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Catherine Lesourd (WTW): Two Centuries of Changing with the Market

 

After nearly two centuries of activity in the insurance market worldwide, WTW brings a lot of experience to the table. We talked with Catherine Lesourd, Managing Director Belgium and Luxemburg, about what the company’s future holds.

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Experience Rooted in History

 

With roots dating back to 1828, WTW has a long history in the field of insurance. And with over 45,000 colleagues working in more than 140 countries and markets, it currently has extensive reach. “WTW is bold, fearless, optimistic, dynamic, and incisive,” Lesourd explains. “We provide data-driven, insight-led solutions in the areas of people, risk, and capital that make your organization more resilient, motivate your workforce, and maximize performance.” Luxembourg is a natural fit for a company like this, and the Duchy has acquired a strong position, reinforced by a knowledge of the Benelux risk and brokering environment and its specific challenges. “Our diverse team enables all of us to learn, educate, train, and find the best solutions for the market we serve,” Lesourd explains. “They empower me to be a great leader. The way we interact with clients and each other is inspiring.”

 

“With effort and out-of-the-box thinking, we find solutions where others stop. This is what drives us every day” 

Changing With the Times

 

One of the most important lessons any company can learn from history is how to deal with change. While Luxembourg’s financial markets are stable, that doesn’t mean that they’re unchanging. Interactions with a fast-evolving world increase complexity. “Our clients’ needs are evolving quickly,” Lesourd says. “The focus of clients has shifted from business continuity to business optimization.” What does this mean in practice? “Clients expect us to help them with identifying, analyzing, and managing their risks. They want to be informed and educated about the changing risk landscape, changing insurance market, and insurance solutions.” Technology pushes businesses and investors towards an ever-greater need for efficiency, shaping WTW’s response. “WTW has been a pioneer in the use of data for client risk analysis. The role of insurance consultancy becomes more and more critical to meet our client’s needs, such as risks quantification, enterprise risk management, and climate risk diagnosis.” Risk and analytics supports an integrated approach to risk management. Simply put, our purpose is to reduce the likelihood of claims and reduce the cost of incidents when they occur through this smart, technical approach to risk. We are a group of risk experts, technologists, and quants, including over 165 actuaries in different countries, who work in partnership with Willis Towers Watson risk advisors. Our offerings include deep expertise on specific client needs; holistic analysis to bring value through a portfolio risk strategy; and remarkable innovation: automating risk quantification to deliver a financial approach to all clients.

 

Looking to the Future

 

In this shifting market, success depends upon predicting what’s next. WTW uses its long view of the past to gain insight into the future. “One risk we will have to face is insurance market concentration,” Catherine Lesourd explains. “This market concentration could reduce capacities and reduce market competitiveness.  In Luxembourg, the number of IARD carriers is reducing, compelling us to work more and more with foreign insurers if we want to give our corporate clients access to a holistic healthy, competitive market.” We are also increasingly seeing market fluctuations in the appetite of insurers for certain risks such as cyber, fraud or environmental liability in a context of a hard reinsurance market. Brokers will have to adapt to this new dynamic. The growing strength of regulations and digitalization have also changed our way of working. “Time spent meeting regulatory requirements only grows, so we are always rethinking our processes, using automation to let us focus on our core business and provide the best services for our clients.” In the future we will have, more than ever, to capitalize on great, diversified talents and human capital. Resilience and flexibility will be two strong assets that will drive future growth and performance.

 

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