Insurance now available for insolvency professional

Insolvency Professionals (IPs) working on resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) can now buy insurance covers for themselves. “The first such policy was designed by JLT Independent about three months back,” said Sanjay Radhakrishnan, CEO, of the insurance broking firm. It has designed four policies of the total five to six that have been issued so far. JLT Independent is working with with London-based Llyods an insurance and re-insurance firm for designing these policies.

Need for insurance

An IP is exposed to very high risk because anybody who buys the company, or the creditor bank, or investors in case of a listed company could sue the IP for not running the company properly.

For instance, a bank could raise a question that during the resolution period the IP didn’t run the company properly. Or one of the investors (in case of a listed company), could take a stance that had the IP had run the company in a particular manner, or done certain things, then the value from the sale of the company could have been 10-20% higher. They could even sue the IP.

Or in another instance, the solvent company had not taken a loss of profit cover because of the cost. Then due to a breakdown of a critical machinery, production stops and the already-loss making company, suffers further losses. If the company is looking for buyers, then the price it is likely to fall further. In such a case the IP will be held responsible

“There is demand for such policies, but no Indian insurance company offers them. They are unable to apply for such policies because they don’t have data on potential losses, what is the provisioning the company is likely to do and so on. The law itself is new in India,’’ Radhakrishnan explained.

According to Sameer Kakar, a Mumbai-based insolvency professional, some risks faced by IPs include missing out on compliance and lawsuits. “Often IPs start working on the resolution process without knowing anything about the company they are going to handle. And they are expected to complete the entire process within a particular span of time. So there are bound to be some slip-ups,’ he said.

How does the product work

The product is a combination of professional indemnity policy and a director and officers liability insurance (D&O) cover for the individual. The cover is offered for a period of at least three to five years post the resolution transaction because claims could arise and the IP is responsible under the law. The policies are taken by the individual IPs themselves who are working with insolvent companies. Or by companies and consultancy firms that have started offering solvency services.

The sum assured varies anywhere between $3 million to $40 million depending on how big the resolution transaction is. The premium depends on the indemnity amount. “It depends on what could be the potential lawsuit, potential damages and legal costs for the IP. We suggest a limit based on the kind of work the IP is doing, the size of the resolution transaction and the qualification of the IP. The higher the qualification, lower is the premium. The assumption is that an IP who is better qualified would be able to run the company better,’ Radhakrishnan added.

Protection for IPs

IPs face the risk of lawsuits, claims by creditors/investorsIf the solvent company had failed to take insurance then IP has to bear the riskCoverage lasts for three to five years post the resolution transaction.

22nd May 2018

Blockchain: The Future of HR

Blockchain is best known as the infrastructure behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that makes financial transactions safe without a bank or other middleman. But the technology could soon change the way human resources leaders handle all sensitive data.

That has big implications for HR, said Jeff Mike, vice president and HR research leader for Bersin by Deloitte. “The reason it is relevant is that blockchain creates the potential for personal data to be owned by the individual rather than the organization,” he said.

That means every employee could potentially maintain control over their entire academic and work identity, including where they went to school, their grades and degrees, and their work history and training. “It would be more secure and more portable, moving with the individual instead of getting stuck inside the organization,” he said.

What Is Blockchain Anyway?

In a nutshell, blockchain is a peer-to-peer network of ledgers that encrypts and stores blocks of data and digital history, and can be viewed and verified by anyone in the network. Every time new data is added it extends the ledger’s chain of blocks. The public nature of blockchain is what makes the technology unique, said Tim Griffiths, chief technology leader of Xref, an automated reference checking company in Sydney, Australia.

“Every time you add data to a block it is confirmed by the network,” he said. For example, a university might verify completion of a degree, or an employer could confirm dates of employment. Once data is added to a ledger, it is updated across the network. Ledgers can be added to but not altered, ensuring information remains safe and uncompromised — if someone tries to alter a ledger, everyone else on the network is able to see it, Griffiths explained. “It guarantees the data is certified and can’t be manipulated.”

