How mutuals can differentiate to drive growth and create value

15 June 2021


Last month, ICMIF Supporting Member EY hosted a virtual event that explored key areas of differentiation for mutuals to help them drive growth and create value.

EY’s recent Global Mutual Market Scan and discussions with mutual insurers highlight opportunities for mutuals to drive long-term value, differentiate and scale growth, and create a new mutual operating model.

EY’s Global Mutual Market Scan explores various principles of differentiation for mutual insurers:

  1. Driving a purpose-led strategy is rooted in long-term thinking and value, over profitability.
  2. Being member-centric requires an owner engagement model that is unique from customer engagement.
  3. Value creation for core member segments and its periphery is critical to achieveing growth and innovation.
  4. Social and economic change across local communities and underserved segments is fundamental to brand and purpose.

The webinar also provided the opportunity to hear from senior executives from leading mutual insurance companies and Global EY Insurance leaders. ICMIF CEO Shaun Tarbuck participated in a fireside chat during the webinar, in which he explored the broader impact of mutual and cooperative insurers in society; how a focus on sustainability and long-term value is evolving the purpose-driven business model; and how ICMIF has been working with members to drive change in the industry.

“[The mutual differentiator] is all about the long-term and sustainable nature of the business. It’s about being purpose-driven, but not just for the members but also the customers, society, employees, and a whole gambit of stakeholders that we impact. I think we need to be ahead of the game and I believe we are well ahead of the game in this. To do all this we need to create a culture that allows all these things to co-exist and must partner in areas where we can’t do thing by ourselves” said Shaun Tarbuck during the fireside chat.

Jean-François Chalifoux, President and CEO of Canadian ICMIF member Beneva (Canada) and Paul Smith, COO of US mutual insurer State Farm also joined the insightful discussions, alongside Isabelle Santenac, EY Global Insurance leader; Puneet Chattree, EY Canada Insurance Strategy & Transformation Leader; and Bernhard Schneider, EY Global FS Strategy Operations Leader.

“Our mutualist nature is embedded strongly in our visition and strategy and we think this will be a huge driver of differentation in the marketplace. We strive to be a player of impact and to be a real alternative to the other large carriers both on the life and health side as well as P&C. We do both and are buidling on an approach that’s truly member-centric by putting people first in everything we do” said Jean-François Chalifoux.

“The growth mindest that [State Farm’s] founder put in place has continued but so has what we consider the mutual advantage. It really permeates all aspects of State Farm. This idea of long-term thinking and being very customer centered is all very hard to separate from the operation of our organization in State Farm because it’s largely who we’ve been and who we are” said Paul Smith.

ICMIF members that wish to access the exclusive recording of this webinar should contact ICMIF (or contact their local EY representative).

Key discussion topics include:

  • Driving long-term value through your mutual purpose
  • Creating a new mutual operating model
  • How to create differentiated growth and scale through your mutual ethos

In April, ICMIF announced that EY had become a Supporting Member of the Federation. In this new partnership, ICMIF members can leverage EY knowledge, expertise and support in areas ranging from digital transformation and tax services, to transactions and IFRS implementation.

To learn more about EY, please visit their dedicated Supporting Member page on the ICMIF website.

For member-only strategic content on the cooperative/mutual insurance sector, ICMIF members have exclusive access to a range of online resources through the ICMIF Knowledge Hub.

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