"Just a humble bookmaker"


Few insurance leaders have managed to epitomise old-school industry values while also embracing cutting-edge innovation and technology in the insurance industry, yet this combination of qualities has underpinned nearly 50 years of success for Robert Hiscox.

The outgoing chairman of Hiscox explained to Intelligent Insurer why the secret of his success is his hobby—change.

“In this business we are ultimately all just glorified bookmakers. We bet on a bad event not happening; our clients bet that it will. It is as simple as that. And when you view it in that way, it is an extremely interesting job and also an extremely satisfying one. On a couple of occasions, I have told various celebrities I am a bookmaker and they are fascinated. When I explain I work in insurance, they have walked away. That negative perception is also the sad thing about what we all do.”

That is how Robert Hiscox, the founder and outgoing chairman (in February 2013) of Hiscox, sums up the paradox of working in the insurance industry. He firmly believes that for more than 40 years he has operated in one of the most satisfying industries there is to work in—both in the “good old days” when Lloyd’s was almost unregulated and even today.

Reinsurance, Hiscox, Robert Hiscox, Leadership, Growth, Transparency

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