It provides a way for two parties to safely complete transactions — including payroll and contract payments — without a bank or other intermediary. But safety isn’t just useful for financial transactions, said Stacey Harris, vice president of research and analytics for Sierra-Cedar. “Any time you have sensitive data that needs to be verified, moved or shared there is a place for blockchain.”

Health care is a perfect example. Many employees who get health care benefits through their employers don’t want to share their health history with their company. But in order to choose providers and secure services, the employers acts as an intermediary to share that data.

If the employee owns that data via blockchain, it removes the need for a third party, Harris said. “Any time a piece of data is touched by another human it create risk that the data will be lost or used inappropriately,” she said. “Blockchain reduces that risk.”

Blockchain also has the potential to streamline a lot of the drudge work related to employee data verification, said Griffiths. If all of a candidate’s education, certifications and work history were stored in a single ledger it would take minutes rather than days to verify that data. “Education checks are the biggest pain point in the background check process,” he said. “It’s the ideal use case for HR.”

Where to Begin

All that said, the days of instantly verifying an entire work history or streamlining health benefits via blockchain are a long way off.

“This is still a nascent field for HR,” Harris said, though she notes that the influx of venture capital flowing into blockchain startups suggests the industry could evolve quickly. Early adopters such as Bitwage are already using blockchain to streamline overseas wages and secure contract payments, and companies like Xref are exploring the use of blockchain in background checks. But none of these applications have gained traction — yet.

The big challenge is where to begin. Like the internet or the rollout of electronic health care records, blockchain for HR will only add benefit when it achieves scale. For example, if every candidate had a blockchain verifying their degree, it would significantly speed the education background check process — but if only a handful of universities provide that data in blockchain, it doesn’t add much value, Griffiths said. He predicts that we are still two to five years away from seeing any meaningful applications of blockchain in HR.

This doesn’t mean HR leaders can afford to completely ignore blockchain.

“You don’t want to get caught up in the hype, but it is worth paying attention to,” Mike said. He encouraged HR leaders to get familiar with the technology and to talk with their IT leaders about how it works and how it could affect the way they practice HR in the future. “If you no longer need to track down resources to verify records and record transactions, what ramifications will that have on the job?” he asked. These are the questions HR leaders should ask today, to be ready for the future. “It won’t change your life in the next six months,” he added, “but it is going to happen.”

22nd May 2018

Nearly 80% rise in HR analytics professionals in India: LinkedIn

These professionals are known to fill various specialised job titles such as “Data Scientist”, “Talent Analytics Director” and “Diversity Analytics Specialist”.

India has witnessed nearly 80 per cent growth in Human Resource (HR) analytics professionals in the past five years, global professional network site LinkedIn said on Tuesday.

The report revealed that in the past five years, there has been a 70 per cent increase in specialised analytics professionals in HR across the Asia-Pacific region, whereas India has shown a higher growth at 77 per cent.

These professionals are known to fill various specialised job titles such as “Data Scientist”, “Talent Analytics Director” and “Diversity Analytics Specialist”.

In India, 14 per cent of total jobs in HR are analytics based, signifying that companies are increasingly trying to arm their HR functions with analytical capabilities with talent as their focus area.

“Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation, skills-gap, and rise of independent workers are changing the global workforce today and transforming the way companies hire, develop and retain talent,” Irfan Abdulla, Director-LinkedIn Talent Solutions and Learning Solutions, India and South Asia, said in a statement.

Candidates are no longer active or passive, they are always-on and open to different opportunities. In answer to this change, recruiters are relying on real-time, actionable and on-demand insights. Combining insights with the right instincts delivers a winning talent strategy,” Abdulla added.

“Financial Services and Insurance”, “Technology-Software” and “Professional Services” are the top three industries to adopt talent analytics in India.

HR leaders in India are currently prioritising the use of analytics in three areas namely, compensation and benefits, talent acquisition, productivity and performance, said the report, titled “The Rise of Analytics in HR: An era of Talent Intelligence”.

The findings can empower HR leaders with answers to critical questions such as where to find talent with certain skills, where to set up the next office, or even how to build a gender-diverse workforce, the report added.


Source-Business Standard



Airtel to partly lay off Telenor employees post-merger

Telenor India has around 1,400 employees and 700 of them had been absorbed by Airtel across its India and international operations.

