QBE North America CEO Duclos: Clarity Is Key in Transformation (1)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Recently, Dave Duclos was interviewed by Carrier Management magazine about his thoughts on leadership during a time of transformation.  

Here is an excerpt from the article:

When you set out on a multiyear journey to transform a property/casualty insurance company, you need to win the hearts of employees involved in the process, the executive leading the turnaround of QBE North America said.

“Turning a company around doesn’t happen overnight,” David Duclos told Carrier Management during the 2014 PCI Annual Conference last October, also going on to explain the need for a transformational leader to share a clear vision of future success with employees when working to right the ship of a financially struggling insurance operation.

“For me, transformation starts with leadership,” Duclos said, responding to a question about lessons he has learned over his 35-plus year career, including prior executive stints with CIGNA, Kemper and XL, when those two carriers faced some difficult financial challenges. “Leaders must be able to clearly articulate where we are going and how we are going to get there.

“We talk about transformation being a journey, and it’s important to have a road map that helps people understand the work that needs to be done and track our progress along the way. The most successful companies engage their people in creating that road map.”

“What is the strategy? What are you trying to do?” The answers to those questions can’t be held tightly among a small group of top executives.

“You need to have not just their minds but their hearts committed to this,” he said. That means “they need to believe in the end-state and understand the role they play in helping us get there. We are on this journey together, and it will take everyone’s commitment and support for us to succeed.”

During the PCI interview and during a QBE investor presentation a week earlier, Duclos explained that the desired end-state is to become a “relevant, specialty-focused carrier in North America with market-recognized underwriting ability, risk selection and capacity.” (For more details, see related article, “QBE NA Transformation in Progress.”) More recently, during a phone interview in late January, Duclos answered questions about transformational leadership, focusing on the need for transparency.

Visit Carrier Management's website for the full interview.