Chief Operating Officer, BLP
Name – Kim Vernau
I joined BLP in 2008 taking responsibility for managing the Customer Transaction Process and the team that deliver that process alongside all IT requirements that support the delivery of BLP services and products. I am also responsible for the implementation of all legal, compliance and audit requirements of the business.
I have accumulated over 23 years experience within the Thomas Miller Group in claims management, operational management, project management and investment management. I began my career as a claims handler in P I becoming an Area Group Manager. I was then seconded to the Oasis IT Document Imaging and Workflow project, ultimately managing the project during the period of roll out across the UK based syndicates. I held the position of Group Internal Auditor for three years before being transferred to Thomas Miller Investments as Commercial Director for a further three and a half years prior to joining BLP. I am a barrister, hold an LLM, a PIIA qualification from the Institute of Internal Auditors together with the Markets and Regulations qualification.
There is no such thing as a typical day at BLP, which is a large part of the attraction. I am in reasonably early and devote the first two hours to reviewing contracts, considering claims, preparing board minutes and agendas and ensuring my email is kept under control (not a task I am always very good at!)
I also try to keep up to date with legal developments in construction law and am a member of the Society of Construction Law. Furthermore, as an Underwriting Agent we are also expected to keep our insurer, Allianz Global and Specialty, advised of developments which requires monthly meetings. There is also the day to day management of the team, both upwards as well as downwards!
I have greatly improved my skill sets in management, legal, compliance, audit, operational and business development roles I am much better able to multi task and consider myself very adaptable in the face of both change and business disciplines. I have more confidence as a result and am prepared to take initiative in strategic business decisions. I am also better able to motivate people. I have a sound skill set in planning and project management based on analysis and evidence, problem solving, dealing with crisis situations calmly and efficiently, making things happen and communicating at all levels, including Board representations. I have enjoyed most aspects of my time here and continue to be enthusiastic and committed to any challenge I undertake. I also have a large and varied social network across all the businesses so there is never a shortage of people to lunch with!
A particularly challenging project in which I was involved was the ‘Oasis Project’, a system which is still the mainstay of the claims handling process across many of the TM Transport Mutual businesses twelve years on. This was an extensive project with the objective to develop an international claims handling system for executives incorporating imaging and workflow. We not only succeeded in developing a system that was adopted by the business and has proved to stand the test of time but were also privileged to work alongside inspiring individuals from IBM who ensured we managed to keep the project on budget and within the time constraints originally planned without the dreaded scope creep! In interfacing with all claims handlers from senior managers to the administration staff we delivered a smooth transition for the business from a paper based system to an imaged based system.