Digital Strategy and Group Synergy Creation
To realize transformation, digital strategies are indispensable. Digital technology is integral to enhancing the productivity of and further evolving existing businesses, realizing open innovation, and creating new points of contact with customers.
Moreover, in anticipation of digital disruption by companies from other industries, we have to form alliances with digital platform developers in advance. Under our digital strategies, SOMPO Digital Lab in Tokyo exercises overall control, while our leading-edge bases in the digital hubs of Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv in Israel create businesses that generate new value. I am confident that this three-base system, which has conducted numerous verification tests to date, will enable us to step up the pace of our transformation into “A Theme Park for Security, Health & Wellbeing.”
Customers should experience the value that “A Theme Park for Security, Health & Wellbeing” provides, not as an aggregate of the products and services of the domestic P&C insurance, overseas insurance, domestic life insurance, and nursing care & healthcare businesses but as a solution that seamlessly combines the products and services of these businesses. The keys to achieving this level of integration are digital strategies and real data. Through the provision of services to customers, mainly in the day-to-day operations of its insurance and nursing care businesses, the Sompo Holdings Group has accumulated a huge amount of real data. The Group will be able to realize its unique advantages by maximizing the utilization of such data, interlinking the aforementioned businesses based on its digital strategies, and marketing products and services on a Group-wide basis that offer new value and meet society’s needs.
Our initiatives focused on dementia are an example of Group synergy. The Group entered the nursing care field in earnest in 2015. This gave me a renewed appreciation of the host of serious social issues that accompany a super-aging society. These include the supply-demand gap in the nursing care market, accidents caused by elderly drivers, and the financial risks of longevity. In response to these social issues, not only the nursing care business but also the domestic P&C insurance and domestic life insurance businesses began Group-wide initiatives focused on dementia with the aim of addressing issues in the nursing care market from a demand-side viewpoint, alleviating anxiety about dementia that comes with the development of a long-lived society, and extending healthy life expectancy.
Dementia is a challenging field, with an effective drug for the condition yet to be developed. In Japan, which has a super-aging society, dementia is an issue that concerns everyone. The Group is ideally positioned to offer comprehensive, original solutions in this field because it has both insurance and nursing care businesses, which provide cover in relation to risks and financial needs. Through initiatives focused on dementia, we aim to address social issues boldly, preserve the dignity of the elderly and those with dementia, and create a society without prejudice or discrimination. Japan will be the first country to face the issues of a super-aging society. Our goal is to help build a society in which “no one will be left behind” and whose members are able to delay the onset or development of dementia and live with dignity if they develop the condition.
In response to this evolution in our role, we will focus even more strongly on helping address social issues, contributing to the creation of a sustainable society, and reflecting the needs of diverse stakeholders as we take measures to realize “A Theme Park for Security, Health & Wellbeing.”
Reform of the Group’s Governance
With a view to the realization of “A Theme Park for Security, Health & Wellbeing,” we also need to further strengthen the management structures that support business globalization and the development of products and services contributing to security, health, and wellbeing.
Over the past several years, the Sompo Holdings Group has been steadily strengthening its management structures. In fiscal 2016, we adopted a hybrid organizational structure, which includes a Nomination and Compensation Committee, and a Business Owner system. The following fiscal year saw the establishment of a Group Chief Officer (CxO) system as well as an integrated platform for the overseas insurance business, and we integrated nursing care operating companies in fiscal 2018. Because the above initiatives had given us the experience and implementation systems needed to move into the next phase of our corporate governance, we recently transferred to a governance system that will enable swifter decision-making and more active implementation of measures focused on realizing the Group’s target profile. Specifically, we established the Global Executive Committee (Global ExCo) and the Managerial Administrative Committee in April 2019. Further, in June 2019 the Group transitioned from a Company with an Audit & Supervisory Board structure to a Company with Committees structure. This reform has delegated significant authority from the Board of Directors to executive divisions, clarified the missions of each officer, and introduced a rigorous focus on producing results. Meanwhile, we will strengthen governance capabilities to ensure that the Board of Directors, which is centered on outside directors, can fully realize its supervisory functions.
Realization of Global Management Capabilities
The key to our global management system is Global ExCo, which is an advisory body to the Group CEO. Unlike the Management Committee, in which mainly Japanese participants discussed a wide range of topics, the new body includes executives from overseas and conducts intensive discussions focused on important Group-wide issues, such as strategies and policies. As the highest executive committee, Global ExCo comprises 10 members, of whom two are non-Japanese, namely, the Overseas Insurance Business Owner and the executive officer with overall responsibility for overseas M&A. Having senior executives who have a thorough, intuitive understanding of overseas businesses participate in management discussions will enable us to determine the best methods, systems, and distribution of resources in light of global perspectives. In reaching decisions, Global ExCo meetings gather all types of information from around the world, not just insurance-related information. I doubt that there is a meeting quite like it anywhere. We convened the first meeting of the new body in April 2019. With open-mindedness, considering what is best for the Group, and being rooted in facts as our three premises, we held discussions without fear of “good clashes.” I feel that the response to Global ExCo has been positive and that it will prompt a change in the approach of senior Group executives as well as expedite decision-making and implementation in the Group as a whole, thereby enabling us to achieve transformation early.