Bill talks us through a ‘typical’ day at work
8.00am – Train to London for 9.30 meeting with a broker near the City. The Unum Sales Consultant has already talked to them about our market insight capability, and this ‘silicon specialist’ intermediary is now keen to find new IT and digital employers around east London and the M4 corridor. I’m often struck by how many of our intermediaries have specialisms in specific industries or trade groups – which means my team can focus on how to help them find more growth. IT and digital is a market segment we identified as one of the top 6 industries when my team modelled market potential for our new Chief Marketing Officer last year – so we’re very keen to support this broker.
9.30am – At the broker's offices. I’m introduced to the Business Development Director (one of the founders) and the Sales Director. I explain how we have over 600,000 UK employers on our database and that we have a 'propensity to buy' model that predicts those who are most likely to find Group Risk solutions relevant to their business needs. I give them a list of high propensity IT and digital employers to help target new prospects – I’m delighted when he recognises several as already being his clients but for other products. Many prospects are completely unknown – so there are some new ideas for the broker.
11.00am – At the Unum London sales office behind Moorgate – great views, great team. I call my home office in Dorking. My team of 5 is composed of smart young data scientists including a stats PhD, an economist, a physicist, and a zoologist... by degree anyway! I get an update on work underway at the moment: a segmentation study to help with some strategy work, a Brexit risk study tracking job relocation at our largest clients, a study of UK clients which have significant affiliates in the US or Europe, and some routine but crucial data quality work.
12.00pm – Check emails and eat a sandwich brought from home (I don't always have time to queue!). Emails include requests from sales consultants asking for industry benchmark studies for their brokers – a service my team has developed to help intermediaries look at typical scheme designs for different industry types and different sizes of employers. I’ve also got an email from a university about some work to develop new insight techniques and there’s a note about changing my volunteering slot with Citizen's Advice this week. (I usually volunteer on Thursday evenings to help welfare benefit and debt clients.)
2.00pm – Head off with one of our senior Key Account Consultants to call on one of our big Employee Benefit Consultants. The intermediary has a number of advisors in London today and we are talking about how Defined Benefit Pension Plan restructures can create disability insurance needs – which we can plug through Group Income Protection. It’s an area I'm really passionate about partly because I'm a trustee for our own Unum pension scheme, and partly because my team has done some great analytics in this area. One of the challenges for this particular intermediary is how they can connect their actuarial and employee benefits arms together so that they can identify where Group Income Protection might help.
4.00pm – Kings Cross. I escape town before the flood tide and do some work on the train to Leeds – prep for an early meeting there tomorrow with an intermediary who is interested in its American-owned clients and what insurance they have in place in the US. We tap into our Unum US colleagues who can source all the data we need. I like the broker's way of thinking: “If employees have this benefit in the US, why not in the UK?”
7pm – I’m at my hotel near Leeds station. One of my staff works late afternoons and evenings as it suits his other commitments – I call him and we discuss a ‘family tree’ analysis he is doing to help a broker better understand cross-sale opportunities in other subsidiaries of one of his clients. That’ll do for today!