Airtel to partly lay off Telenor employees post-merger

After receiving approval from The Department of Telecom for its acquisition of Telenor India, Bharti Airtel has stated that ‘not all people from Telenor India will find meaningful roles within Airtel.’

As per a media report, a section of Telenor India’s employees are staring in the face of layoffs.

Confirming the move, Airtel said “not all people from Telenor India will find meaningful roles within Airtel”.

As per the report, Telenor India has around 1,400 employees and 700 of them had been absorbed by Airtel across its India and international operations.  Airtel has offered “good financial” package besides continuance of medical insurance and free calls to the dropouts, the sourceadded.

Others have received mails from Bharti Airtel asking them to attend a meeting with the HR officials to discuss “way ahead and nextstep”, as per an employee working for the Norwegian telecom company’s Indian subsidiary in Andhra Pradesh circle.

The mail received by Telenor employees stated “You must be aware that Telenor (India) Communications Private Limited has been integrated with Bharti Airtel Ltd. With regards to this legal merger, we invite you for a personal discussion with the Airtel Team to inform you about way ahead and next steps. Be available for the meeting as per the details below.”

Besides appropriate support such as continued financial and medical allowances, Airtel is also assisting them through its placement partners,

The Department of Telecom had approved the merger this week, a move which will expand the subscriber base of Bharti Airtel to almost twice the size of new entrant Reliance Jio. Both the companies had entered into an agreement for the deal in February 2017. Bharti Airtel will buy Telenor India in a no-cash deal and take over its outstanding spectrum payments of Rs 1,650 Cr.

The transaction is expected to boost Sunil Mittal-led market leader’s 4G spectrum holdings as it continues to fight against MukeshAmbani-controlled Reliance Jio Infocomm. It will also help it close the revenue and subscriber market share gap with the emerging Vodafone India-Idea Cellular combine, which will become the country’s largest phone company after their merger is completed next month.

Coincidentally, as Vodafone India and Idea Cellular look to save costs, they are also expected to tread the layoff way and could lay off 5,000 of the combined workforce of 21,000 employees in the next few months.

Source-People Matters


Healthcare Insurance in North India

Health Insurance is a financial mechanism with which people are protected against catastrophic financial burden arising from unexpectedillness or injury, writes Dr Vandana Bhardwaj, Head, IP Revenue Services, Sarvodaya Hospital & Research Centre, Faridabad, for Elets News Network(ENN).


The cost of healthcare is ever increasing. The cost will further go up in case of a serious accident or major illness. It is difficult, if not impossible, for a typical individual to find financial resources to meet such expenses, some of which may arise suddenly. For a country such as India, where the insurance penetration is as low as 3.3%, providing affordable and quality healthcare to its 1.2 billion population has been a continuous challenge with no definite solutions. According to a study published in 2014, in the year 2012 14.2% of rural households reported out of pocket expenditure on in patient services and nearly 78.76% of households reported out of pocket expenditure on outpatient services. The high out-ofpocket expenses in India, stem from thefact that 76% of Indians do not have health insurance, according to data from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority.


Opportunities in Indian Health Insurance Sector:


The Government has taken an initiative to promote “HEALTHCARE for ALL” under National Health Mission with a vision to provide affordable health care services to all segments of society where they can include private hospitals on a partnership model with government healthcare schemes. This will ensure to provide health insurance cover to common man and also create job opportunities in health care sector and consequently will contribute to boost economic growth of the country.


With information technology and consumerism transferring the health care system, there is vast potential for health insurance market waiting to be tapped by private sector and nationalised health schemes. It will further improve the performance of health insurance sector in the country by lowered costs and increased level of consumer satisfaction.


Challenges faced by Indian Health Insurance Sector:


The present health insurance in India is characterised by the features like poor claims management, delayed claims settlement, inefficient services etc. Health insurance in India is challenged due to – high medical service costs and out of reach of many people, less number of hospitals ; high illiteracy rate, poor and inadequate health care infrastructure and poor budget allocation towards health care.


