Today’s guest is a broker right at the top of her profession.

She is someone industry leaders turn to for advice and assistance around the most fundamental commodity in our industry – capital.

Her contacts are superb and if you need support her insight and connections could be the difference between getting what you need and coming up short.

Vicky Carter is Guy Carpenter’s Chairman of Global Capital Solutions, International and is also a member of the Council of Lloyd’s.

In our discussion we examine every facet of capital and the industry’s financial health, investor appetite for the insurance sector and the prospects for the emerging class of 2020. It’s why I’ve called this episode a capital masterclass.

We also look at the work she is doing on Lloyd’s ReStart SME pandemic solution and examine diversity and inclusion from the perspective of one of the most senior women in the industry.

 

NOTES:

Abbreviations.

LPT = Loss portfolio transfer

FAL (pronounced as a word rhyming with 'pal') = Funds at Lloyd's

 

LINK:

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

Here is a link to their website:

 

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

I have been watching the development of the intermediary whose executives you’ll meet in this episode since before it was founded back in 1994.

Now over a quarter of a century later, a lot of organic growth and a lot of M&A, this business is many thousands of times larger than it was then.

It spans much of the globe and is one of the best poised to make the most of the opportunities thrown up by the latest round of mega-consolidation in the broking space.

It is just about to merge its Howden retail and RKH wholesale and reinsurance arms together under the Howden name.

This will be under the leadership of Chairman Barnaby Rugge-Price and CEO José Manuel González.

This is a very frank interview and one that I think reveals a lot about the passion, culture and enduring ambition at the broking business that bears the name of its founder and parent Group Hyperion’s CEO David Howden.

NOTES:

Abbreviation glossary: I’m sure you knew this already but in case you don’t, EB stands for Employee Benefits. (José Manuel mentions this in the context of a recent acquisition in Spain).

LINK:

We thank our supporter, Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today.

Here is a link to their website:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

The Aspen story is one that in many ways mirrors the global wholesale specialty insurance and reinsurance markets that we know and love so much.

After a few years of relative underperformance – nothing catastrophic or life-threatening but underperformance nonetheless – Aspen now finds itself in the hands of private equity in the form of serial industry investor Apollo.

Mark Cloutier is in post to turn Aspen around for its new owner just at the time that much of the market is taking similar remedial action to improve performance.

Mark and Apollo have done this successfully before and that’s why this is such a good episode to get wrapped up in.

After all If you are openly turning something around for a sale you have to be building the sort of long-term value that a new owner is going to be looking to acquire.

Finding out how Mark plans to do this gives a lot of insight into how one of the smartest investors in our sector thinks.

LINK:

We thank our supporter, Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today.

Here is a link to their website:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

In the insurance media we talk about classes of new carriers being formed in mass flowerings of capitalism after the bursting of prolonged soft markets, but we never apply this term to the birth of intermediaries.

This is because the distribution side of our industry tends to renew itself more organically and less in dramatic waves.

Except that right now the conditions are perfect for a mass expansion in this space.

The consolidation of Marsh & McLennan and JLT and the prospect of Aon and Willis coming together are providing a once in a lifetime strategic backdrop for independents that can attract the right talent.

A sustained hard market has taken hold in core lines of business, giving a second boost and market reforms in hubs such as London are giving a chance for operational efficiencies and competitive advantages to be built into new businesses from day one.

Add to this record low borrowing costs, high valuations and a growing view from the investor community that broking houses have more in common with annuities than venture capital investments and you have a heady cocktail.

Into this mix I welcome Mike Reynolds the new CEO of Oneglobal Broking, a London wholesaler born of the merger between SSL and Endeavour and fueled by an investment from JC Flowers.

Mike has had a very long career in the insurance business and most recently ran reinsurance broker JLT Re.

In this interview we learn about Oneglobal’s major worldwide plans and Mike’s vision of how to build a global challenger in the wholesale specialty and reinsurance space.

Mike is good company so I think you will enjoy spending the next half hour or so with him.

NOTE:

Mike mentions a Jonathan. He is of course referring to Jonathan Palmer-Brown, the Chairman of Oneglobal Broking

LINK:

We thank our supporter, Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today. Here is a link to their website:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

In the wholesale specialty and reinsurance end of the global P&C market we can easily make the mistake of focusing too exclusively on the North American and European markets that make up the lion's share of worldwide premiums.

We can easily fall into the error of thinking that hard markets are universal and that whenever the US sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold.

That’s why It’s great to get a different perspective with a CEO who has been building a business in the world’s fastest growing markets in Asia for the last seven and a half years.

I learnt a lot from my chat with Franz Hahn of Peak Re.

For instance, the Covid-19 crisis means that credit markets are a great opportunity as are product liability covers for exporters, particularly high added value ones such as pharmaceuticals

Asia’s prior experience of Sars, bird and swine flu and Mers mean that insurance wordings here are crystal clear and the Covid-19 disputes that are littering Western courtrooms are simply not an issue.

I also learned that the market conditions are stratified between its developed and emerging markets

There’s a lot of really useful information packed into this interview – I think you will enjoy it.

LINK:

We thank our supporter Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today. Here is a link to their website:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

Reinsurance is in a particularly interesting state at the moment.

