Blog articles

Friday, 30 March 2012

For some time now, ICMIF has been promoting member engagement as one of the key competencies necessary for running a successful cooperative and mutual business. But it is clear that certain membership models make it easier to engage than others. So what challenges do the various models present and what are ICMIF members doing to address them?

It is pleasing to see that The Ownership Commission Report (recently published in the UK) is promoting the virtues of member engagement. The report will be used as a public policy document to encourage wider use of the employee ownership model particularly to deliver public services.

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Thursday, 22 March 2012

I’m a big fan of the Financial Times (FT). It is well respected globally and is an excellent source of business information, However, I recently read with mounting concern an article headlined as Delay for Co-op move on Lloyds’ branches.

It stated that the UK regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) was delaying approval of the Co-operative Group’s acquisition of 630 bank branches of the Lloyds Banking Group because, in its opinion, the governance of the Cooperative Group was too weak to run such a large bank. The FT stated that "the mutual comes under pressure to overhaul its board, which includes a Methodist minister, a...

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

More than a billion people worldwide are now customer members of mutuals and cooperatives. It’s therefore unsurprising that our members continue to develop innovative ways to leverage customer benefits that are unique to the cooperative and mutual sector.

Take Australia, for example. Never has ICMIF’s mantra ‘Its Our Time’ been more relevant.

MDA National, a medical indemnity insurer for doctors, is now implementing the insights and ideas captured by their Head of Marketing, Michelle Finnigan, after she attended the ICMIF Marketing and Communications Network last December. MDA were already doing great work on their member...

Thursday, 08 March 2012

If you want fast access to unique intelligence about the cooperative/mutual insurance market, follow this new ‘ICMIF InSider’ blog on the ICMIF web site. I will be sharing the latest findings from my global research across ICMIF’s membership, research which I believe can enhance your competitive position and help grow your business, and which you cannot find elsewhere. In my blogs, I’ll be sharing the key conclusions from a new series of short papers, ‘ICMIF InSights’. These are topical, short papers, aimed at busy decision-makers like you, which I’ve designed to highlight key management issues we all need to consider, to aid our...

Thursday, 01 March 2012

I’m just back from an exhilarating, if short, trip to Australia. The main purpose of the trip was to run a strategy day for the board and senior management of Unimutual. They wanted to learn about mutual strategies adopted by other ICMIF members with a view to further improving their unique business.

Unimutual provides commercial insurance cover for 23 Australian universities. The risks covered are vast, varied and complicated and whilst there are only 23 members, the challenge to embed mutual strategies and member engagement is not easy as university personnel constantly change and competition for their business is intense.

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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

As you would expect, as I travel around around the globe, I do a lot of reflecting about our collective impact.

Insurers are in the business of giving customers peace of mind. So during these particularly difficult times of economic uncertainty, political unrest and catastrophic natural and manmade events how can our values-based movement play a more significant role?

Earlier this month, leading economist and author, Noreena Hertz spoke at the Ethical Plan re-launch for The Cooperative Group about a growing global rejection for what she calls ‘Gucci Capitalism’ ie the phenomenon where the poor go into devastating debt to...

Friday, 10 February 2012

The short answer is YES it really does and the numbers prove it.

Next week I am running a strategy session for one of our Australian members. Their goal is to embed mutual values in all areas of their business. We will be discussing how to market our values to stakeholders in the mutual sector and how to help our member owners derive maximum value from our unique business model. We’ll discuss everything from strategic direction on branding and communications to corporate social responsibility.

This strategic discussion around mutuality has been gathering pace among many ICMIF members in the last few years. Indeed many of the...

Wednesday, 01 February 2012

So after all the hype following British Prime Minister, David Cameron’s 'Popular Capitalism' speech, has a new era for modern capitalism finally arrived in Westminster? Not quite.

After the new Cooperative Bill was announced, Cameron was quizzed about what he intended to do about the ongoing issue regarding excessive executive pay for average performance. We were told to expect an announcement from Business Secretary, Vince Cable.

On Monday last week Vince took the stage, a day earlier than expected, to reveal what was being touted as the biggest shake-up in corporate pay in a decade. Hurrah, thought I! However, one of the...

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Last Thursday I had the great privilege of being amongst a select group of cooperative leaders, including the ICA’s Dame Pauline Green, who witnessed UK Prime Minister, David Cameron admit to the failures of the capitalist model and announce long awaited reform of cooperative legislation.

Branding his vision ‘popular capitalism’ he briefed us, along with the UK media, in the rather understated ‘Westminster Hub,’ a mutual-owned venue favoured by the entrepreneurial crowd. He was keen to tackle the recent failures of capitalism, citing ‘more enterprise, more competition and more innovation’ as the way forward and emphasising that...

Friday, 12 August 2011

In July of this year Syed Moheeb, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Takaful Ikhlas, one of ICMIF’s Malaysian members, was awarded Global Leadership Award 2011 from The Leaders Magazine (TLM) supported by The American Leadership Association (ALDA).

An interview with Syed Moheeb was featured in ICMIF’s Voice publication earlier this year (Voice 70) and Syed is also a member of the ICMIF Board. Syed has been in the insurance and Takaful industry for 36 years and has led a number of local and multi-national direct insurance as well as re-insurance companies. Syed’s comments on the award were:

“Personally, this award...

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