Overcharging of Insured patients: This is one common problem in hospitals where they have a tendency to overcharge (for few additional benefits) if the patient is covered under an insurance policy. This is one of the challenging practices health insurers face, and requires procedures which ensures that the billing is done on the basis of actual services obtained and not on factors like the insurance coverage of the patient. Tariff revision is done on yearly basis by hospitals in lieu of rising health care costs and inflation. A different rack rate of the same consultant visiting different hospitals for the same services also creates difference in health care costs.


Healthcare Insurance


  • Lack of Standardisation or accreditation system for hospitals: The hospitals are not governed by any regulatory body for tariff and services and make the concern of pricing and billing serious. Though NABH and JCI accredited hospitals are regulated but the number is very less as compared to the extent of various private hospitals growing in size and numbers. Allhospitals as per their category have their own tariffs and service charges according to their geographical location and presence.


India meets the global average in number of physicians, but 74% of India’s doctors cater to a third of the urban population, or no more than 442 million people, according to KPMG report. Our country is 81% short of specialists at rural community health centres (CHCs), and the private sector accounts for 63% of hospital beds, according to Indian government health and family welfare statistics.


It is the need of the hour to develop and create a Nationalised Health Insurance Scheme in India where there is Universal coverage, equal access to all and cost controlling measures with partnership model with health care providers. Appropriate regulatory changes can minimise the risks and turn potential benefits into concrete gains for each and every citizen of India.



Source- Elets


How HR can master the art and science of stay interviews

The question “Why are you here?” is not an existential question for employees, but a practical one for retention.

Why are you here? It’s not an existential question to ask employees, but a practical one: why do you stay in this job? Asking this question is an important — yet often overlooked — aspect of retention.

Exit interviews gather useful information about why an employee is leaving, but it’s typically too late to change an employee’s decision to go. In contrast, a stay interview gathers critical insights from employees who (as far as you know) are not planning on leaving, and have definitive reasons to continue with the company.

Digging into this information helps an organization in several ways:

  1. It establishes a culture of trust between the employee and manager, which can increase job satisfaction, performance and retention;

  2. It identifies issues to address before they become deal breakers, saving money and time otherwise spent recruiting; and

  3. It lets the company know its strengths and areas to build upon.

Despite the benefits of a stay interview, few companies do them, but that could change. A Challenger, Grey & Christmas study indicated that only 27% of companies conduct them, and an additional 24% are interested in incorporating them.

What is a stay interview?

–      A stay interview is a structured conversation, often between a manager and employee, designed to find out how things are going, what pain points the employee is experiencing and what motivates the employee. Broader than a discussion about projects or performance, a stay interview uncovers what’s at the root of an employee’s decision to remain in a job, and what makes them feel fulfilled.

–      Companies leading the pack in doing stay interviews are firms that have highly talented people they don’t want to lose or are in industries known to have high turnover, such as retail and hospitality, Kim Littlefield, Senior Vice President of Keystone Partners, a career transition and leadership development firm, told HR Dive.

–      “Companies are aware of the very high cost of turnover. When they lose an employee, it takes up to six to nine months of salary to replace them,” Mila Singh, culture strategist for CultureIQ, an employee feedback software platform told HR Dive. Companies are increasingly turning to stay interviews, she said.

–      Larger companies may have a more developed program for stay interviews, with a schedule for the conversations to take place periodically — once a year at least, said Littlefield. A stay interview could be conducted as part of a new employee onboarding process, after six to eight months, she said.

–      “In today’s tight labor market, it’s important that managers conduct these frequently because a lot can change quickly,” Maureen Hoersten, Chief Operating Officer at LaSalle Network, a national staffing, recruiting and culture firm, told HR Dive.

–      A stay interview should be done with high potential, critical employees and those who might present a flight risk, but everyone can benefit from a stay interview, Amy Polefrone, CEO of HR Strategy Group, a consulting firm, told HR Dive. Don’t overlook your “Steady Eddie’s”— engaging average employees in these types of conversations might lead them to become high performers, she said.

Who should conduct the stay interview?

