I am upbeat about Lloyd’s and the insurance market in 2017. While challenges are plentiful for both Lloyd’s and MGAs I’m sure the market’s entrepreneurial spirt will come to the fore to take advantage of new opportunities, even when they present themselves as difficulties.
While undesirable market conditions look set to persist a while longer, insurers, whether Lloyd’s syndicate, company markets or start-up MGAs, must look at their business fundamentals to be confident that they are creating the conditions in which that entrepreneurial spirit can flourish. To some this means looking at cost-cutting, but the most successful insurance businesses will look more widely across underwriting, claims, distribution, and their associated costs. Identifying where the best opportunities are now and where they will likely be in the future and actively managing them to ensure they remain highly competitive whatever the market throws at them.
While Lloyd’s syndicates have historically been the champion of new business opportunities and innovation, in recent years start-up MGAs have brought a similar dynamic approach and will likely continue to do so during 2017, particularly in terms of new business and technology across all sectors of the market.
Particular challenges in 2017 that I also consider to be opportunities include:
1. The appointment of a new chairman of Lloyd’s, may currently make the environment uncertain but once the process is concluded I am sure we will quickly see a renewed direction and impetus for the market. The focus might well be on improving profitability and expanding the market’s reach, geographically and by business line, with the innovation and entrepreneurialism upon which Lloyd’s has built its reputation, at its heart. I also see great opportunities for new syndicate entrants, particularly where they bring innovation from new capital sources, geographies or business classes, able to benefit from Lloyd’s unique operating model.
2. The decision to leave the European Union need not be all bad for Lloyd’s and the London market. The unrivalled history of international engagement the market has built over the past 330 years, not least the experience of operating through a network of international licences and agreements, will serve the market well, perhaps in a way that exceeds the capacity of more typically structured insurers to do so.
Asta remains committed to providing a great environment where new insurance businesses can grow whatever the challenges that 2017 may offer.
Julian Tighe has worked in the insurance industry for 25 years, spending the last 14 with Asta. Julian was appointed Chief Executive Officer on 1 January 2014, prior to that he has held other roles at Asta, including COO, CFO and Strategic Acquisitions Director. Julian has extensive experience in advising clients on business plans and launching new syndicates at Lloyd’s.
Prior to joining Asta Julian held senior finance positions at Reliance National and Orion Insurance Company.
Julian is also a member of the board of Asta Capital Ltd