Tim Gardner is the relatively new CEO of Lockton Re and has been tasked by the Lockton group with building up a challenger reinsurance broking operation of significant scale.

The MMC-JLT and now Aon-Willis M&A activity has given this venture a significant timing boost and there is a palpable sense of a once in a generation opportunity for independents to stake their claim on a share of this lucrative global market.

I quizzed Tim on every aspect of his strategy to make Lockton Re a credible new player in the reinsurance broking space.

He was clear and forthright in all his answers, so I commend this episode to anyone looking to get an inside view of the current reinsurance intermediary landscape.

I spoke to Managing Director of QBE Re Stephen Postlewhite about hardening rates at the mid-year renewals, capital crunches, squeezes in ILS and retro and the long-term insurability of pandemic risk.

I also asked him about what might change at QBE Re now that the former actuary and Aspen executive has taken the reins.

I found someone freshly reloaded with capital and risk appetite and full of expansion plans.

Watch this space – QBE Re is keen to engage with this global hard market.

It was refreshing – have a listen.

We live in incredibly uncertain times and its at times like this that we value clarity above all else.

My interviewee in this episode makes himself crystal clear.

Julian Enoizi is the CEO of the UK’s government backed terrorism insurance mutual Pool Re.

Born hastily as a response to the successful mainland UK bombing campaign of the IRA 27 years ago, it has since evolved into a far more sophisticated entity managing a substantial surplus, opening a commercial relationship with global reinsurers and liaising with similar global terror pools and mechanisms around the world.

In recent years it has immeasurably improved its modelling and underwriting capabilities and also  developed new covers in the form of non-damage business interruption.

Julian has in the past made no secret about wanting to broaden the scope of Pool Re to new perils such as cyber and made it clear he would have preferred UK flood to also have come under his remit.

In this chat he sets out his vision clearly and succinctly. I commend the next 20 minutes to you

 

 

I first met this episode’s interviewee in the queue for a Latin American treaty underwriter back in 1993 and have been interviewing him as an insurance journalist since 2005.

It probably shows in this encounter. Jason Howard, CEO of Beach & Associates is a great person to talk to.

He has had a long career as a business leader and more importantly he is a big personality who always says exactly what he thinks, even if this occasionally gets him into hot water.

Here of course we talk about covid-19 and how the June renewals are going to be crucial, but we have a long discussion about the crunch in the casualty market, the future for independent distribution in the post MMC-JLT, Aon-Willis environment and the best parts of the future at Lloyd’s reform programme.

If you want strong, direct views on the state of the market, look no further!

In this wide-ranging debate we cover the the economic, asset-side, risk-side, pricing dynamics and psychological effects of Covid-19 on the reinsurance market, guided by  Willis Re's recent report.

Andrew Newman, President, and Printhan Sothinathan, Co-Head of Global Analytics, at
Willis Re are two very smart, very senior and very engaging figures.

The report is the most comprehensive and far-sighted produced by any market participant to date and if you like this podcast (which I think you will) I recommend you take time to read its 70 pages for a rounder experience:

https://www.willistowerswatson.com/en-GB/Insights/2020/04/covid-19-willis-re-impact-report

 

The second in our series of special Covid 19 episodes brings together a trio of trade body Chief Executives: Steve White of the British Insurance Brokers Association (Biba), Clare Lebecq of the London Market Group (LMG) and Christopher Croft of the London and International Insurance Brokers Association (Liiba).

These heavyweight trade body leaders debated the UK insurance industry’s Public relations performance, its relationship with regulators and the UK and international body politic, the insurability of pandemics and even Brexit, whose negotiations are approaching a crunch point behind the scenes.

It is a lively and unusually frank discussion and shows the huge range of work that your trade bodies are getting up to at this difficult time.

This second SRG Voice of Insurance Covid-19 special episode comes highly recommended.

Here are links to the original news stories mentioned in the introduction:

https://insuranceinsider.com/articles/132927/bill-to-mandate-future-bi-coveage-proposed-in-congress

https://www.theinsurer.com/news/canadian-dentists-provide-aviva-pain-over-covid-19-claims/8044.article

https://www.postonline.co.uk/commercial/7528686/nightlife-broker-seeks-legal-advice-after-qbe-rejects-clients-covid-19-claims

https://www.theinsurer.com/news/industry-heavyweights-gather-behind-pool-re-as-potential-uk-pandemic-solution/8130.article

https://insuranceinsider.com/articles/132906/aon-execs-take-50-salary-cut-with-broader-staff-also-set-for-curbs

https://www.postonline.co.uk/claims/7529391/admiral-commits-ps110m-towards-refunds-for-motor-customers

https://www.postonline.co.uk/commercial/7530426/rsa-faces-group-action-over-disputed-cottagesure-bi-wording

https://insuranceinsider.com/articles/132698/reinsurers-on-notice-for-c-400mn-c-800mn-aviva-loss

https://insuranceinsider.com/articles/132865/neal-only-government-has-wherewithal-to-shoulder-covid-19-bi-costs

 

 

This episode is all about the state of play in Bermuda and what is happening on the island.

