The seeds for today’s episode were sown at a meeting in Chicago in the early Spring of 2019.

I had been chairing a conference there and was making the most of the trip by visiting as many of the insurance people with their offices in the Windy City.

So it was that I met today’s guest for the first time over breakfast in the centre of town.

It was a great meeting – my host was full of energy and incredibly excited over the prospects for the Excess and Surplus lines (E&S) market.

He was a real broker’s broker and someone who leads from the front. I remember he had to break off our breakfast chat briefly to take a call relating to a placement that he was personally involved in.

We had been waiting for the market to harden for over fifteen years and this was the first time a well-placed senior executive was sitting in front of me telling me it was finally starting.

He explained that his organisation was gearing up for what he described as "the dump" that was on its way.

The dump is when admitted lines carriers have had enough of losses and non-renew or dump their most unprofitable business en masse. This flow then finds its way into the only other available channel open to it - the E&S market.

Tim Turner is the T in RT Specialty - one of the largest and probably soon to be the largest wholesale broker in the biggest wholesale insurance market in the world.

Given the size and scale of RT Specialty and the wider RSG Group his view of the market can’t be bettered.

18 months after that meeting and all of Tim’s predictions have come to pass and that is why I was really happy to be able to get a follow-up with him for the Voice of insurance.

With billions of dollars of deals running through his organisation he is one of a very select band of people with a feel for how long the hardening market might last and how deep it will hit.

As a major producer his view also matters a huge amount to the major overflow wholesale markets of Bermuda and London.

He’s also great company and buzzing with energy. I highly recommend a listen to what he has to say.

LINK:

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

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

We all know about the protection gap and financial sustainability and resilience goals for the developing world set by global bodies such as the World Bank and the United Nations.

We also know about the massive growth potential of many emerging economies and the role the insurance industry can play in enabling and accelerating its development.

This episode goes into the detail of how to approach this major opportunity and answers some common questions and upends many common misconceptions.

How much is insurance understood in developing nations? Is it seen simply as aid? Also how well are its strengths understood by donor nations? Should this kind of insurance be aiming for profit from day one, or should it be more patient?

How do we overcome modelling gaps and potentially crippling distribution costs in some of these nations?

Will the realities of harder international markets and Covid 19 put development goals on the back burner?

To answer these questions it was a great privilege to be joined by Dame Inga Beale and Lesley NdLovu of the African Risk Capacity Group (ARC).

Both have pioneered work in this field and give a strong and practical flavour to this podcast. I highly recommend a listen.

It might convince you that far from being just corporate social responsibility and the right thing to do, this is actually one of the brightest long-term opportunities in the global insurance market.

Today’s special episode has been organised by the Commonwealth Insurance Forum – the CIF and kindly sponsored by the ARC.

Set up in September 2019 the Forum was co-founded and is chaired by London market veteran Francis de Zulueta of Alpine Risk

Alpine Risk currently manages the CIF.

Co founded with Robert Lyle, co-founder of specialist London broker BPL, this not-for-profit organisation is seeking to ignite and accelerate insurance collaboration at all levels between the members of the 54-nation Commonwealth with the added support of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council.

The Commonwealth Insurance Forum has been formed as the UK is deepening and rapidly accelerating global trade links within the Commonwealth after leaving the European Union and will seek to build insurance co-operation, education and networking based on the common legal and cultural ties that bind the global Commonwealth of Nations together for the mutual benefit of all members.

LINKS

African Risk Capacity:

https://www.africanriskcapacity.org

The Forum can be contacted on Cif@alpineriskservices.com  or directly via Francis de Zulueta on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/alpine1/

Most Voice of Insurance episodes tend to be with industry CEOs.

This way you can get to know the real people behind the public persona and learn about how the industry really works by finding out what makes its leaders tick.

But of course it doesn’t give you a huge amount of class-specific detail.

Industry titans at public companies know a ton of detail about high finance and deal economics, but if I went too deep into detail on any given class of insurance or reinsurance, they would rightly refer me to an inhouse expert for a full briefing.

And that’s why I recorded this episode.

In this hard and Covid-affected market, the hardest segment seems to be the International Directors’ and Officers’ liability market or (D&O) as we all know it.

