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It was great experience recording today’s episode because it was the first time since the Covid 19 crisis began that I was able to do an interview face to face instead of a video call.
And it seemed even more poignant that this first face to face interview should be at Lloyd’s – the only physical marketplace where insurance is traded by multiple counterparties all in the same room.
Technology has been a saviour for all of us in these difficult times, but I think this interview shows that there are some elements of genuine human social interaction that it can never replace.
Tasked with turning the market’s performance around and driving through a revolutionary programme of reform, John Neal has needed all his charm and skills of communication to convince the market to change the way it does almost everything.
Here you can see his skills to great effect.
He is incredibly personable, approachable and down to earth and certainly doesn’t get angered by any of my more provocative questions. Or at least if he does he doesn’t show it.
Instead the main weapon he deploys is a stark honesty and candidness that is refreshing and endearing.
In our time together we discuss the Lloyd’s 2021 business planning process and whether Lloyd’s is striking the right balance between performance and growth, the coming revolution from the imminent Blueprint 2 reform plans, what makes a good underwriter, personal conduct and the impact of the culture survey, climate change and the insurance of fossil fuels, the potential impact of the Aon-Willis merger on the market and John’s personal feelings about his role.
I didn’t cut anything out because it’s all too good to miss.
I also didn’t over edit it, because I wanted you to be able feel that you too are inside number 1 Lime street on the 11th floor, sitting in with John and I as the recorders are switched on and the discussion gets going.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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