Next Gen in the City

My name is Eni, the new Innovation Executive at EDII. As a recent graduate in Innovation Management at Master’s level, I joined EDII to bring a new and fresh perspective to the crew.

I am also here to help bring innovative tools and techniques to our clients, many of which are in the insurance market. So, you could definitely say that innovation is my thing, but in all honesty, specialty insurance is new to me!

Luckily though, I was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime and I jumped at the chance to join an Insight day, organised by EDII’s Laura Cullen, with our EDII Digital Minds Next Generation delegates to learn more.

Now you may ask… What is a Next Generation delegate?

Well, EDII believes that innovation comes from a whole cross-section of experience, and that’s where our Next Generation (we call them Next Gen) delegates come in. We have a partnership with London Works and ELBA, the East London Business Alliance, to help young talent from London’s low social capital families and those without the traditional access routes to get the opportunity to really build innovation and change skills, and learn how they can help the insurance world stay on top.

Our Next Gen delegates are part of the EDII community. Our last cohort resulted in a Next Gen delegate gaining a full-time role with the amazing Insurtech Queen, Sabine VanderLinden.

Our most recent Digital Minds cohort has brought in three massively motivated individuals, Nosheen Masud, Filip Rudnicki, and Nazrin Ysmailova, sponsored by Markel International and BMS Group. They’re taking part in EDII’s Digital Minds programme, working alongside some really experienced people, to learn about the insurance market and like me, bring their unique perspectives to it.

So on to our insight day. I must say the insight day was very Inspiring and impactful. It really left a positive taste in the mouth of everyone, with what was an action-packed insurance day! Loosely based on a ‘Day in the life of an Underwriter’, Team EDII and our Next Gen delegates were joined by Digital Minds Alumni Advisors Ben Navarro-Hunt from Aviva, and Alistair Blundy from Allianz Global Corporate Specialty (AGCS) as they shared their remarkable knowledge, journeys, and experiences.

Photo was by Laura Cullen at the Aviva Building located on St Helen’s 1. From right to left; Nosheen Masud, Filip Rudnicki, Nazrin Ysmailova, Eni Ajani, Alistair Blundy, Ben Navarro-Hunt.

With the introduction of Next-Gen delegates I must admit that EDII is successfully immersing diverse talent into the market, and our response should be to embrace it. My route into the market was through people giving up their time over coffee and helping me expand my network. It’s a privilege to be given the chance to do the same for others, especially when they are bright, keen and able to bring new perspectives.

Alistair Blundy

Underwriter - Aerospace, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS)

Ben and Alistair talked about how they got their start in insurance and what their role looks like on a typical day (of course, the answer is there isn’t often a typical day, by the way!).

Something that particularly interested me was just how big the London insurance market has grown and the vast number of lines of business within the Specialty market. From the origins of marine insurance to flood coverage, aviation, cyber, all the way to policies covering the event of becoming a werewolf!

We then headed across the road to Lloyd’s of London, to dive into how face-to-face insurance business is written and managed in today’s world. Which I learned was originally influenced by Edward Lloyd’s Coffee House which was first mentioned in 1688.

We got to see the syndicates at work and see some of the traditions Lloyd’s is famous for. (Apparently, I wouldn’t have been let in a few years ago, as I didn’t have a tie with me!).

Seeing the industry in action has inspired our Next Gen delegates – and me – to help it continue to grow and build on the amazing work that has been done already, by bringing new ideas and perspectives to the specialty insurance field as diversity leads to more creative ideas and problem-solving.

I’d like to give thanks to Alistair Blundy and Ben Navarro-Hunt for sharing their time so generously. 

And my lasting thought? To help people pronounce EDII right, I always say “Are you ready, for EDII?

And now with the Next Gen delegates, I can say “insurance industry get ready, for EDII – and for us!”

Photo was taken by Laura Cullen at Lloyd’s of London
From left to right; Filip Rudnicki, Nosheen Masud, Nazrin Ysmailova, Eni Ajani, Alistair Blundy.

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