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

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