David North story…
Tell me about Sedgwick and your role within the organisation?
Sedgwick is a leading global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits and integrated business solutions. We provide a broad range of resources tailored to our clients’ specific needs in casualty, property, marine, benefits and other lines. We have more than 21,000 colleagues across 65 countries who take care of people and organisations by delivering cost-effective claims, productivity, managed care, risk consulting and other services.
I have been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sedgwick since 1995. It is an honor to be in this role. I am a strong advocate for the claims profession and recognize the unique talents and compassion these individuals share each day in caring for those who have suffered an unexpected accident, injury or disabling condition. I am inspired by our colleagues that help our clients navigate administrative complexities and focus on their own operations. Also, leading Sedgwick allows me to focus on continuing education, professional development and advancing diversity and inclusion for our colleagues.
How has the organisation evolved through the years since you assumed the CEO position?
Sedgwick has grown from a boutique, regional third-party claims administrator to the premier global provider of innovative business solutions in the areas of workers’ compensation, disability, absence management, property loss adjusting and more.
When I joined the company in March 1995 as Sedgwick’s President and CEO, the company had less than 500 colleagues with $50 million in revenues. Today, Sedgwick has over 21,000 colleagues with revenues in excess of $2.9 billion and is the largest third-party administrator in the United States.
What has been the biggest change you have seen within the industry since assuming the CEO position?
Transforming Sedgwick into an international leader has brought with it many challenges and opportunities. The regulatory environment has become more complex, production demands are ever-increasing, and new risks emerge alongside business advancements. And yet, we continue to lead by staying focused on customer needs. While the environment has evolved, and business intricacies have increased, our innovative thinking and customer focus continue to drive our organisation’s growth and prosperity.
What has been key to Sedgwick’s sustained growth and value creation?
Our colleagues! Sedgwick has 21,000 professionals across 65 countries, providing best-in-class business solutions to employers, insurance companies, brokers, policyholders and consumers around the world. With the expanded footprint and technical resources, Sedgwick offers an unprecedented and unparalleled breadth of services and depth of expertise to meet the complex needs of more clients in more locations than ever before.
What does Caring Counts mean within the Sedgwick organisation and how does it impact business decisions?
At Sedgwick, caring counts®. Taking care of people and organisations is at the heart of everything we do. Millions around the world count on Sedgwick each year to take care of their needs when something unexpected happens. Whether they have a workplace injury, suffer a property loss from a weather-related event, need time away for the birth of a child, or are involved in an accident, they count on Sedgwick for compassionate care and expert guidance to make things right.
How has Sedgwick successfully integrated some of the company’s larger acquisitions such as OSG, Vericlaim, and most recently Cunningham Lindsey?
Consolidating services under one brand is key to bring together the best of these companies. Sedgwick recognised the need for a global provider that can deliver, high-quality claims solutions and professional services. In response, Sedgwick expanded its scale and capabilities, strengthened its service offerings for customers and began providing local services and new solutions with global support.
Sedgwick’s future strategic direction and growth ambitions in Ireland…
What was the take away from the Dublin in-market launch event in October?
It was an exciting market launch with 200 invited clients and colleagues in Dublin. We were able to share the plans to build on the integration of OSG and Cunningham Lindsey in Ireland under one new single brand. The enthusiasm for what we do today and plans for the future showcase Ireland as a leader that provides our clients with end to end solutions locally with global support.
Sedgwick choose Ireland for a base for development and potentially developing Ireland for a location of international development and service. What does that business look like?
Over the next few years, Sedgwick will work to leverage combined resources and extended relationships in ways that will support and expand our client base. Recent joint business development efforts have already started yielding great results in Ireland. The company has established new long-term targets, reaffirmed current capabilities and defined growth strategies for Ireland – one of our key markets and important platform for future international growth.
How does Sedgwick plan to grow in Ireland and will there be more job opportunities through the growth?
We plan to invest in our colleagues and services for our clients. A recent example that shows our commitment to grow the Ireland operations into an international hub is the acquisition of Sproule Graham. This will strengthen Sedgwick’s extensive geographical coverage across the entire Western seaboard of Ireland. It also supports our growth strategy and the expansion of services. This will continue to add more job opportunities in Ireland.
What’s the biggest disrupter you see within the industry today?
Technology is and will continue to be the biggest disrupter in our industry. We must make choices in technology that balance the needs of our organisation, our people and support the needs of our customers.
Developments in customer care and service and the balance between automation, technology developments and maintaining a connection with the customer?
At Sedgwick through innovative product development Sedgwick’s offerings continue to evolve beyond claims processing to meet the current and future needs of our clients. I believe in data and algorithms and in AI. It is a statement that our customers and the market will applaud that we are advanced in our technological thinking and products. We are focused on technology solutions that make sense, support our colleagues in doing their work and in return help our customers.
How do you create interest and excitement for future talent coming into this industry?
I have been in the insurance industry for more than 39 years and I can say it is the best opportunity for work that provides a chance to make a difference in the lives of people at a time of need. We must do a better job at outreach, mentorships, internships, going on college campuses and recruiting people to share why working in claims and insurance is meaningful and a worthy pursuit. Also, we need to show those looking for a new career there is a path for them in this industry. It takes many skills to be successful in this industry. And, these skills can be transferred to other industries. If you have the desire, we have a place for you at Sedgwick. The insurance industry is open.