This podcast is all about looking to the future of broking.

In a world of automatic, algorithmically controlled capacity where huge rivers of data flow direct from insureds and reinsureds to carriers and beyond where does this leave the broker?

Brokers and technological change haven’t necessarily always gone hand in hand in our markets.

It was brokers that spurned the early versions of electronic placing and constantly worried about whether they would be disintermediated.

But these days a new broker is emerging – one less tied up in extracting remuneration out of the transaction and more intent on adding value through advice and advanced risk management services to their clients.

This is what I am discussing today with Clyde Bernstein, Head of Broking, Willis Towers Watson Great Britain.

A Willis lifer, Clyde is an extremely well-known figure in the London Market. Anyone who has spent enough time walking down Lime Street will recognise him because he has been in the market for over 30 years.

He is excellent company, is extremely eloquent and most importantly, he knows the market inside and out.

That is why his articulation of a vision for the future of broking is so compelling and real. If someone of his analogue pedigree has been bitten by the tech bug, we all will be.

With people like Clyde around, who would bet against the electronic underwriters of the future complaining that the brokers still always seem to be one step ahead of them?

LINKS

We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure:

https://www.advantagego.com/

We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

 

Today’s guest is one of the industry’s smartest analysts and it is great to welcome him back to the show.

David Flandro is the Managing Director of Analytics at HX, the tech and research-focused part of the Howden Group and today we are dissecting the state of the market after the 1.1.21 renewals.

David has had a long career in the financial markets and at major broking houses and is one of the best people I know at expressing often very complicated ideas and theories in the plainest of English.

He also has a great sense of humour and is always ebullient company which means while the English may be plain, the discussion and the mood is always lively.

In this podcast we discuss a lot of the topics raised in Howden's Hard Times 1.1 renewal report. I highly recommend you read this in conjunction with your listen today. 

NOTES

Howden's Hard Times market report:

https://www.howdengroup.com/sites/g/files/mwfley566/files/inline-files/Howden%20Market%20Report%20-%20HARD%20TIMES%2004-01-21_0.pdf

David mentions a Julian. He is referring to Julian Alovisi, HX’s Head of Research.

We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure:

https://www.advantagego.com/

We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

Today’s guest is one of the industry’s most experienced and most respected reinsurance brokers with an incredibly broad and deep perspective to share on the industry.

His broking house Willis Re is always first out of the blocks after the major renewal dates with its first view reports into the state of the reinsurance market

Given the exceptional nature of this particular renewal I was delighted to have some time with James Vickers Chair, Willis Re International.

We spoke at length about the hardening market, the impact of the class of 2020 and of course the potential costs and all the coverage issues surrounding Covid 19.

James is an exceptionally clear-thinking and eloquent commentator so I highly recommend the half hour conversation that follows.

And do make sure you accompany this podcast with a read of Willis Re’s 1.1.21 First View Report which they have entitled Firming Landscape.

LINKS
Willis Re Firming Landscape  Report:

https://www.willistowerswatson.com/en-GB/Insights/2021/01/firming-landscape

We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure:

https://www.advantagego.com/

We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

 

Today’s guest is someone highly thought of in the London Market whose skills are in high demand. 

Three years ago he set out to start his own business and reshape the MGA model in a highly radical way that seeks to align the agent as closely to the carriers backing them as possible.

Many businesses say they are going to break the mould but what Talbir Bains is trying to achieve at Volante has never been done before.

He and I had been introduced and briefly shaken hands a couple of times over the years, but I had never interviewed him in depth.

I am very glad that I did.

Talbir is as smart and visionary as you would expect, but I had no idea of the depth of his conviction, the scale of his ambition and the radical nature of the new type of MGA he is bringing to market.

Listen on if you want to learn what the MGA of the future is going to look like.

We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling underwriters to increase the speed and accuracy of decision making:

https://www.advantagego.com/

We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

Today’s guest is a year and a half into a role running the best performing major reinsurer of the past 15 years.

Hannover Re has been a business that has managed to grow profitably in hard and soft markets alike, maintaining a lean structure and keeping underwriting and rigorous capital management to the fore.

With a global market hardening in full swing and one of the most important 1.1 renewals in decades to navigate, I asked Jean-Jacques Henchoz to outline his plans for Hannover Re in a radically changing reinsurance landscape.

Along the way I found a charismatic leader who is looking to strike a balance between reinforcing Hannover’s core strengths and underwriting culture while at the same time gently pushing it to adapt and prepare for the future.

I enjoyed my time with Jean-Jacques and the insights he gave into Hannover Re’s strategy for 2021 and beyond and I think you will too.

