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Tell me about your role as Arc Legal’s Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Arc Legal Group, I’m responsible for all internal functions which support the wider business, including Finance, Operations, IT, Facilities and Human Resources. Arc Legal is part of AmTrust International, and I spend a lot of time working in partnership with the wider group, leveraging our shared skills, knowledge, and infrastructure to optimise our business.

Day to day, I work closely with our Commercial and Customer facing operations to ensure we’re delivering an optimum service to our customers through identifying improvements and adopting change programmes to provide a consistent service.

Can you tell me a bit about your background?

My background is predominantly in insurance and change management although in recent years I’ve worked at a leading Fintech delivering regulatory change activity in a post-Brexit environment. Before joining Arc Legal I was the Transformation Director for a bank, delivering the integration of three legacy businesses into a single brand identity.

My roles are always hands-on, with a strong focus on delivering tangible results; when blueprints for change are agreed, I will ensure delivery.

What are your top strategic priorities for Arc Legal for 2024?

Our top priority remains to deliver quality ancillary products and services with excellent customer service. This requires extensive teamwork across the whole organisation, and though much of this delivery is underpinned by technology, our Customer Service Teams play a vital role in using these systems to deliver solutions to support customers.

2024 will see us complete a year-long project to ensure our technology is fit for the future, and in Q1 we commence the migration of our legacy telephony platforms to a single customer experience solution. This will allow us to bring all customer contact methods together providing the platform to leverage customer digital self-service as well as emerging technologies such as AI-powered information and guidance.

Another key strategic development for this year is the collection of full risk information for our products. While historically, focus has been on those customers unfortunate enough to require our claims service, we recognise the need to understand in detail the entire customer portfolio to ensure their needs are being addressed through our products and services, not just in the delivery of fair value but also through customer interactions.

Home Emergency is another key area of growth for us, and we’ll be investing in the development of a Customer Portal for claims management and tracking to ensure our customers are able to interact with us in a way that suits them and receive updates on the progress of their claims.

You have extensive experience in driving transformation – what are the key ingredients for successful business change?

People, communication, and a clear objective.

The objective for change must be crystal clear as often the ‘vision’ is open to interpretation and requires ownership by a Project Sponsor who is engaged in delivery.

Structuring a change programme effectively, engaging the right resources, clear communication and regular reviews are critical to successful delivery, but this also requires day-to-day guidance and leadership from a Programme or Project Manager reporting into the Sponsor.

Pragmatic thinking and compromise are often required, and every project will need to be cognisant of this to deliver within the constraints of time, resource, and budget.

Culture is one of the biggest factors in transformation – how do you bring people with you on the journey?

My style is to lead from the front (usually noisily), and this is critical to ensure the delivery of successful business change. I have never shied away from responsibility, and I’m never one to hold back on my opinion; calling out the exact position on projects and programmes is key to ensuring successful delivery.

Change is a team game and I’ve built and managed successful teams across my career. I hope I’ve helped to develop the skills and knowledge of a number of people and recognise that there are many roles in a successful transformation team and helping people to find their niche is important.

I’m a ‘jack of all trades’ but rely heavily on specialist SMEs to bring the detailed knowledge to change programmes, and I’d like to think I can give those who may often feel their voice is lost in the crowd, the chance to drive significant and meaningful change in their specialist areas.

How does insurance compare to other sectors you’ve worked in?

Insurance is a long-established industry and change happens at a more measured pace compared to other industries.

Fintechs are agile and energetic, seeking to disrupt, grow and leverage new and emerging technologies. This is possible without the legacy system and processes of more established organisations but as they grow, they can experience growing pains and benefit from the learnings of other industries and organisations.

While banking is also long-established, the level of regulation and the volume of transactions requires investment in customers and systems at a volume and pace that’s significant. This is required to ensure customer service remains relevant and compliant in a highly competitive market where initiatives such as ‘open banking’ are helping to ‘raise the bar.’

Insurance is ‘playing catch up’ to an extent but this allows us to leverage leading, rather than ‘bleeding,’ technologies from other industries to progress.

What are you enjoying most about Arc Legal?

No two days have been the same since I joined Arc Legal in April last year. As well as building out our Operations Team with new talent, I’ve led the extension of our commitments to locations in Cardiff and Colchester while seeking to finalise a new office in Brierly Hill. Our people are key to our success and the working environment needs to support effective working for the days when colleagues are working together in our offices.

Fast-forward to December 31st 2024 – how will you know you’ve had a great year?

The new telephony system and risk bordereau platforms will be in daily use without issue. Arc Legal’s new Home Emergency Customer Portal will be delivering enhanced customer experience and all my colleagues have enjoyed a great 2024, meeting their personal objectives with the support of the Arc Legal Management Team.

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