The deregulation of the Brazilian reinsurance market in 2007 was the opportunity that Lloyd’s had been waiting for after decades of strict government control. The corporation was granted the first international license. It was exciting for me to be part of the project in its early stages, joining the market delegation to Rio de Janeiro during which the Lloyd’s Chairman Lord Levene opened the representative office.
As chance would have it, I was also made aware at that time of a veteran aviation broker at Willis who was keen to return to his native Brazil following several years in London. After meeting Marcelo Raposo I immediately knew he would be the perfect business developer for us locally and so it proved over the last ten years. I have had the privilege of visiting Rio and Sao Paulo each year and thanks to Marcelo have made many friends in the industry in Brazil.
None of us who set up on the Lloyd’s platform could have predicted the recession that hit Brazil and in particular the political turmoil that accompanied it. We also experienced plenty of back-tracking by the regulators, discovering that our freedom to operate was not quite as generous as we anticipated. The going has not been easy. Nevertheless we have grown profitably by concentrating on niche underserved pockets, like crop reinsurance, doubling our local headcount with the hiring of an agriculture specialist Daniel Melnik.
After a day slogging around the clients and brokers, sipping a Caipirinha on a terrace looking over Ipanema beach is just about the perfect way to unwind.