During the past six years SX3 has engaged with a wide range of claims professionals with over 60 becoming SX3 Associates. Phil Rawlings, well known for his long career in Claims at AXA, talks about his experience of Associate life.
The reasons for considering working as an independent contractor or consultant are wide and varied. In my case, I had recently taken a decision to “retire” from full time work following a career of 37 years with the AXA Group. Despite the thrill of a more relaxed lifestyle and more time visiting places and doing things I had on a bucket list, I still felt I had something to offer the industry that had supported me for so long.
I established my own company and undertook some projects which only served to whet my appetite. To make it worthwhile, I was presented with two big challenges:
- How could I find the time and the focus to market my services
- I was marketing an “only me” proposition, as such, projects would need to be considered in that light
Fortunately, I spoke to Adrian Gilbert at SX3. He painted a neat picture of life as an SX3 Associate. I was free to accept or decline any work that was offered so had the flexibility to do things I planned to. Moreover, the burden of marketing and other administration was minimised or eliminated, and the work would be potentially diverse and interesting while utilising the skills that I had amassed over my career.
I completed my first project within weeks. The data had been presented and the narrative report produced.
Adrian’s description of life as an SX3 Associate quickly proved to be accurate. Not only have I worked with other Associates of SX3, but I have also met and engaged with the claims managers and subject matter experts of numerous clients whether they be insurers, TPAs or self-insuring organisations. It is often said that the world of claims is quite small and whilst that may the case, it takes no time to build lasting and beneficial relationships.
Throughout the last 4 years, I have been mainly involved in claims reviews on handling performance, “leakage”, and compliance, but I have also participated in reserve accuracy and portfolio run off reviews with various clients throughout the UK. In each case, it has been crucial to lean on the personal experience gathered over many years but also the experience of Associate colleagues, while also able to see how different organisations adapt to market and legal changes.
Some months are busier than others, but the balance of work still allows me to do some of things I intended to do when I left full time employment. Of course, over the last 18 months or so the project work has become a welcome distraction from the restrictions of COVID lockdown.
During the Pandemic – Life as an Associate
COVID did cause the whole industry to reconsider the issue of remote working. Systems flexibility has allowed SX3 to continue to provide a valuable service to its clients without the need for physical presence on site. Whilst there are the occasional technical hurdles to overcome, I have found remote working is often a pleasant alternative to spending time away from home and in my case driving up and down the A14!
The downside is not meeting on a face to face basis those you are working with, that personal contact is both a pleasure and can smooth the progress of tight timescale projects. Nonetheless, we have all got used to MS Teams and that is what it is supposed to be for.
In summary, moving from permanent working to an SX3 Associate work life has delivered the benefits I was seeking. I would say if anyone is considering a similar life or career change you would do well to speak to Adrian. I am also available for consultation over a glass of the usual fee.