Two weeks ago I had a Zoom call with Chris Bonard, CEO and John Turner, Chairman of Ed Broking Bermuda.

As independent intermediaries looking to capitalise on what the island’s insurance and reinsurance markets have to offer, their view is really interesting.

Each decade has seen a relative USP that Bermuda has been able to bring to the global insurance market.

In the seventies it was captives and in the eighties it was excess casualty.

In the 90s and noughties it was property cat and in the 20-teens it was ILS and alternative capital.

After the erosion of many of Bermuda’s offshore tax advantages I wanted to find out where the growth is most likely to come from on the island in the twenties.

Chris and John’s answers will probably surprise you.

As well as getting to grips with Bermuda’s likely future role in the global insurance sector, we inevitably looked at initial reactions to and likely long-term consequences of the Covid-19 crisis and went deep into the role that Bermuda is playing in the hardening global insurance and reinsurance markets.

Enjoy the listen!

How is the UK insurance industry really responding to the Covid-19 crisis?

 The Voice of Insurance teamed up with Specialist Risk Group (SRG) and brought together three hugely experienced broking CEOs to find out.

 Brendan McManus of PIB, Peter Blanc of Aston Lark and Warren Downey of SRG have traded through many crises in their careers, but probably nothing quite like this.

 What's working? What's not? Who's showing their true colours, good or bad?

 In this essential debate, the trio rated the sector’s own operational response to the crisis and discussed the UK insurance industry leadership’s public relations performance, political risks and whether pandemics are insurable.

 They didn't hold back.

 They also assessed the performance and financial strength of insurance carriers, the resilience of intermediaries exposed to premium finance credit risk and how the hit to the capital markets might affect debt and consequently the world of Broker M&A.

 There was plenty of insight and no small amount of disagreement. You must listen to this now.

 Many thanks to Specialist Risk Group (SRG) for making this happen

 Links to news articles mentioned:

https://insuranceinsider.com/articles/132609/neal-covid-19-industry-loss-has-potential-magnitude-of-him

https://www.theinsurer.com/news/seven-senators-caution-trump-against-retroactive-bi-proposals/7987.article

https://www.theinsurer.com/news/qbe-to-raise-a13bn-for-coronavirus-buffer/7997.article

https://insuranceinsider.com/articles/132599/california-regulator-orders-insurers-to-return-premiums

https://insuranceinsider.com/articles/132608/hiscox-insureds-plan-legal-action-over-covid-19-bi-claims

https://www.theinsurer.com/news/abi-responds-to-criticism-with-covid-19-charity-fund/7986.article

 

As a journalist one of the best things about my job is being allowed into the far flung and most fascinating corners of our industry to find out how things work.

Protection and Indemnity - P&I - is exactly one of those places.

And it would be easy to ignore were it not the source of so many of the biggest insurance stories of the past decade

For example a mega claim like the Costa Concordia was a P&I event that captured the attention of the whole world over many months.

But most of us know almost nothing about this ultra specialist part of the insurance world and the 13 global marine liability mutuals that inhabit it.

In fact we are actually more ignorant - because most of what we think we know about P&I is probably wrong

So that’s why I decided to record this episode with Dorothea Ioannou who is the Chief Commercial officer of the American Club.

If you don’t know Dorothea she is extremely well regarded and a strong character and I had a great time talking to her.

As well as mythbusting much of what the non marine world thinks it knows about P&I, we discuss the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and other major trends affecting the marine sector and the wider insurance world.

One of the most eye-catching parts of the Lloyd’s of London Blueprint reforms has been the Syndicate in a box initiative.

The idea of a fast-track, light-touch, low-cost, fast-fail Syndicate has gone down very well with the market.

This is because over the past two decades many players have bemoaned the steadily increasing cost of starting a new Lloyd’s business and have wondered where the next generation of new Hiscoxes, Kilns, Catlins and Beazleys might come from given that barriers to entry are now prohibitively high.

The received wisdom over that time has been that MGAs had become to the go-to place for entrepreneurial underwriters to  prove their mettle.

But while the Syndicate in a box initiative was well received as an idea, the only trouble was that many in the market were a little confused about what the new structures can and cannot do in practice.

And that is why I tracked down this episode’s guest.

As the active underwriter of the first and currently only Syndicate in a box, Stuart Newcombe of Munich Re innovation Syndicate 1840 is uniquely positioned to enlighten us all on this exciting new departure for the Lloyd’s community.

Stuart is an engaging and personable character with over thirty years experience in the market.

I really enjoyed chatting with him and exploding some of the myths around the new structures.

But what I liked more was hearing all about what the syndicate is up to.

This includes guarantee products for solar panels and energy saving schemes, ideas to insure the gig economy and autonomous vehicles, as well as lots of interesting angles on the use of parametric insurance to fill in the gaps left by traditional indemnity cover.

I think you’ll enjoy it too...

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