tv Leaders with Lacqua Bloomberg September 24, 2016 4:30am-5:01am EDT
collapsed, the company survived with him at the helm. then, he has improved the company's cash flow and strengthen the balance sheet. mark, thank you so much. i'm looking forward to hearing your story. you have been in business for such a long time. what was the most stressful? doesn't seem like a long time. one that really sticks out was the day aig collapsed. you wake up in the morning and outside the window, cameras in , every branch we had around asia, you realize when you have not been to bed that night, there were a few issues going on. that is what sticks in the mind. regulators, governments, customers, what do you do? you do?: what did
you were in early morning and realized this was happening. who is the first person you call? >> the first people you call her the people you trust on your team. to find out everything you are doing. all of the fans have been running in business. there is a british prime minister in the 50's or 60's, you remember him of course. someone asked him the question once, what blows you off course? said, events my boy. winds blowright, the you off course. asked mike tyson, they said people have a plan to be cute. he said all my opponents have a -- until i'dme and
punch them in the mouth. as a ceo, you get punched in your metaphorical mouth, whether economics, government changes and regulation, issues, competitors. you have to be able to adapt there. francine: hardly anyone saw the financial crisis coming. what has it taught you? how could that have happened, is it that regulators did not know how to grapple with it or is it the fact that we are still suffering and eight years out? mark: i think it touches that -- teaches that good times give way to bad times. we had at the time, converted a lot of aia balance sheets into cash. it -- markets are short-term. -- as leadersee
and media and governments and other stakeholders, we have to think longer-term. as countries and economies and businesses, we still have to win. francine: our central banks short-term too? mark: absolutely. when you have a look at policies and other things, i think there needs to be a longer-term perspective. central bankers say it is impossible, the economy would have been a real mess up we had not stepped in. well, interest rates are a key facet. theynot sure what question are trying to answer. ahead of 2008, the debt and the housing market, but many countries around the world don't
have those same economic dynamics. what are they trying to answer? what we need to stimulate is investment in the economy and infrastructure. invest asld love to long as we have the right environment, terms, and regulation and capital requirements. it is a big step from where we are. francine: why have we not done it? we talk about fiscal, the a load that will save us, when we could edit -- have done it 3-5 years ago. mark: that is a good question. again.ht have to ask we can give a step forward. as you said, we have 50 philip -- 50 billion pounds in fund, an appetite to invest more. but we need more construction risk, capital requirements sorted out to make them more effective. we need good infrastructure we can invest.
insurance companies, pension funds, have the longest assets or liabilities of anyone. if we do that, it is good. is it almost like a perverse good thing about exiting the world stage? think it is a brexit phenomenon, we need more infrastructure. we need more real jobs. economy.ore we love the u k, we have been here for 320 years. we want to invest in the u k, we just want help. industry the insurance , in general, negative rates. if i had talked to many investors, they would say you are a large insurance company so obviously this concerns you.
we took a chance when the sun was shining. we have been one of the stronger balance sheets in europe. what we have also done is ventilated ourselves from low interest rates. we do not have guarantees in our products. most investors think large insurance companies are impacted by rates but that is like saying all cars perform the same in weather. this performsike well, low interest rates don't have the same impact for us. francine: is that love for planning? mark: a little bit of both. with plenty of capital, we have a wonderful balance sheet that is helpful. saw rates, wewe structured our business to be more resilient. if market seems --francine:
you had an elevator pitch to them -- central banker to help rates --r band central negative rates, what would you say? mark: i would say what question are you trying to solve with negative rates and how will we invest in the real economy to create real jobs? and if you can answer that second question, maybe you do not need the first. francine: do we need to set -- change the mandate of central banks? at the end of the day, the citizens they would present, that they should be tried to be targeted? mark: i actually think the mandate of central banks is fine. it is -- the central bank in europe are quite impressive individuals. but they cannot do it by themselves. this is a combination of central bank and government policy and a combination of people like me
♪ francine: welcome to leaders. since mark wilson became the ceo, he has begun boosting cast generation -- cast generation. he has also been on a buying street. group inchased life the biggest deal in 15 years. thank you for joining us. if you had to build aviva from scratch, what would it look like? wek: the way i look at how i have had this discussion a lot,
if you let venture capitalists, and you came into our meeting, you say, look you have 5.5 billion pounds to spend on expenses every year, would you do the same thing? if you wanted to build the best insurance company in the world, the answer is you probably would not. i asked the question, then why are we doing those things? is keep a fewo things. you cannot beat 320 years of history. a marketable competitive advantage, people with technical and -- expertise through the business, i would modernize it. i would make it simpler, much more digital, and i would make more focused going forward. that is what we are trying to do. focus on digital, the insurance is in thelobally
stone age when it comes to digital. think i would've invented fire, the wheel, we have a lot of tools and we need to see what we can build. francine: how do we choose our insurance? online, is it generally a male customer that goes online and does it for a household? do i pick the cheapest, a name that i recognize? essentially, over the last -- either you are a car insurer, house insurer, i believe the next decade is all all of thosecall things together. the digital world, what customers are saying they want is simplicity, they wanted digital, be rewarded for loyalty and we can do it cheaper, we are
more capital efficient the way it works. thing a large come being insurer base,h a large company several advantages to that. data, weve all the know the length of your driveway, we know the pipes in your house, we have all of that data available to us and can use them as models. it is also about the brand, the capital efficient. -- much more capital efficient and i think the next decade is about insurers globally. there is one key focus and it is all about digital. up a digital garage in london and singapore, we spent a lot of money on it. ponytails and tech
backgrounds. it is a different way of working, assets become quite iconic. i spend a couple of days of week down there. i am dressed in a jeans as well. no ponytail, if i wore one of these, they would it probably throw me out. it is about making iconic changing culture. francine: what do i want to see ?ue mark: you want it simple. you want to know if we are going to give you a discount on your home insurance. costs than to a new come -- customer.