Industry capital has recovered as capital markets have bounced back after decisive actions from central banks around the world and incumbents and a few start-ups have raised or plan to raise new capital.

But at the same time the industry has shown stronger underwriting discipline as it seeks to correct a poor run of results and tries to get ahead of likely unsatisfactory back year development in casualty classes.

Retro is expensive as the ILS market retrenches and traditional buyers are looking to alternative capital solutions.

Differentiation is everywhere as sellers identify their best clients for support and reduce involvement with lesser performers.

At the same time uncertainty is at an all-time high and this means demand for reinsurance from cedants is very healthy.

Throw Covid-19 into this and you have an outlook full of very big, very difficult to answer and highly correlated questions.

Here to answer them armed with Willis Re’s 1st View mid-year renewals report is James Vickers Chair of Willis Re International.

Links to Willis Re’s latest report and Covid-19 assessment are below – I heartily recommend that you read them.

LINKS

Willis Re's latest 1st View reinsurance market report:

https://www.willistowerswatson.com/en-GB/Insights/2020/07/prudence-during-unforeseen-times

Willis Re's latest view on Covid-19:

https://www.willistowerswatson.com/en-GB/Insights/2020/07/covid-19-and-re-insurers-financial-health

And our supporter Claims Direct Access (CDA)'s website:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

This episode's guest is the CEO of one of Lloyd’s standout performers of the past two decades.

Beazley is a blue-chip Lloyd’s business that has consistently maintained top quartile performance while growing fast and continuing to innovate.

Because of this any time in the presence of Andrew Horton is time well spent.

In this episode we talk about the hardening market, the world that awaits the Class of 2020, Lloyd’s reforms, including syndicate in a box, lead-follow and the use of automation to remove costs from the syndicated market.

We also discuss, the prospect of the big three brokers becoming the big two, Andrew’s total aversion to bold transformational M&A – except when it doesn’t involve Beazley and of course, Covid-19 and how long a tail it is likely to be.

It’s a great way of getting a feel for what is front of mind at one of the specialty insurance and reinsurance world’s top outfits.

Today’s episode is very kindly supported by Claims Direct Access (CDA)

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

and Bolton Associates

https://www.bolton-associates.co.uk/

 

 

 

Not many people have ever been entrusted with hundreds of millions of dollars and the promise of more to come if it is needed with instructions to go an create a brand new broker from scratch.

But today’s guest has persuaded blue chip investors to do just that.

These investors have also given him the multi-year time horizon he needs to achieve his goals.

With a glittering career right at the top of global intermediaries, he could have stayed where he was and continued to do extremely well for himself. That’s what most people would have done.

But Steve McGill clearly isn’t like you and me.

In this podcast we dissect his vision for a new type of intermediary, we check in on his progress just over a year into his business plan and look at the transformed broking landscape in the wake of the MMC-JLT and Aon-Willis mega M&A deals.

We also talk about building the right culture and get this broking veteran’s take on the extraordinary situation we find ourselves in with Covid-19, the hard global insurance market and the class of 2020.

With thanks to our sponsor Claims Direct Access (CDA)

https://www.primeis.com/services/claims-management/

CDA is part of Prime Insurance Company:

www.primeis.com

 

 

 

 

Today’s guest brings with him a difficult message for our industry in this Covid 19 crisis

Quite simply we’re not doing well enough.

We’re not being consistent enough, we are inflexible and some of our decisions are being driven purely by cost and profit considerations.

We are too distant from the customer, we are letting small businesses down and are restricting cover going forwards where we shouldn’t be.

Listening to me say this you would think he was a radical plaintiff lawyer looking to whip up publicity for a class action – but As CEO of the UK risk manager’s trade body AIRMIC John Ludlow is anything but a firebrand.

His members are the global corporations that are the biggest buyers of insurance in the UK and pay billions in premiums. They are sophisticated professionals who rarely raise their voices.

In this podcast John describes AIRMIC as a critical friend of the insurance industry.

This may be painful listening, but IN the next 20 minutes, wherever you are I recommend you take detailed notes of what our friend has to say.

NOTES:

Link to Airmic position paper on Covid-19:

https://www.airmic.com/news/press/airmic-calls-change-approach-insurers%E2%80%99-pandemic-response

 

Julian Tighe is the CEO of Asta, the Lloyd’s market’s biggest and best-known turnkey managing agency.

Turnkeys are firms that incubate fledgling Lloyd’s businesses, helping them learn the ropes before they stand in their own right

Because of that anyone looking to enter the Lloyd’s market is very likely to have met with him or people from his organisation before taking their idea any further.

That means he gets an unparalleled view of what ventures are vying to become part of lloyd’s future as well as some of the ideas out there that might not make the cut.

That in turn means he is someone you really must get to know if you want to have you finger on the pulse of what is going on in Lloyd’s

Julian is excellent company and in this discussion we look at the Lloyd’s pipeline of new entrants and the syndicate in a box concept which Asta has just got involved in with the Launch of Carbon underwriting’s Syndicate forty seven forty seven.

We also discuss the likelihood of Lloyd’s getting a bigger share of the upcoming class of 2020 -2021 new carrier formations than it did in 2001 and 2005, Lloyd’s reforms, its reputation under covid-19 and staff moral and management during a pandemic.

It’s a discussion that I can highly recommend

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