Corporate responsibility by lifemate

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									             Corporate responsibility

Fundamental to corporate and social responsibility is honest                             Communication and participation
and fair dealing in all activities of the Company. Hiscox has              Employees are kept informed of business developments through
alwaysbeenextremelyconsciousofitsreputation. Management                    formal briefings, team meetings, intranet bulletins, video conferences
has always believed that a reputation for integrity and decent             and informal routes. Management takes these opportunities to listen
behaviour in all dealings, be they within the Group or with                to staff and involve them in taking the business forward. A monthly
those from outside who come in contact with the Group, will                staff e-zine provides updates on issues and social events.
be good for morale and for the results of the business.
                                                                                         Culture
Robert Hiscox                                                              The Hiscox culture is underpinned by a set of core values that
                                                                           determine the standard of behaviour expected of employees.
Hiscox’s commitment to responsible business practices is reflected:        These core values – challenge convention, integrity, respect, courage,
                                                                           quality and excellence in execution – guide everything that Hiscox
            In the marketplace                                             does in its business. By conducting its business with these core values
            Dealing with customers                                         in mind, the Group recognises that it is more likely to achieve business
Hiscox UK is dedicated to advising customers on risk management            success and create value for its shareholders. Hiscox strives for the
to prevent burglary and fire in the home and other distressing losses.     highest standards of corporate governance while being in essence
Should a loss occur, the Hiscox UK philosophy is that insurance is a       a non-bureaucratic organisation. An effective and firm system of
promise to pay, and the claims service aims to support customers and       internal controls ensures that risks are managed within acceptable
make them whole as soon as possible. For more information about            limits, but not at the expense of innovation or speed of response.
Claims at Hiscox see pages 22 to 25.                                       The Group believes that it has got this balance right and that it is one
                                                                           of its greatest strengths. The Group’s policies ensure that it continues
             Dealing with business partners                                 to follow a best practice approach to managing its people and
Insurance brokers are an important Hiscox stakeholder, and                 remains a fair and professional employer. In the unlikely event of an
Hiscox endeavours to have good relationships with them to create           employee having a material concern relating to the operations of
a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Clear communication            the business, a whistleblowing policy explains to staff how they can
is key to good relations and a quarterly Hiscox broker magazine            confidentially raise their misgivings.
keeps brokers informed of developments at Hiscox and in the
insurance industry.                                                        Hiscox also subscribes to Public Concern at Work, which provides
                                                                           free legal advice to any employee with a concern about possible
              Dealing with investors                                       danger or malpractice in the workplace.
In keeping with its policy of open and transparent communication,
Hiscox reports both its half and full year results to its investors via                In the community
a series of presentations as well as ensuring all relevant Group                       In total, Hiscox donated £616,572 to charities in 2007.
financial information is available from its website. In addition, senior   As the Group expands throughout the world, it aims to recruit local
management and key performers meet investors and analysts to               staff wherever possible to help develop a rapport with the local
explain and take questions on the Group financial performance              community and make a direct contribution to the local economy.
and business strategy.
                                                                           The Group has maintained its involvement in its local communities
             In the workplace                                              with the strong support of its employees. In Bermuda, Hiscox supports
             Hiscox wants to employ the best people and provide            the Bermuda Sunshine League which is a transitional living facility
them with the means and the motivation to excel. This is achieved with     for children removed from unstable living environments and gives
fair rewards and by providing staff with an environment in which they      employees the opportunity to contribute their time and effort to
can enjoy their work and reach their full potential. Hiscox recognises     children who require adult role models and a semblance of stability.
how important it is for employees to maintain a healthy work/life          Hiscox is a member of the Lloyd’s Community programme, which
balance and gives staff the option of flexible and home working            supports local initiatives concerning education, training, enterprise
wherever possible.                                                         and regeneration. In London for example, the Reading Partners scheme
                                                                           has continued, through which staff assist pupils at the Elizabeth Selby
              Equal opportunities                                          Infants School in Tower Hamlets. Employees also mentor students
Hiscox is committed to providing equal opportunities to all employees      at Morpeth School in Tower Hamlets.
and potential employees in all aspects of employment regardless of
disability, sex, race, religion, sexual inclination or background.                       Supporting the arts
                                                                           The Group continues to support the Bermuda Masterworks
            Rewards and benefits                                           Foundation, which aims to repatriate artworks by Bermudian
Hiscox encourages employees to identify with the success of the            artists or featuring Bermuda landscapes/seascapes. Hiscox Art
Group through performance-related pay and bonus schemes, savings-          Projects, a contemporary exhibition space situated in the London
related share option schemes and executive share option schemes.           office with free entry to the public, continues to provide artists with
Competitive benefits packages contain health, fitness, flexible working    an opportunity to exhibit their talents.
and career break opportunities. Salary packages are benchmarked
by Watson Wyatt against the financial services industry as a whole                       The Hiscox Foundation
and against the Lloyd’s market specifically, where applicable.             The Hiscox Foundation, a charity funded by an annual donation from
                                                                           Hiscox, has been set up to give donations to deserving causes. It gives
              Training and development                                     priority to any charity in which a member of staff is involved with the aim
Hiscox is committed to training and developing its employees to            of encouraging and developing such activity.
help them maximise their potential. Each permanent member of
staff is provided with a tailored personal development programme.          Hiscox staff also continued their six year long support of the Richard
Training and development needs are reviewed twice a year, along            House Hospice, raising over £30,000 through various initiatives
with performance, against clearly set objectives.                          during 2007. One such initiative was the Ardéche challenge, where
                                                                           24 people took part in a canoe race through the Ardéche Gorge


48           Corporate responsibility                                                   Hiscox Ltd Report and Accounts 2007
in South Eastern France raising over £12,000 for the charity.
Money was also raised through book sales and a Christmas raffle.

             In the environment
             The way customers conduct their business is of
paramount importance to the Group. Hiscox’s approach to
underwriting their risks will take into account customers’ attitudes
to all aspects of their business, including care of the environment.

As part of its approach, Hiscox has joined Climatewise, an insurance
industry initiative which aims to reduce the economy’s and society’s
long-term risk from climate change. Hiscox is developing a strategy
to support the principles of Climatewise and is encouraged by the
actions taken by Lloyd’s to assist the market to meet the majority
of the principles.

The Group’s direct environmental impact is mainly from the energy
it uses and the emissions and waste it generates from its premises.
In accordance with the Group’s Environmental Policy, consumables
are recycled and reused wherever possible. The Group is taking steps
to reduce the amount of raw materials used in business processes and
by staff, particularly through the extensive use of computerisation and
communications technology. During 2007, Hiscox upgraded its IT
data centre and reduced the number of servers required by the Group.
Programmes for recycling batteries, mobile phones, lamps and CDs
continued during the year.

A Hiscox representative attends meetings organised by the City of
London Corporation to keep abreast of environmental best practice
and exchange ideas with other like-minded companies.




            Hiscox Ltd Report and Accounts 2007                           Corporate responsibility   49

								
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