a big cost advantage gives us a strategic position. we are going to do it at a better price, we are a low-cost simpler, we're making it and we can pre-underwrite. don't need all these forms, three clicks and you get your home insurance. we already have all the data. this is the revolution in insurance. we have all of our systems talking to each other. are 320 years old, all of our systems talk to each other. make no mistake, digital is the future. francine: are the chinese there yet? mark: china is an interesting market. they are going through some economic tough periods. -- shanghai aigh sabbatical. the second 20 years of single-digit, it is growing each year. but i am still able on china. -- a bull on china.
low growth environment of 3-5%. -- bull.ina bowl francine: volunteer the short term? mark: i think you will have volatility in china until 2020. which is aligned with chinese strategy is very simple. it is about being disruptive. distribution fundamentally differently. is0% name we call which extraordinary. brand, the system, the people, and we want to be disruptive with some of the established buyers. francine: are you worried about regulation in china?
hurting insurance companies through capital outflows? for companies like us based in the u.k., increased regulation in asia is inevitable. i see that as an opportunity as us. we are used to working in environments. regulator has got -- done a good job of modernizing the industry, long-term. francine: what is the regulator you get along with most? i like getting close and understanding what they want. they want to protect customers and so do we. they want to make customers more secure, so do we. my deal is get close. relationships long before you need them.
we have been close for a long time and there are wonderful regulators in asia. we had some great discussions. when you needed regulators, they were there. francine: what surprises you the most in your business? i will take you what surprised me. u.k., are meant to be very honest, especially if you are in italian, that is how you see them, have the highest number of frauds in europe. is that right? mark: absolutely. i will give you stats. higher -- 27%7 higher than france. the insurance fort here is higher than other parts of asia. disgrace, itnal has to stop and i applaud the moves by the government to stamp down on bodily injury fall. and the draft legislation
passed. the impact on u.k. consumers alone is about 50 pounds per motor insurance policy per year. it does not impact us. we will not make one more pound, this is good for consumers, the industry, the u.k., and i do applaud the government. francine: mark, thank you so much. we followed 30,000 employees, we asked mark wilson about his leadership style. that is next.
how do you instill passion to your employees? mark: sustainability and climate change is a key part of civilization. it rises from self interest. an investor and businesses that has liability -- viability and 30 to 50 years. if we do not do it, it is our duty. if we don't get it right, will be the biggest failure of all-time. business is not just about making money. it is subjective. but no one survives just to make money. social purpose. i believe the answer to sustainability in the global sustainable development goal from the u.n., look at it this way -- francine: have you always felt this way? zealand andom new it probably has influenced my
belief. as leaders, we have to have an impact on this stuff. in the short-term, there is a disease that pervades business globally, has not -- got to be stamped out. i saw the unacceptable face of capitalism, i saw that capitalism could bring hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. businesses like us can make all the difference. francine: what kind of leader are you? mark: i am easy to work for. no doubt about it. i am probably a bit impatient, butlievably demanding, there is a word in new zealand, it is all about being a leader that does the right thing for the group with a conscience. the leader that has respect for those they are working with. that is probably need. but i look for people i work with to have attributes i look
for. two are about intellect. given issue to a smart person and they will sort it out. second, values. not values in the traditional sense. of course you have to have that. i mean values to the business. --have four, one is create c legacy. you are going to be just by history. next one is never rest. always be unhappy. always be unhappy with the status quo, have a business culture that means your very best is not good enough. the third is caremark. do the right thing -- care more. is there a device you would give yourself? say trust your
judgment and learn more. i have always been impatient. perhaps i should have more patience. just enjoy it as you go along. i enjoy what i do. i love the industry, i love business, it is what i'd wake up thinking about, it is what i go a -- to bed thinking about. francine: what do you not like? mark: arrogance and incompetence tied up together. francine: that is quite a combo. mark: i don't like crisis and consensus. two words that don't go together. andmuch in business politics we strive for consensus. francine: is there someone you admire? or look up to? mark: probably not specific individuals that organizations. i think business and sports have a lot in common.
the things they all have together. they have icons, leaf systems, values, and rituals. ritual -- the belief is that they can never lose. in religion and business, they have those same three things. francine: where do i see you in five years? mark: we have not done the transform face yet, we have so much work to do. i enjoy the impact we have on the u.k. and on some global economies. francine: and london? mark: i love london and as it does not change that. most people would not realize that the cultural new zealand in london is remarkably simple -- culture in new zealand and london is remarkably similar. the culture here are remarkably
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