Inclusive capitalism, through which we seek to benefit both shareholders and society, is a core part of Legal & General’s current vision, but Phil revealed it has been part of the organisation for a long time.
He gives the example of how, in the past, many organisations outsourced their customer operations. “It was something we just didn’t want to do in terms of its impact on the customer service that we were able to offer. That clear focus on making sure that we’re really looking after customers has been there long before me. I’m just proud to come along and keep it going – as opposed to taking any credit for inventing it.”
He says that in financial services, the large sums of money that go through the market mean the sector can have a notable impact in building a better world.
“We are a significant player in the house building market for example,” he says. “We’ve got significant house building operations and we’re seeking to change the rental market. That’s a really good example of something that a lot of people aren’t aware is part of the L&G proposition and really links to this idea of making money to reinvest in society, community and for the greater good.”
It’s there in the DNA, in how leaders before me have approached the direction of travel for our brand. It’s not something that came along last year, I really feel it rooted in the DNA of a lot of our customer propositions.
In pensions, and in line with our aim of using technology for societal good, we have brought our huge wealth of data together on one cloud-based platform.
This means we can make greater use of artificial intelligence to help our pensions team better understand the factors that influence how long people live. This will include information about the inequality of health care and disproportionately high death rates in low-income communities that has been brought to light during the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the same time as supporting our pension teams this insight will inform our wider investments where we aim to make a positive impact on society as a whole.
Digitisation is a priority across all of Legal & General, but there are some specific challenges in this area for LGRI. Speaking to Fintech & Finance News, LGRI’s Chief Financial Officer, Carl Moxley, explained that new regulations such as International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 17 have created an urgent need for digital transformation.
“With IFRS set to be implemented in 2023, that is another change in the amount of information, detail and data that’s required in terms of our accounting,” he explains. This makes it really important that we think about how we view automation, digital capability and predictive analytics because old systems need to be updated to meet the new legislative requirements.
And, of course, digitisation also requires a human touch. Phil explains: “Innovation, conceptually, can seem a little bit intimidating to people who may be doing a job where they don’t see where innovation fits in,” he says. “I’m trying to sow the seed that there are different types of innovation and, actually, the word can be put to one side. If you’re solving problems or finding opportunities to do things differently, for me, you’re innovating.”
He says a similar approach is required when engaging colleagues in transformation projects. “If you haven’t connected the dots between the people involved – where the key people are now and where they need to get to – I think your transformation is probably going to fail,” he explains.
He says that while these people might be colleagues or customers, understanding how the changes might affect them is key.
If you haven’t connected the dots between the people involved – where the key people are now and where they need to get to – I think your transformation is probably going to fail.
Phil concluded that on a personal level his overarching aim is to know his work has had a positive impact on the world, and that while Legal & General’s purpose of inclusive capitalism fits in perfectly with this aim, a holistic approach to change and transformation will be key.
“The future is going to require thinking about how we invest, how we build out our propositions, how we look after our customers and how we respond to how the world is changing in a way that, hopefully, when I retire, means I will leave behind a world that is a little bit better, a little bit more sustainable and a little bit more inclusive.”