One of the industry’s biggest advocates for digital changes talks about preparing for the tech revolution
Scor chief information officer Régis Delayat has been a driving force for the French (re)insurer’s innovation strategy for the past 25 years. Regis joined SCOR in 1982 as an IT Project Manager and went on to become head of developments and France CIO. From there, he appointed Group CIO in 1992, he led the transformation of the SCOR information system. He also championed globalisation and strong partnership with business.
With this background, Delayat was well-placed as a lead for Ruschlikon – the broker and reinsurer association created to develop e-processing in reinsurance administration – for which he was elected chair in 2014.
Fast forward to 2018 and we have an industry on the cusp of normalising the initiatives that Delayat has been advocating; blockchain has moved from the realms of buzzword to boardroom and is set to have a profound impact across the piece.
Delayat speaks to Global Reinsurance editor Samera Owusu Tutu about what this all means moving forward, and how Scor is helping to reshape the industry.
What impact could blockchain technology have on the growth and development of the (re)insurance sectors in emerging markets?
Blockchain technology is impacting markets worldwide, both mature and emerging. B3i’s motto – “More insurance, less administration” – speaks to the changes it’s creating in the industry via administrative cost savings, dematerialized processes, accelerated cash-flows, data quality improvement and operational risk reduction. In benefitting from the optimal management of premium, claims and settlements, the industry will be able to provide more affordable insurance that is increasingly focused on risk prevention, coverage and on the client experience. Blockchain will automate and secure interactions in the (re)insurance sector and the service will be available to any player in any market at any given time. B3i will not only enable emerging markets to be on the same page as mature ones, but it will be a full platform that could efficiently take over existing legacy systems.
What are the biggest hurdles to moving to a paperless system in developed markets like London and Europe?
London is more automated than certain other markets but is still suffering from Londonisms and the various ways of managing Bureau and non-Bureau businesses. The London Market Group TOM modernization program is addressing those limitations and inefficiencies.
In other developed markets in the U.S., Europe and Asia, the first hurdle to implementing paperless reinsurance processes is the lack of urgency for most of the cedents: volumes are too low compared to other areas of their activity to justify investing in the implementation. Brokers and reinsurers are more committed to develop e-processing, but those working with a global system are better prepared than those running multiple legacy systems. Insurance groups may face the same difficulty for their intra-group retrocession. Lastly, implementing dematerialized exchanges requires a hefty initial effort and the mobilization of scarce skilled resources.
How important is understanding cryptocurrencies when exploring the integration of blockchain?
To explore the integration of blockchain, we need to fully understand how the blockchain technology works, not how cryptocurrencies work. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies run on public blockchain, whereas B3i is designed to be a permissioned blockchain accessible only by players of the insurance ecosystem. B3i’s ultimate goal is to support all industry interactions along the whole value chain, which at some point will involve banks.