Keith Harrison, CEO, UK & Europe, JLT Re
There are some powerful winds of change whistling around the London insurance market at the moment, especially down Lime Street where Lloyd’s has launched a wide-ranging review of its Syndicates’ profitability and business mix.
In the context of a prolonged soft market, the catalyst for the review was the £2.2 billion loss the market posted in the wake of last year’s series of major natural catastrophes.
Syndicates were asked to look hard at their business plans and the viability of certain classes of business, particularly Marine Hull, Cargo, Yacht, International Motor and PI. This has already led to numerous syndicates pulling back from unprofitable lines.
This comes in the context of other important changes around costs and efficiency that were already taking place in the London market with electronic placement very much at the fore.
This year 30 percent of the insurance business that will go into Lloyd’s is targeted to be placed electronically, rising significantly next year and to include reinsurance also.
It is an ambitious plan but one that will help to ensure London – and Lloyd’s in particular – can compete for many years to come.
Change at Lloyd’s
There will also be change at the top of the market as Lloyd’s CEO Dame Inga Beale will be departing in October after five years in the role. Her successor, John Neal, is a key appointment and will set the tone for the next phase of transformation in the London Market.
Alongside these changes will be the withdrawal of the UK from the EU at the end of March next year, with Lloyd’s set up to serve European clients from Brussels and many other insurers and brokers making similar preparations across Europe.
There is plenty of activity in the company market too with major (re)insurers re-positioning themselves for future growth and on the M&A front there are a number of potentially transformative deals underway in both the P&C and ILS space.
Then of course there is the announced proposed acquisition of our own company, JLT, by Marsh & McLennan Companies to create what would become, on a pro-forma basis, the world’s largest insurance and reinsurance broker.
There is lots of change in London for sure and there is no doubt the London Market will look quite different in a few years’ time, but throughout, underwriters will underwrite and brokers will broke and business will be done.
Certainly the view from JLT Re in London is very much client first – the landscape may be changing but our focus is not!
Keith Harrison | CEO, UK & Europe, JLT Re
+44 (0)20 7886 5308