I wanted to get into hard detail about what is going on in this market.

To do this I began to set up interviews with D&O practitioners. My aim was to put together the views of multiple experts into an in-depth report.

But the first of these meetings turned out to be so strong that I have decided to put it out as an episode in its own right.

David Ritchie is Managing Director of Management Liability at Gallagher UK and is a very senior broker with his finger directly on the pulse of the sector.

In great detail David describes a market in a state of crisis and dislocation where cover is severely rationed and definitely not guaranteed at any price.

This is a world where the prices and terms that are being dictated by the few markets that remain open are almost secondary in importance. Customers have to take it or leave it and may be forced to hit the nuclear button of invoking sunset clauses on expiring cover and renewing on extremely restrictive retroactive date inception terms just to get by.

In short this is the hardest market of all time by a very, very long margin.

With only trickles of new capacity on the way and more market withdrawals possible I don’t envy David’s day job one bit, but I do commend this episode to anyone who wants to know where and how many of the underwriting fortunes and reputations of 2021 and beyond are going to be forged.

LINKS

Once again we thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today.

www.claimsdirectaccess.com

PS. Don't forget to ask Mark about advertising opportunities on the podcast. mark@thevoiceofinsurance.com

What is the greatest quality of the best business builders in our industry?

After putting together today’s episode, I’m now certain it must be the ability to get the best out of people.

Pat Ryan is a broking legend.

He’s the visionary who saw that globalisation was going to create the need for global brokers to serve the global companies that it would create.

But it’s one thing having a vision – it is completely another to be able to execute on it.

Today you get to find out how he did it. You meet Pat Ryan in a different context. Here he’s not standing at a lectern giving a keynote speech or being quoted in a press release, he’s in direct conversation with me.

We start by dissecting his latest major broking deal to merge RSG with All Risks and move through the art of buying and building broking businesses to consolidation and Marsh-JLT and Aon-Willis.

Spitzer makes an appearance and we go into business ethics and culture, his advice for anyone joining the insurance industry and finally what he would like his legacy to be.

Listening back what struck me was how much we laughed during our conversation.

Pat has bought and grown hundreds of businesses and this encounter proves beyond any doubt that he does this by putting people at ease and in a place of complete trust.

In short he knew how to get the best out of me and he did just that, in the same way he has been doing throughout his career.

The result is easily the best interview of the Voice of Insurance series so far and one that I think will stand the test of time for many years to come.

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

Don't forget to ask Mark about advertising opportunities on the podcast. mark@thevoiceofinsurance.com

When I book an interview guest in for the show it is usually at least few weeks and often a few months in advance.

When I open up my diary I can see them lined up ahead.

I build up expectations in my mind about what the interview is going to be like.

It never turns out the way I think.

Today is a case in point. I have got to know David Croom-Johnson of Aegis London over many years while covering the global insurance market.

I knew he was great company and was often outspoken in private.

But I didn’t know what he would be like with the microphone turned on. I had a fear that he might be a little more tame than he is when the recorder is not switched.

Well, I needn’t have worried.

I am happy to report that the David who showed up for the interview was the exact same David that I know from all my meetings and encounters with him in and around the London market over the past decade.

He is someone who has to be true to himself in all situations.

And because he runs a consistently top-performing Lloyd’s business which is in a very select group of managing agents that Lloyd’s has allowed to be regulated on a light touch basis this makes for a fascinating and valuable interview.

The market and David’s view of what to do about Lloyd’s mediocre and major underperformers may surprise and shock you as being extraordinarily tough.

But his long experience, wisdom and foresight are what shine through in this encounter.

From how to behave in a hard market to lean underwriting models.

From the short termism of private equity to the casualty crisis and the eventual Uberisation of the specialty market, chances are David has thought about it deeply and has a strong and unequivocal view.

Once again we thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today.

Don't forget to ask Mark about advertising opportunities on the podcast. mark@thevoiceofinsurance.com

Here at the Voice of Insurance we look at an extremely broad cross-section of the global insurance and reinsurance markets, form fascinating niches right to the top, to the giants of the sector.

Today’s guest is right at the top.

