What’s in store for clients and the insurance community in 2021? Peter Hastie from The Insurer TV sat down with Greg Case, CEO of Aon, to talk about the future of risk, the need for innovation, and the upcoming combination with Willis Towers Watson.

View the full interviews on The Insurer TV with Greg Case: Part 1 and Part 2

Q: We’re talking in January, and the pandemic looks to define 2021 for much of the year. What are you seeing for the year?

This crisis has shown leaders that long-tail risks are the reality. Increasingly they’re asking questions about being prepared. Are we prepared for the next pandemic? Are we prepared for cyber threats? Are we prepared for climate change?

During the initial months of the pandemic, many people talked about the new normal. But our clients over time have rejected the idea of a new normal. A new normal isn’t good enough.

So we coined the phrase “new better.” The new better is how you connect, how you innovate, and how you can change business over time. Our clients want to know how to define and achieve the new better.

Our role, then, is to help them meet this idea of a new better, this year and in the future.

Q: How do you see the industry evolving as a result of the pandemic?

Our clients are experiencing a level of volatility now that they haven’t seen before. So how do we respond on their behalf? How can we help them identify solutions to manage risks that are virtually unprecedented and will increase over time?

Overall in the industry, in terms of specific solutions to help reduce volatility in a way that’s effective for clients during this time, we’re very short on tangible solutions. We must invest in innovation to make this happen on clients’ behalf.

Q: You’ve emphasized the pending combination between Aon and Willis Towers Watson as a way to address the gaps. How do you see the combined firm making a difference?

We use the phrase “Aon United,” which is really a fundamental belief that when we deliver our global firm on behalf of clients, we can serve them more effectively. It also creates a platform for innovation that allows us to innovate on their behalf, and scale and support that innovation on their behalf.

Willis Towers Watson has the same view and same approach, and they’ve been working in the same general direction over the last number of years as well.

We see this as an opportunity to set a new standard in addressing client needs, and in client leadership on behalf of colleagues. In the end, it’s all about clients and colleagues.

Q: From your perspective, are you optimistic about the potential for the global economy post COVID-19?

We see this as we see everything: through the lens and the view of our clients. We have been very inspired by what our clients are doing around the world, how they’re reacting, how they’re investing, how they’re thinking about the new environment, how they adapt to it, how we support their adaptation to that. We’re optimistic long term around overall potential, especially once the vaccines are distributed and used.

We know there’s going to be bumps in the road along the way; we anticipate those, we’ll endure those. But long term, we see tremendous potential and great opportunity to support our clients in addressing the most profound risks of our time and delivering on their mission.

Greg Case, CEO of Aon