On Impaired Vision

Less than two years ago Lloyd’s revealed to the London insurance community a vision of itself in 2025 enthusiastically endorsed by Prime Minister David Cameron. At its heart was a repositioning of the market to take advantage of the opportunities in the world’s high growth economies. Since then the Lloyd’s hierarchy have sat at the front of the bus on some high-profile overseas trade missions … Continue reading On Impaired Vision

On Market Transformation

Time certainly flies. It was over twenty years ago that Aon bought the Dutch firm Hudig-Laneveldt ; a deal prompting a chain reaction of moves and counter-moves like a giant game of Risk® by the end of which the broking world map was completely re-drawn. Today the market is accustomed to the mighty fire-power of the three global brokers – Aon, Marsh and Willis – who … Continue reading On Market Transformation

On Black Holes

What a week for Royal Sun Alliance, already unpopular with investors following their decision earlier this year to cut their dividend payout. The impact of the St. Jude storm particularly on their large Danish subsidiary forced the company to release a profits warning. Worst still was their second warning four days later after revealing irregularities in the accounts of their company in Ireland. The subsequent … Continue reading On Black Holes

On Innovation in Singapore

Meeting last week and attracting nearly 1,000 delegates, the 12th biennial Singapore International Reinsurance Conference (SIRC) has come a long way since the event joined the industry travelling circus in 1990. So too has Singapore as a regional reinsurance hub. Back then there were plenty of reinsurers but many were small and ineffective; few brokers could be taken seriously; markets like China and Vietnam were closed; … Continue reading On Innovation in Singapore

On Keeping Customers Close

Dragging French reinsurer SCOR Re back from the brink and restoring the company’s credibility and financial security was an achievement many in the market thought impossible. So when their CEO Denis Kessler, who engineered this much lauded comeback spoke about the emerging economies at the AM Best Conference last week, as reported in Insurance Insider, his comments were not without significance. His rallying cry for … Continue reading On Keeping Customers Close

On the Underwriting Galácticos

A term coined in Spain, Los Galácticos were the soccer superstars expensively acquired by Real Madrid following a policy at the time to construct a world-class team by bringing together the most talented, prestigious and marketable players on the planet. The glamour of signing Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham and the spectacle they produced together on the field was fantastic but the club ultimately failed to build long-term sustainable … Continue reading On the Underwriting Galácticos

On Insurance Wars

Disputes within our industry are hardly unusual despite contract-certainty and a whole heap of regulation. Parties often disagree about how a risk has been presented, policy interpreted or a claim adjudicated. Sometimes things can get a bit ugly, end up in court and on occasions businesses who were previously friends can find themselves at opposite ends of a legal wrangle. Surprising as it might seem, … Continue reading On Insurance Wars

On Other People’s Money

Although there have been a few acquisitions at Lloyd’s since, none were as bold as Catlin’s takeover of Wellington in 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The new enlarged syndicate immediately became the largest at Lloyd’s; a position it holds today, writing gross premiums of nearly £1.8 billion last year. Surprising many back then, in addition to acquiring the managing agency, Catlin also bought … Continue reading On Other People’s Money

On the Cost of Doing Business

Already 2013 has the air of being a transformative year for the industry. Over the past 12 months the usage of non-traditional sources of capital has arguably reached a tipping point that shifts the reinsurance business model possibly forever and not just in response to the low interest rate world we presently live in. Equally the quota share sidecar deal struck in March between Aon … Continue reading On the Cost of Doing Business