The reinsurance sector has shown itself to be well versed at navigating market-changing events, and the overriding message following recent renewals is that the market remains well positioned to support insurers through the current period of uncertainty and volatility brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several months into a global pandemic, leading organizations are redefining expectations of what is possible. Consider how offices around the world shifted virtually overnight to digitally enabled remote work. Grocery retailers and restaurants rolled out new pickup and delivery services. Hospitals rapidly expanded telehealth options. Automakers, apparel makers and mobile phone assemblers retooled on the fly and are now rushing out personal protective equipment and ventilators, according to Oliver Wyman colleagues John Romeo, Managing Partner & Head of Oliver Wyman Forum, Hanna Moukanas, Partner & France Market Leader and Greg Rung, Partner, Financial Services. Guy Carpenter is an affiliate of Oliver Wyman.
All of these scenes offer a glimpse at a new age of acceleration taking shape, in which leading companies are racing ahead to redesign strategies and operations in weeks instead of years. Many of these breakthroughs have been on chief executives’ to-do lists; now, they are being fast-tracked. A defining feature of the much-discussed new normal in business is speed: decisions are being made at a pace previously thought impossible.
The tremendous public health and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has raised the global standard for efficiency and innovation. The world can’t magically go back to the way things were before. The resilient corporations that find success in the future will be those that can continue to turn on a dime as nimbly as they have during the early months of the pandemic.
This shift is spawning a new breed of company — more capable of thriving in uncertainty with a clearer and broader sense of purpose. Corporate superstars will be able to continue to motivate people around a common goal even after the health crisis and through economic hardship. They will recalibrate quickly in response to megatrends, expand beyond traditional business lines through partnerships and improve their performance along broader environmental, social and governance metrics.
In recent months, Oliver Wyman has held discussions with dozens of the world’s top chief executives on how to build a better future and found that companies showing the most agile and resilient responses to the crisis are pursuing four main strategies.
- Prioritize people
- Make megatrends matter
- Build resilience to accelerated change
- Champion multistakeholder capitalism
The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health emergency and at Guy Carpenter we feel the gravity of our role in helping clients respond to the insurance implications for their businesses and customers.