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The Hoggett Bowers 2-Minute Interview: Evelyn Bourke

Evelyn Bourke 2 minute interview Bupa
Evelyn Bourke, Group CEO, BUPA

Evelyn was appointed Group CEO of Bupa in 2016 having joined the company as CFO in 2012. Bupa’s purpose is helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives.

What challenge did you tackle and overcome in your business this week?

It was our AGM last week, the first virtual one in our 70+ year history. I have to say it worked brilliantly with great participation from our Association Members and excellent Q&A. Across the Bupa world our people have stepped up really well in response to the circumstances and the needs of our customers.  And the transition to remote working has been very smooth.  It was good to share that with our Association Members. 

Which ongoing business challenge is occupying your thoughts this week/month? 

With my Executive Team, we are looking at how our strategy needs to adapt for what lies ahead.  Health is really high on the agenda for everyone. We see opportunities in the greater receptivity on the part of consumers and clinicians to telehealth and digital engagement.  We have all learned to adapt to very different circumstances and some old ways of working have been radically shaken up.  Its an exciting time to be relooking at strategy.  But there is no blueprint for anyone to follow. I feel very fortunate that Bupa has such a clear purpose, over a long time – ‘helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives’. It’s a real North Star for us.

Best thing about working from home/remotely?

Despite not being together I actually feel more deeply connected with my colleagues. We are talking more frequently and about a broader range of things including how things are playing out on the personal front. I’ve also enjoyed being able to spend more time with my husband.

Worst thing about working from home/remotely?

I’m missing the informal interaction with colleagues you get from being in the office and able to chat things through face to face. I also miss being able to get out and about around the businesses. That said, technology means you can connect much faster and with every team across the world!

Best factual news source on Covid-19?

The Corona Crisis Daily by Deutsche Bank Research (I found it to be the most digestible of all the various ways to track what’s happening, where), the Financial Times and The New York Times.

Who or what has inspired you this week? (They don’t need to be famous)

Like many millions of other people in the UK I’ve been hugely inspired by Colonel Tom Moore who has captured the nation’s heart with his resilience and his optimism at a time when we most need it. What a trooper!

Best programme/film you watched on TV/streaming this week?

Early episodes of Maigret. Rowan Atkinson is simply brilliant. 

Are you doing more or less exercise than a typical week when you commute and if more, what?

More. As well as my exercise bike, I like to get out for an early morning walk. It’s a great way to closer to nature in central London.

What are you consuming more of (that you should not be) now you are not in an office environment?

Unsalted nuts – they’re a great snack, but it’s too easy to eat more of than I should!

Any words of wisdom?

Nothing is ever as good or as bad as it seems.