Well, what a great week. This week I have been fortunate to participate in the Lloyd’s Global Development Centre – Autumn Worldwide Program entitled Understanding Uncertainty In A Rapidly Changing World.
Twenty six people attended the program, representing 14 different countries being Australia (1), Brazil (3), Chile (2), Dubai (3), India (1), Ireland (1), Lebanon (1) Oman (1) Poland (3) Portugal (5) Saudi Arabia (2) South Korea (1) UK (1) and Zimbabwe (1).
Walking in to the room felt like entering a United Nations meeting with name tags alongside your respective national flag.
Over the 5 days of the program we covered off areas such as a history to Lloyds, autonomous vehicles, drones, cyber, construction, risk transfer in a shared economy (think Uber & Airbnb) and data within the insurance industry. We also had the opportunity to experience sitting in an underwriters box for a morning with brokers present slips from around the world. It is quite a unique environment were brokers line up to see underwriters on a first come, first serve basis with no bookings allowed.
During the course of the week we had a formal dinner in the Adam Room with the Deputy Chairman of Lloyd’s Mr Paul Jardine hosting along with other course guests. This was a very memorable and swanky occasion as not many people get to dine in the Adam Room, in fact, you can work at Lloyd’s your entire career and not dine in the room.
We also attended 2 external dinner venues as a group in what were nights of great collegiality. Sharing a dinner table with people from around the world is something that I have never had the opportunity to do and it offers such a great opportunity to look through a window at other people’s lives. Being a female in Lebanon or other Gulf countries, or living in Zimbabwe, Dubai or Poland is so vastly different to life in Australia that you can share the experience for hours. These dinners also led to after dinner drinks which invariably invoked the old joke “an Aussie, an Englishman and an Irishman all walked into a bar….” as we all walked in to a bar together.
On the Tuesday afternoon I attended Chatham House with Richard Johnston from RFIB. This is a members only venue and the venue that inspired the Chatham House Rule which is often invoked in meetings. General Sir Nicholas Carter (Chief of the General Staff, British Army) presented on Change and Adaptability within the British Army. He presented a formal speech which could be publicised for 30 minutes before taking questions from the floor under Chatham House Rule for 30 minutes. As you would expect for someone in his position, he was a most impressive person. We then went to Fenchurch Restaurant which is on the 37th floor of the walkie talkie building and contains a Sky Garden with views over London. It is a simply magnificent venue and a great way to end the evening.
This week at Lloyd’s has provided me with a wonderful opportunity to enhance my knowledge, not just of the insurance industry but also the world. Over the last 2 weeks I have been given the opportunity to meet so many terrific people who have gone out of their way to provide me with opportunities and new experiences. A great moment to cherish.