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Thursday, 18th April 2024
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A Day in the Life: financial professionals' insurance solutions Back  
As vice-president for Marsh Ireland's FinPro practice, Breege Lynn's day reflects the growing concerns among clients recognising the shift in governance standards and the higher standards expected of those running successful businesses. Her day also involves conststant comparison of terms between underwriters in the Dublin, London, Paris and other markers analysing the differences in the underwriter’s offerings taking everything from pricing to coverage grants and value added services into account and their commitment to capacity for the risk.
06.15 …and the alarm announces the start of another glorious day.

07:30 I arrive in the door and take 20 minutes getting changed before tackling the day ahead. I start by clearing emails from Marsh colleagues and clients in Ireland and around Europe before checking any previous days voicemails.
Brege Lynn



08:30 – 09:30 With the desk cleared and day planned its time to turn attention to the presentation I am giving to the Institute of Chartered Secretaries Conference on Directors’ & Officers’ Liability Insurance. Fortunately it’s just a little editing now as most of the work has been completed earlier in the week. When that’s done I stay in presentation mode and take another look at the Marsh/AIG PrivateEdge brochure about to be launched. This is a specialised product for private company Directors’ & Officers’ Liability that expert brokers such as Marsh Ireland deliver for clients. Marsh has recently negotiated exclusive provider status of the broadest version of PrivateEdge with the underwriter AIG. Overall the brochure looks good and has the key benefits about this insurance but there is something missing from the cover page.

09:30 – 12:15 I don’t know where the morning is going but the hunger is already starting to set in so I grab a snack on my way to a meeting with a client in the IFSC. It’s lashing from the heavens so I jump in a taxi and step out into the IFSC 15 minutes later. As the meeting progresses the key issue for the client emerges about the group pension scheme and any potential liabilities the client may have as a sponsoring employer. This meeting was originally prompted by a recent media article where an Irish employer and their pension scheme trustees were being sued for alleged breaches of their fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of the pension scheme. Issues like this often come up with clients and it’s really a two step process. Phase one is a fact finder and a key role for us is to help clients understand in greater detail the exposure that exists regarding pension liabilities and then phase two is to help them understand the potential insurance solutions to cater for this increasing exposure.

Once we have covered off this matter the meeting moves to a review of their existing Errors & Omissions/Professional Indemnity Coverage wording and Crime wording. We identify a need for some further enhancements to be negotiated with underwriters before the renewal is finalised. A full action list in this regard is agreed and I have committed to be back to them with a progress report within two days and there the meeting concludes.

12:15 As I tear back to the office for lunch, I can’t believe that my meeting generated so much discussion. But the issues discussed are reflective of the growing concerns among clients recognising the shift in governance standards and the higher standards expected of those running successful businesses and all that goes with it such as pension schemes. On my way back, I check in with the office to get a quick rundown of incoming emails so that I have a quick sense if there is anything urgent to be responded to. Four items need attention and I handle these e-mails en-route.

12:30 – 13.00 Out of the taxi and straight into our in-house restaurant to study the menu for lunch.

13:00 – 14:00 It’s our monthly unit meeting and the agenda for the hour is pretty packed ranging from the recent 2006 budget update for our department, compliance, underwriting market trends, client visitation, competition, new wordings, time recording and more. The meeting then concludes by dealing with any other issues within the unit. This is ideal as a forum to thrash it out any obstacles to better working practices and agree what needs to be achieved prior to the unit meeting next month. Minutes of the meeting are agreed for circulation to all the team within a week with all action points allocated. Everyone knows that they must come to the next unit meeting with their specific action points completed.

14:15 – 15:00 The unit meeting went on slightly longer than expected and by the time I get back to my desk there are a tonne of emails and voice messages to be returned. I spend the next 45 minutes returning these messages which range from mortgage brokers enquiring about Professional Indemnity Insurance to Marsh Ireland’s large multinational clients calling to see if they can get some quotes to increase the limits of insurance on their Directors’ & Officers’ Liability and Crime Insurance. In the midst of all of these messages and emails are two from our finance department and CEO confirming that the final cut off for an internal project to be submitted is Friday. This is turning into a very pressurised day!

15:00 – 16:00 The quotes for my client’s market offering have all arrived in now - bar one underwriter’s terms. I give the underwriter a call to see if they wish to put forward terms to be considered. Once I call, I discover that they are on holiday. Given the tight timescales for submission of terms that were set originally, we start reviewing the terms we have from other underwriters in the Dublin, London and Paris markets. We analyse the differences in the underwriter’s offerings taking everything from pricing to coverage grants and value added services into account and their commitment to capacity for the risk. Following this initial review one underwriter is emerging as the best market for the lead on this business but their terms are still in need of improvement before we can make the preliminary proposal to our client on Monday. I make a note of these matters and take 15 minutes to call the underwriter to confirm that overall their terms are competitive. However we need to set time aside to negotiate further on the wordings before we present formally to our client. We arrange a breakfast meeting for the next day at 07:30 in a caf? off Baggot Street.

16:00 - 16:15 I’m weak with hunger so I have a big bar of chocolate as I check my emails and voice mails again. I note one email of significance from one of my commercial clients. I review the email contents and note that they need to claim on a policy we have negotiated for them. Once I have assessed the e-mail and the policy documentation, I lodge the claim straight away with the insurance company given the requirement by insurers under this Errors & Omissions policy to lodge all claims/circumstances as soon as practicable. I also put in a call to the claims examiner at the insurance company but they are out of the office. I leave a message for them to call me when they return.

16:15 – 16:55 One of our director’s phones to see if I could pop down to his office for half an hour to discuss some matters in relation to the SoX (Sarbanes Oxley) project that I have been working on recently along with the usual day job! I know he’s under pressure regarding this so I head down immediately to chat through the various issues and we actually manage to resolve them in 15 minutes. Back to my desk to take 20 minutes to refresh my input for the sales strategy meeting that is commencing at 17:00.

17:00 – 17:45 This is really not the best time of the day to be having a sales meeting as I’m feeling pretty wrecked after a pretty full on day. I get down to sales directors office with two of my colleagues one of whom is primarily responsible for new business development within the team. We look at new business development year to date and forecasts for year end 2005. We then turn our attention to the 2006 budget and discuss the components of the new business targets set for the year ahead. Everyone agrees that it’s going to be a very tough goal to meet but the commitment is there from everyone to do everything possible to get behind it and start working on creating the pipeline for Q1 2006 as soon as possible.

17:45 - 18:00 It was time to go home a half an hour ago but at 17:45 as I’m about to race out the door, I note my voicemail is flashing so in a last burst of energy I decide to check it. Carol from facilities has confirmed in her usual promptness that my flights are booked to London for the FinPro European Leaders meeting next week and to Milan for a quarterly client meeting next month.

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