We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling underwriters to increase the speed and accuracy of decision making:

https://www.advantagego.com/

We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) and Insurtech Gateway for their support today:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

https://insurtechgateway.com/

 

 

Today’s guest is one of the most experienced and widely travelled executives in the global insurance world and someone I have been interviewing regularly for the past 15 years.

During that time he has been in the fairly unique position of having worked on either side of the fence for a broker and carriers alike as well as for the Corporation of Lloyd’s.

But what all his roles have had in common have been the formulation and execution of global expansion strategies.

And unsurprisingly that is what he is charged with in his latest role running the International Insurance business at Sompo International.

In this podcast we talk about the state of the market and current growth opportunities around the world.

Julian has been dealing with the media for many years and is a relaxed and eloquent communicator.

And given his long and successful track record of growing international insurance businesses of all shapes and sizes, this is one I can highly recommend.

LINKS

We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling underwriters to increase the speed and accuracy of decision making:

https://www.advantagego.com/

We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

 

As journalists we tend to sprinkle superlative terms such as industry legend around a little too liberally.

But today’s guest definitely qualifies.

As a founder of Renaissance Re Jim Stanard helped completely transform the way the industry analyses and underwrites catastrophe risk and cemented Bermuda’s place in the insurance and reinsurance world.

He also co-founded global challenger reinsurance broker Tiger Risk.

Now he is back in his heartland as chair of the newly-independent Ariel Re.

Here we talk about everything you would ever want to know about how to be a successful underwriter building a sustainable portfolio.

Listening back it is a remarkable conversation and one marked by Jim’s extraordinary good humour and openness. We spent a lot more time laughing than is normal in a serious hard market reinsurance conversation.

But that is all down to Jim’s open-mindedness and remarkably broad interests.

I hadn’t met him before this meeting but it really doesn’t show. I learned a lot, including that this industry leader has a not unimportant side line on the music scene.

So do enjoy the conversation.

A couple of Notes:

Jim told me later he misspoke about Lotus being the first spreadsheet package and meant to say Visicalc.

And the quote about predicting the future is variously attributed to Yogi Berra, Sam Goldwyn or Danish physicist Niels Bohr, depending on who you ask.

LINKS

Jim’s album "Color outside the lines" can be streamed on Spotify and is available on Amazon and other music sellers.

Go to: www.jimstanardmusic.com to find out more.

We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling underwriters to increase the speed and accuracy of decision making:

https://www.advantagego.com/

We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

Ascot has been one of Lloyd’s great success stories of the past 2 decades yet its CEO Andrew Brooks doesn’t have the sort of public profile that one would expect to go with the job.

After many years waiting out the soft market Ascot is now in aggressive expansion mode backed by a very patient, very deep pool of capital.

Given its cautious and prudent track record its diversification plans make for fascinating listening, particularly the thinking behind this historically short-tailed business’s controlled entry into the casualty world.

In our talk Andrew is engaging and very open and forthcoming about Ascot’s way of doing things.

Anyone looking for pointers on how to build a successful underwriting operation that is sustainable over the long term will learn a huge amount over the next half an hour or so.

We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling underwriters to increase the speed and accuracy of decision making:

https://www.advantagego.com/

We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

Alex Maloney has been running the Lancashire group of companies for six-and-a-half years.

For much of that time the business has been keeping its powder dry waiting for a moment to exploit a change in market conditions and resume growth.

That moment seemed to come in Q2 of this year, with a new equity capital raise.

In this interview I ask Alex all about his plans to deploy this renewed firepower.

I found him invigorated and looking to expand aggressively and diversify in the new year as large segments of the market come back and business flows change.

I also got to know a little more of the singular and strong character that has made this business both an outlier and an outperformer since its foundation 15 years ago.

We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling underwriters to increase the speed and accuracy of decision making:

https://www.advantagego.com/

We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

 

Mapfre Re is a top 20 global reinsurer but it probably doesn’t have the public profile that this size should command.

Given my insurance work experience in the Spanish market I thought this was a wrong that needed righting.

Mapfre Re has many peculiarities, not least that it is one of the few reinsurers to still be part of a major global insurance group decades after it became fashionable to divest and separate insurance from reinsurance.

It also looks after the reinsurance buying for its global top 20 insurer parent.

This gives it a unique perspective of the market, which I think you will find refreshing.

Mapfre Re CEO Eduardo Perez de Lema is a frank and eloquent interviewee and in this episode he gives us an unambiguous view on what he is expecting from the 1.1 renewals and the long-term sustainable partner philosophy at the heart of his firm’s strategy.

We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling underwriters to increase the speed and accuracy of decision making:

https://www.advantagego.com/

We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

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