He has the biggest underwriting job in the world, with the size and scale to be able to move global markets.

That means knowing how he is thinking is required knowledge for anyone who wants to get a feel for what is happening in the marketplace.

In this interview I encountered someone cautiously optimistic of continued rate rises and new growth opportunities.

But perhaps more importantly I met someone confident that his organisation has the financial strength and risk appetite to make the most of those new opportunities as they present themselves.

In this podcast we examine the reinsurance market from end to end.

As 1.1 begins to loom in the diary, I can highly recommend this episode to you.

 

Once again we thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today.

Don't forget to ask Mark about advertising opportunities on the podcast. mark@thevoiceofinsurance.com

 

 

Today’s guest is a bit of a coup for the Voice of Insurance. He is the CEO of a $13bn top 10 reinsurance and specialty insurance group that spans the full length of the insurance value chain.

Yet despite being a public company of great scale, until now it hasn’t had much of a public profile.

It’s previous CEOs were notoriously publicity-shy but that’s about to change.

Juan Andrade has been in post since January and is starting to give Everest Re a public profile that befits its size and relevance to our market.

Here we have a full discussion of the state of the industry, changes in what investor appetite and how this is driving what Juan describes as an underwriter’s market.

We talk about the class of 2020 and its prospects and of course the immediate and potential effects of Covid-19 and how Everest is positioning itself within all of this to take full advantage of market conditions.

Juan is a concise and precise communicator and the next 20 or so minutes are packed with valuable information and insight. I highly recommend a listen.

LINK:

https://www.everestre.com

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

Here is a link to their website:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

Today’s episode is a real cracker and part of a series of great episodes we’ve got lined up for you in the month of September.

Laurent Rousseau is the Deputy CEO of Scor Global P&C and is a rising star in this top-tier global reinsurer.

In this podcast we talk about the dilemma facing Lloyd’s of London, Covid effects, the Insurtech phenomenon in the era of the now publicly quoted Lemonade, the intimate details of what is driving the hardening global insurance and reinsurance markets, the class of 2020 and the boom conditions for specialty insurance.

If you want to know what is going on in the world you need to have access to smart and well-informed people like Laurent.

And that’s what the Voice of Insurance is all about – I’ve known Laurent for a few years now and I very much want you to meet him.

LINK:

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

Here is a link to their website:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

 

Today’s episode is all about another syndicate in a box.

Back in episode 16 I interviewed Stuart Newcombe, the active underwriter of the Munich Re innovation Syndicate 1840 and the discussion was all about technology and the implementation of pioneering concepts such as parametric products.

This episode is also about the application of technology but this time it is being applied to one of the most traditional elements of underwriting at Lloyd’s - delegated authority.

This route accounts for 40% of Lloyd’s premiums and so any plan to revolutionise this method of distribution will have repercussions that reverberate across the London market and beyond.

Stephen Card is the Founding partner and CEO of Carbon Underwriting which has founded syndicate 4747.

A London market broking veteran, I first met Stephen 13 years ago when he was running PWS, the London broker that was acquired by THB in 2008.

Stephen knows the Lloyd’s market inside and out and this show and tell on what Carbon Underwriting is doing is a very useful primer of what the future might look like for anyone involved in the $18bn plus global Lloyd’s coverholder supply chain.

Enjoy the podcast.

Abbreviations:

DA= Delegated Authority

LINK:

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

Here is a link to their website:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

Today’s guest is an executive with a big job to do.

The broad market turn, driving improved performance, tidying up back years and dealing Covid-19 are enough for most executives, but on top of all that this new leader’s company has had the fallout from an acrimonious public dispute with an activist investor to deal with.

As part of Argo Group’s new management team, Chief Underwriting Officer Tim Carter has a lot on his plate.

Yet he is unfazed. In this encounter I found someone really calm, easygoing, and infectiously optimistic.

He’s also a rare combination – an actuary who is an excellent communicator and someone who comes across as a strong people person.

The next 20 minutes should leave you in little doubt that Argo is going to re-focus on its core niches in specialty where it can produce the best growth and underwriting results.

LINK:

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

Here is a link to their website:

https://www.claimsdirectaccess.com/

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