–      The right person to conduct a stay interview depends on several factors. Managers have a profound effect on the job satisfaction of employees, so if a manager-employee relationship is already positive, a stay interview conversation could strengthen it. However, the effectiveness of a stay interview relies on being able to be transparent and honest, so if a manager-employee relationship is not good, someone else should handle the interview.

–      A skip-level manager, HR leaders, a company’s organizational development department or an outside consulting firm could conduct stay interviews given the right structure and preparation, experts said.

Making time for stay interviews is essential

–      For managers who struggle to complete annual performance reviews, adding to the to-do list could create some pushback. But Littlefield suggested considering the cost of not doing stay interviews and losing employees or losing employees faster than expected. On the other hand, if you conduct a stay interview and learn information that is helpful in retention, it’s gold, she said.

–      Littlefield also suggested it may help to conduct stay interviews during a time when the business cycle is slower.

Making sure your stay interview goes well

–      One of the main questions asked about stay interviews is whether they are effective. It’s still a relatively new concept, said Polefrone, so most of the results are anecdotal. There are some encouraging signs, however. Dick Finnegan, CEO of C-Suite Analytics gave examples of effectiveness in his webinar, “The Power of Stay Interviews.” According to Finnegan, a Florida hospital and a retirement community each decreased nurse turnover by 70% and a call center decreased agent turnover by 20% by implementing stay interviews.

The best intentions can go awry if the stay interview process isn’t well thought out. Here are tips to ensure your stay interview has the desired outcome.

  • Be sure the company is committed to this process long-term. If this is just a fad de jour, employees will become disenchanted with your efforts, said Polefrone. “Design a process that makes sense — get a sense of the culture, why it’s important, what is the turnover rate and how it affects the business.”

  • Questions to ask include: What do you look forward to most at work? What are some of the challenges you face? What are you learning here and what else would you like to be learning? What can I do as your manager to help? Is there anything that would tempt you to leave the job? “At the end of the interview, summarize what you’ve heard, thank the employee and tell them you appreciate their feedback,” Singh said. Be sure to outline what the follow up will be, and carry that out.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask employees questions, either one-on-one or through surveys. Employers sometimes are hesitant to survey employees frequently, thinking employees will get tired of responding, but that’s not the case, said Singh. “There’s no such thing as survey fatigue. There’s only inaction fatigue.”

  • Dig deeper to get answers to questions, Hoersten said. “It’s easy to ask the initial question but a lot of managers and HR professionals fail when they don’t ask follow-up questions to dig down to the problem. Don’t take their answer at face value and move on to check a box,” she said.

  • Have a way to consolidate the data and provide themes the leadership team can address, Polefrone said.

  • Understand that you may receive feedback that surprises you, Singh said. Be open to that, she said. “It’s not the manager’s job to immediately respond and defend. During the interview, it’s more about listening and responding.”

  • Provide feedback to employees so they know that efforts are being made to address the concerns. Be transparent in your efforts, Polefrone added. If employers ask employees for feedback, be prepared to do something with it. “An enlightened company will listen and explain what we can or cannot do based on what we’re hearing,” she said.

When it comes down to it, employees are your secret weapon, said Polefrone. “It’s so critical in the war for talent,” she said. “Companies are pretty darn good at knowing what their customers are doing. Now, it’s so important for an enlightened organization to ask — what are we doing well and what can we do better?”

Source- HR Drive

Date – 7th May 2018

Balancing insurance risks and rewards With the recent initial public offers of life and non-life insurers and a reinsurer in India, investors and analysts are faced with the task of understanding an industry that theyprobably are not quite acquainted with.

With the recent initial public offers of life and non-life insurers and a reinsurer in India, investors and analysts are faced with the task of understanding an industry that they probably are not quite acquainted with. Insurance can be compared to a backroom support system for the economy or a play in the backyard, never attracting the limelight but chugging along in the background with monotonous regularity, not quite associated with the glamour of financial services, so to say in a very direct way. This is despite the central role it plays in the effective functioning of the economy and shouldering the risks of physical damage, mishaps, calamities, frauds, going so far as accident and product liability awards. This piece focuses on non-life insurance business and the term insurer includes reinsurer, unless specified otherwise.

