On Insurance Fat Cats

Eye-watering as ever the recent annual survey of executive remuneration revealed, in the words of its publisher Insurance Insider, that our leaders “are some of the best rewarded captains of industry, beating averages within commercial banking and almost on par with the petroleum industry”. Indeed the top fifty highest paid insurance bosses in 2013 pulled in an average of $10m each. Most of the fat-cats … Continue reading On Insurance Fat Cats

On thanking the Regulator…really

Since the financial crisis in 2008, the insurance industry has seemed transfixed, even paralysed at times by regulation-anxiety. The dash to introduce Solvency II; an expensive sprint to a finish-line, ultimately stretched by the EU rule makers, led to some rancorous exchanges between insurance leaders and those setting the policy as the full implications of compliance emerged. The chatter now in the market is about … Continue reading On thanking the Regulator…really

On Going Global

  The Japanese fiscal year drew to a close at March end with all three major insurers posting stronger 2013 earnings. This despite a weaker contribution from domestic non-life business hit hard by the February snowstorms. No surprise therefore that the stand-out performance was from Tokio Marine whose profitability increased by 42% largely on the back of executing a more aggressive investment strategy internationally compared … Continue reading On Going Global

On Innovation in the Workplace

With a little help from Brad Pitt on the way, arguably it was Michael Lewis who first introduced ‘big data’ into the public consciousness with the publication of his book Moneyball more than a decade ago. His account of how a baseball club assembled a competitive and ultimately successful team despite its weak financial situation revealed to a global audience the power of analytical, evidence-based … Continue reading On Innovation in the Workplace

On Hostile Takeovers

Punctuated only by the news of increasingly desperate efforts to find a missing plane in the Indian Ocean, the market awoke from a soporific start to 2014 on 14 April when Endurance launched their $3.2 billion bid to acquire fellow Bermudian based specialty insurer Aspen. In addressing their offer directly to Aspen’s shareholders without the support of the company’s board of directors, Endurance set the … Continue reading On Hostile Takeovers

On the Digital Revolution

There are certain truths hidden in plain sight that occasionally demand a dusting-off and exposing to the light. Denis Kessler, the CEO who has worked miracles at SCOR, speaking last week to the London Insurance Institute did precisely that. For him all the transformation we are experiencing in the industry is down to one thing: modern technology. Barriers to market entry have crumbled because computer … Continue reading On the Digital Revolution

On Renaissance Men

This week the Bank of England announced that Nick Prettejohn is to step down from the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) board. Since he had only been there for a few months, the news was unexpected although the reason given that he is ‘to purse a future outside regulation’ perhaps less so. A management consultant originally, since leaving Lloyd’s as CEO in 2005 Nick has held … Continue reading On Renaissance Men

On the Innovation Challenge

Lloyd’s underwriter Novae published an interesting thought piece last week. They commissioned some independent researchers to pose a series of questions to a panel of industry leaders and manfully collated the responses into an essay ‘Looking Forward’. Their main conclusion, that innovation and specialisation are the keys to the industry’s future development, may not be ground breaking but is certainly something to reflect on. These … Continue reading On the Innovation Challenge

On a Party Over

The 2013 results reporting season is now under way and as anticipated all the major insurance firms in London and Bermuda are delivering superb numbers; most benefiting from the especially low cost of catastrophe claims last year. For those risk carriers operating at the specialist end of the market, the good times have rolled on and on for more than ten years which is an unprecedented … Continue reading On a Party Over

On Lloyd’s in Dubai

In announcing plans yesterday to set up an underwriting platform within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Lloyd’s were at pains to point out that the decision amounted to straightforward economics; securing cost savings from the DIFC through the provision of shared services to the handful of Lloyd’s related businesses already there and a few that might be on the verge of joining. In reaction to … Continue reading On Lloyd’s in Dubai