Kim. “The TOM is a huge piece of work and is changing the shape of the market. It is incredibly exciting to be involved in such a ground-breaking project which is continuing the London Market’s tradition of innovation.”

Kim attends various project change committees, representing the IUA, across the range of TOM workstreams. These include Central Services Refresh Programme, Delegated Authority, Placing Platform Limited and Data Integration. Kim also attends working committees for IMR and Ruschlikon on behalf of the IUA.

Cross-market concerns

“We discuss progress across the TOM workstreams at a high level at the project board meetings that I attend. I give feedback from IUA members at these meetings about individual and cross-market concerns – what is working and what isn’t, what needs to happen and when – and ensure that the workstreams work with any developments in-house at IUA member firms,” explains Kim.

IUA members are an excellent source of knowledge and expertise and Kim works hard to ensure that these skills are harnessed by the TOM programme. However, persuading IUA members to give up their time to contribute to the various workstreams can sometimes, acknowledges Kim, be challenging.

“Everybody has a day job – they are measured on the output of that job, so any time that they offer up to the TOM is in addition to what they are expected to accomplish internally. Our members are very generous with their time, skills and experience which is invaluable in driving TOM forwards but we can never take this for granted,” she explains.

Holistic approach

Kim and the modernisation team at the IUA take a holistic approach to the TOM programme which is helping to add real value across the various workstreams. “The IUA has a complete horizontal view of the TOM which is important when it comes to understanding how all the individual components work together,” notes Kim. “For example, at the beginning of the project the link between Structured Data Capture and Placing Platform Limited wasn’t developed but the market now stands to benefit from this as one is used to provide back-office integration for the other. This type of cross-market solution is invaluable.

We mustn’t forget that the TOM isn’t mandatory and that the market is paying for the programme. Ensuring that it brings as much benefit to the market as possible, and that its delivery is timely, is crucial to its support and success,” she adds.

Sometimes criticised for a reluctance to embrace change, Kim believes that the London Market is now working really hard to move forwards and that the TOM is a catalyst for this. “We need to retain the best of our traditions and embrace the opportunities that new developments bring. London has a proud history of innovation which is vital to its continued success and the IUA is delighted that we can contribute to this,” says Kim.

Box out 

  • Describe your role in three words? Testing, exciting and rewarding.
  • What do you enjoy most about your job?  Meeting inspirational, talented and incredibly nice people.
  • What is the best thing about the London Market?  Its enduring ability to innovate.
  • Describe your perfect day. Beach, kitesurfing, music and cocktails.