Today’s guest is a broking CEO on an ambitious mission to grow global revenues many times with the backing of a strategic owner.

That may sound familiar to regular listeners, but Steve Hearn of Corant Global is going about things quite differently.

At a time when most broker holding companies are at pains to hive up all their underlying brands into an overarching global brand identity, Steve is allowing multiple broking houses to flourish under the newly-minted Corant banner.

A veteran of senior executive positions at large and small brokers alike, Steve now runs a holding company and not an operational broking business.  

This means he isn’t bogged down or distracted by the day to day and has the job of thinking strategically about where broking in our market is going in the short, medium and long term and positioning Corant accordingly. 

Corant also has a different sort of owner – the capital markets focused BGC and ultimately the Cantor Fitzgerald group.

And the influence of this different variant of financial services culture is highly noticeable.

And that’s what makes this podcast special.

Rarely have I had such a focused conversation on what is happening in the broking landscape and where things are headed.

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/

This week’s guest is a longstanding and integral member of one of the most successful underwriting teams in the specialty insurance and reinsurance world.

Charles Mathias was an original member of staff at Lancashire and is now a core member of the team at Fidelis.

As Chief Risk officer and board member he has total visibility of Fidelis’s strategy and here he doesn’t duck any questions.

I was surprised by how open he was with me about which segments of the market the now capital-loaded Fidelis is finding most attractive as well as its approach to developing proprietary technology.

Again he is completely transparent about the special culture and work ethic that has made Richard-Brindle led carriers so distinctive, and so successful in the past 15 years.

This longstanding market practitioner is also incredibly polite and good humoured company.

All this makes this episode one not to miss for anyone who wants to learn the secrets of underwriting success in the hardening market of 2021.

NOTES

Charles refers to a charitable foundation, he is of course referring to the Fidelis Foundation.

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/

 

In my job I talk to a lot of entrepreneurs and particularly insurtech entrepreneurs.

Very often I find that they know their tech but really haven’t yet got to understand the insurance world.

And that often means that they are solving problems that perhaps don’t exist in the minds of insurance people and their business are unlikely to succeed.

Well today I’m talking to a start-up founder who has insurance running through his veins.

James York knows the insurance value chain inside and out.

Because of that he knows that anyone who can cut into the savage acquisition costs insurers load onto themselves year after year is onto a winner.

In an industry that spends billions on marketing anyone who can make that spend more effective is going to be in high demand.

James is the founder of Worry + Peace, which is aiming to do just this via the medium of insurance reviews.

It’s a bold and extremely ambitious global vision that goes way beyond reviews and into a whole insurance ecosystem that will aim to bring buyers and sellers together in a trusted world but which isn’t actively trying to sell insurance to anyone.

Are you intrigued? I certainly was and the more I talk to James the more I think he is onto something.

I think you should hear him out.

LINKS and Contacts:

https://worryandpeace.com/

James’s Twitter handle is: @JamesJWYork

Nick Cook of BMS Group is a man in a hurry to make the most of global opportunities to grow the 41-year old firm he runs.

Nick is refreshingly straightforward and to the point and here we get detail on BMS’s ambitious global buildout away from its more traditional markets in London and North America and into Latin America, Asia and Europe.

We also get a strong view on the opportunities being thrown up by big broker M&A as well as the capital factors driving substantial investment and consolidation at independents.

Nick also dissects the current fight to build challenger reinsurance brokers and how he thinks this particular game might not end well for everyone.

Finally we hear of bullish prospects for the London market and Nick’s thoughts and misgivings about the current vision for London’s future.

We pack in a lot here but listening back it is Nick’s boundless energy and no-nonsense passion for the task in hand that really shines through our exchange.

Enjoy the podcast.

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 we're talking to Matthew Moore President & Managing Director at Liberty Specialty Markets – LSM.

Matthew is one of the rising stars of the London Market and is currently serving as the chair of industry trade body the London Market Group.

Yet his role is global in nature.

He oversees a specialty, wholesale and reinsurance operation with gross written premiums of around $7bn of which London business is a minority.

In this wide-ranging podcast we get the benefit of this global perspective on opportunities in the hardening market as well as going into the detail on the drivers behind the essential reform process that the London Market is currently undergoing.

We also got to hear about Matthew’s thoughts on the future of insurance, industry price adequacy and reserve strength, Covid 19 estimates and how he is trying to make LSM differentiate itself in a competitive and capital-abundant marketplace.

Matthew is very enjoyable company and an insightful insurance thinker and communicator.

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 podcast is a meeting with a senior market figure most of us have known for many years.

Sean McGovern served in different board level capacities at Lloyd’s for just over 2 decades, before leaving to join the then XL Catlin in 2016 ahead of its 2018 acquisition by AXA.

Last summer he was made CEO of AXA XL’s UK and Lloyd’s business – the first time he has held a CEO post.

This interview is all about his plans for the role now that the difficult remedial actions aimed at turning around the large London Market insurer’s underwriting performance have been taken and market conditions have taken a decisive turn for the better.

As a veteran Lloyd’s spokesperson Sean has been in the public eye for many years and in this encounter I found him easy-going, relaxed and excited to be running a major London operation with the backing of the world’s largest P&C group behind him

Listen on for an insider’s view of the opportunities currently presenting themselves in the London market.

LINKS

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

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/

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/

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