The gamut of risks borne by non-life insurers is a veritable kaleidoscope barring the life, annuity, morbidity and mortality risks. From the run-of-the-mill fire and property to marine (hull and cargo) to motor, crop, aviation, space and director’s liability to mega risks to cyber and body parts of sports persons, the universe of a non-life underwriter is interesting, challenging and evolving. Throw in emerging risks such as cyber and climatechange, and it would appear that the challenge is mammoth. Insurers, given their usual limited geographical presence for business operations and a particular level of capital resources, cannot bear these risks on their own in all cases. Insurers buy insurance from another set of insurers who are usually called reinsurers.

The risk and uncertainty arising from the potential event with downside has to be absorbed by an insurer and she will shed the risks beyond her comfort zone to reinsurers. The risk will travel further in the market till it is fully absorbed, subject to the willingness and capacity of the other players to absorb the risks, given the constraints imposed on them by regulators, investors and rating agencies. The role of reinsurers to absorbrisks becomes quite important. For all practical purposes, they can be considered the wholesalers or manufacturers of the “capacity” to absorb the risk backed by their capital resources. This is particularly important when the insurer is faced with potential for a number of risks or an entire portfolio getting affected at the same time, such as flood or earthquake or a mega risk threatening the profitability or even the survival of the entity, unless supported by a reinsurer.

The transfer of risk from a given entity or geography to the global risk pool is quite interesting. It can happen in a series of transactions, and the risk can be sliced and diced. Insurer is usually supported by a number of reinsurers since every player seeks to benefit from diversification. Each player accepts risks commensurate with the risk appetite defined by their management within the regulatory framework imposing capital requirements.

At the core of the reinsurer business is sound risk-assessment—in comparison to an insurer—backed by bigger scale, greater geographical diversification, enhanced business diversification (across insurance classes) together with sound exposure management. They rely on analytics and advances in fields such as meteorology, seismology and interdisciplinary approaches to assess the risk and mitigate them through “financial engineering”. Reinsurers deal with the risks at portfolio-level, relying on the law of large numbers in spatial dimension and bank on trend assessment in temporal dimension.

It is noteworthy that insurance industry presents an interesting dynamic in that the premium is collected upfront and claims aresettled after a lag—the event may happen some time after the assumption of risk, and once the event happens, there would be a process for ascertaining the loss quantum, further delaying the actual settlement. Cases involving litigation or complexity lead to stretching of this period in a very significant way. This leaves funds with the insurers, which they can invest, and this is known as “float” in the industry. In a way, it is free money with the risk carriers to invest and earn investment income from.

The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, who is reckoned to be one of the greatest investors of all time, has a particular affinity for the industry, largely because of the float which could come at a very low or nocost. The size of the float, which is a function of the lag in settlement and the investment yield, thus presents important variables underpinning the business of insurers. Certain insurance classes provide opportunities for higher float and certain economies present more attractive investment returns on account of the growth potential and investment climate.

Given this dynamic, there is a case for evaluating insurance business in a different way. Indian insurance market and the economy is quite different from those in the developed world and, therefore, presents a unique proposition in terms of business growth and profitability. Given the under-penetration, the growth for a couple of decades can be expected to behigher than in mature economies or even the global average. In fact, growth in the emerging markets is pulling up the global average just like in the case of global GDP. Industry during the last decade and a half has seen top line driven business strategies being pursued by market players to achieve scale, which is crucial, given the nature of the industry, and is now entering the consolidation phase.

Indian insurance sector is set to grow in the context of economic growth, demographic profile, urbanisation and transition to middleincome country, apart from certain macro drivers such as climate change andgovernmental focus on resilience and protection.


It is moot how long the stock markets—which tend to be more sentiment-driven than fundamental-driven in the short term—will take to fully factor in the ‘idiosyncrasies’ of the industry which facilitates the smooth running of economy. Indian insurance industry makes for an attractive business opportunity owing to under-penetration on the business side. The icing on the cake is the opportunity to invest in the economy which is again attractive given the overall growth potential. It will be no exaggeration to say that managing risk and rewards, in all their dimensions, is at the core of the insurer business model.

Source-Financial Express