At Novae we are committed to our values of courtesy, commitment, initiative and teamwork in our dealings with all of our stakeholders. These values underpin our commitment to being a responsible business in the communities in which we operate and conducting business with integrity at all times.
Novae supports charity work in the UK and globally through our partnerships with the National Literacy Trust and ShelterBox. Through corporate sponsorship and a calendar of fundraising events to involve the whole Novae community, we aim to make a difference to many people’s lives. Beyond our chosen charities, Novae is also matching the fundraising efforts of employees supporting their own favourite charities.
To support staff in their fundraising efforts we offer employees two days a year in addition to holiday entitlement to be used for volunteering and fundraising.
A Charity Committee, comprised of employees from around the business, has been set up to manage the matched funding programme and the relationships with our partner charities.
We recognise that our success is dependent on our ability to recruit, motivate, and retain talented staff. We strive for an open and inclusive culture and seek to balance the need for agility and innovation with a robust internal control environment.
We are committed to effective training and development of our staff and have a training and development budget equivalent to over £2,000 per employee. Each employee has a personal development plan which forms a key part of Novae’s twice-yearly individual performance reviews. We also run tailored induction training and have introduced a programme of Lunch and Learn training sessions in 2016, with the aim of sharing knowledge across the company and facilitating cross functional learning and development.
In 2016, we launched a mentoring programme to support employees in their development as well as provide opportunities to connect with staff from other parts of the company.
At Novae we aim to be an employer of choice within the Lloyd’s market and broader insurance sector, and recognise that this requires a fair and competitive remuneration policy. In order to maintain transparency around performance and reward, our Group Remuneration Policy is available in full to all employees.
We encourage employees to participate in the Group’s success through variable pay, including an annual bonus scheme, a Share Incentive Plan (“SIP”) and long term incentive plans. Around 70% of employees participate in the SIP. We offer a competitive benefits package to all employees, including pension, health care, income protection and life assurance.
There has been no requirement to consult formally with employees during 2016 but we recognise that employee involvement and communication is an important element of good business practice. Employees are kept informed of business developments through regular Town Hall sessions and video conferences and the CEO and Group HR Director have run regular breakfast Q&A meetings with employees to hear their views on a range of topics.
Novae is committed to developing work practices and policies that support a healthy work-life balance. We seek to accommodate requests for flexible working and home working wherever possible.
We are committed to creating a positive working environment in which all employees are treated fairly and with dignity and respect. Diversity and Inclusion training is a compulsory element of our employee induction programme, and an Equal Opportunities Statement of Practice and Policy is included in the Employee Handbook. A Diversity and Inclusion Champion has recently been appointed who will work closely with Human Resources in supporting various initiatives. Recognising the benefits of a diverse workforce, we are working to improve diversity across the business. We actively support industry initiatives to increase diversity in the insurance sector, including the [email protected] programme.
As at 31 December 2016, there was one female director and five male directors on the Board. There were two female and eight male senior managers and the Company employed 217 males and 157 females.
We have developed a dedicated Human Rights Policy which affirms our commitment to respecting, protecting and advancing human rights. In conducting our affairs, we take into account how we can protect human dignity, diversity and freedom and comply with all applicable human rights legislation. In accordance with the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act, we have also made a public statement of our opposition to modern slavery and human trafficking on our website.
Novae strives for transparency in our communications with shareholders, analysts and the media, and makes regular presentations and statements to keep the market apprised of our performance.
We have consolidated our growing position as a thought leader in the cyber insurance market place by sponsoring an exclusive piece of research. We partnered with Senior Professors and Research Fellows within the Department of Computer Science at Oxford University as well as The Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre in Oxford to publish a white paper entitled, ‘The Relative Effectiveness of widely used Risk Controls and the Real Value of Compliance’.
Novae won Innovation of the Year for its SPA (Special Purpose Arrangement) at Reactions’ London Market awards 2016. Syndicate 6129 is the first SPA of its kind dedicated to a single specific class of insurance business - US property excess and surplus lines.
We believe in doing whatever possible to minimise the environmental impact of our business activities. We are committed to a rigorous recycling and waste policy. Our paper archive is under continuous review with the intention of reducing its size, and we look to use paperless workflow tools wherever we can, including for our invoicing and Board and Committee management. We do not provide company cars to staff, and public transport is used for the Group’s business wherever possible. We also subsidise UK staff in the Cycle to Work Scheme. In place of regular air travel between our London and Bermuda offices, communication between the offices is managed wherever possible by remote working practices.
We continue to work at reducing our energy consumption within the constraints of a multi‑tenanted building. Most notably in 2016 we improved lighting in our own part of the building, installing LED type fittings with dimming and passive infrared sensor control.
Novae’s landlords at Lombard Street are certified to ISO 14001 Environmental Management System, and are in the process of gaining global certification for ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems (due in June 2017).
Our employees recently took part in a selection process for two new charity partners whose vision and values are aligned with our own. We are delighted to have selected ShelterBox and the National Literacy Trust as our corporate charity partners for the next three years.
2016 was the final year of our 10-year partnership with The Prince’s Trust, and we are proud to have served as Patron to this exceptional charity and had the opportunity to play a part in their highly-acclaimed work turning around the lives of young people.
Insurance, at its heart, is about helping get people back on their feet in times of trouble. It’s also the focus of ShelterBox, one of the leading providers of disaster relief resources. Their vision is a world where no family goes without shelter, and they have responded to over 275 disasters since 2001. Supporting ShelterBox provides an opportunity to support vulnerable families robbed of their homes by disaster, both collectively as a business, and at an individual level by inspiring employees to raise money, raise awareness and get involved.
Families supported by ShelterBox in Niger
Chris Warham, CEO of ShelterBox, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Novae. Disasters and conflict often have big headlines associated with them – but it’s the individual stories that affect me most. I have personally delivered aid and seen how our emergency shelter changes everything. I remember Marina and how our shelter allowed her to be reunited with her family away from a squalid ‘refugee centre’ in central Africa. This is the difference Novae is helping to make.”
The National Literacy Trust works with disadvantaged young people to improve literacy levels, equip them for employment and life, and give them a route out of poverty. Partnering with an organisation focused on promoting literacy continues to deliver on Novae’s commitment to invest in the next generation.
Inspiring children to read for enjoyment on the Young Readers programme.
Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, said: ‘We are thrilled that Novae has chosen the National Literacy Trust as one of its charity partners. The partnership with our Young Readers programme will give disadvantaged children the opportunity to develop a love of reading for pleasure and choose books of their own to keep.’
Novae is delighted to be Stable Sponsor to the horse racing yard of Nicky Henderson for the forthcoming season.
Nicky is one of the most successful trainers of his generation. This association will also continue Novae’s relationship with the jockey Barry Geraghty, in that Barry is the principal Jockey to the Henderson yard.
Novae wishes Nicky and his team all success for the months ahead.