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The Voice of Insurance Profile

The Voice of Insurance

English, Finance, 1 season, 240 episodes, 6 days, 14 hours, 1 minute
In-depth interviews with the top execs in the global (re)insurance world
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Ep206 Duncan Dale CEO Dale Underwriting Partners: Excited by the Opportunities

Today’s podcast is a real tour de force with the founding CEO of a maturing Lloyd’s market business that is starting to come into its own in its eleventh year of trading. Fresh from a takeover by blue-chip private equity investor CVC and now boasting a sub-90 percent combined ratio and $450mn in capacity for 2024, Duncan Dale, CEO of Dale Underwriting Partners, is full of confidence and is excited about the opportunities that the Market is currently throwing up for his firm. In many ways Dale Underwriting partners is a microcosm of the Lloyd’s of the last ten years. The market of the twenty-teens was a difficult one in which to start up, but patience and persistence have finally started to pay off. The investment by CVC last year was rightly reported as a re-affirmation, not just of Duncan’s business, but of the continued attractiveness of the Lloyd’s platform itself. This discussion is fun and is a wonderful dissection of the state of the market. It’s also an underwriting masterclass with a canny trader sharing his long experience and deep understanding of the US casualty insurance and reinsurance market, the discussion and debate of which has been hogging the headlines for most of the last 24 months. Listen on and hear about the opportunities that are exciting Duncan now that he has grown the underwriting platform and attracted the capital to make the most of them. NOTES: When Tom Bolt was at Lloyd’s his job title was Director of Performance Management. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
4/9/202438 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep205 Serene Davis & James Orchard of QBE: Stars aligning for Innovation

How do you get big, globally diversified insurance companies to innovate? It’s something that we all know is way easier said than done. That’s what today’s podcast is really all about. Today I’m joined by two senior executives who are working together to implement change, improve efficiency and do new things at global insurer QBE. Global Head of Cyber Serene Davis has been tasked with creating a global offering for cyber at QBE, where up to now development has been patchy, with different strategies playing out in various markets across the world. And CEO of QBE Ventures James Orchard runs a small team whose job it is to assist senior executives like Serene in realising their vision through the partnerships and strategic investments that will build up the tech providers that will help them achieve their goals. It’s a fascinating conversation and one that embodies QBE’s relatively new CEO Andrew Horton’s plan to imbue a culture of innovation across the group globally. Indeed Mr Horton may not be on the show himself in this Episode, but his presence never seems to be far from the surface. It’s clear from this lively chat that if you want to instil change and a culture of innovation you have to lead from the top and you have to resource it and be strong enough to accept that there will be many twists and turns on the road to eventual success. Listen for yourself – for anyone who is grappling with the challenge of keeping a large insurance business up to speed and relevant, without throwing out the parts of its culture that have already got it to where it is, this will be a valuable listen. NOTES I let the abbreviation KPI through. It stands for Key Performance Indicator. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
4/2/202446 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep204 What do Teenagers Think about Insurance?

Today we’re doing something completely different. We are going to try to look into the future. In this Episode none of the people we are going to talk to are senior insurance leaders. But they might be the insurance leaders of the future. We in insurance know that we’re not likely to be at the top of young people's wish lists when it comes to a future career.  But it’s only recently, as we have focused more on talent gaps, that we have started to do something about remedying this problem. That’s where today’s episode comes in. There is a wonderful talent accelerator called Startup Sherpas that goes out and engages with young people via paid work experience cohorts that are funded by industry. These projects, which take a hundred young people each, are called Supersquads. Last summer Allianz, Aviva and the London Market Group (the LMG) sponsored one of these Supersquads and three of today’s guests are graduates of that scheme. Startup Sherpas calls them Sherpees. In that project the Sherpees were asked to come up with ideas to help the Insurance sector better get the attention of young people and make them more likely to think about a career in insurance. The Sherpees came up with a huge number of ideas and these were whittled down to the best, three of which you’re going to hear about today from their creators. Howden Ventures and its insurer innovation partners are sponsoring the next Supersquad and it was the Head of Howden Ventures and recent Voice of Insurance guest, Tom Hoad who was the person who got me involved. Today’s recording happened in the Lloyd’s Lab at a live event I chaired in which the Sherpees pitched their idea to an audience of industry people. I grabbed five minutes with the presenters Chelsea Abili (Bottom left), Amaan Patel (Top Left) and Funta Olenrewaju (Top Right) just before they went on stage. But first I spoke to Dan Wyllie (Bottom Right) Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer at Startup Sherpas to set the scene LINKS: Here’s the report that came out of the first Supersquad: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
3/26/202424 minutes, 33 seconds
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Ep203 Greg Hendrick Vantage Risk: Best Talent, Best Insights, Best Decisions

Greg Hendrick is a dream guest. He’s smart, incredibly knowledgeable and experienced, but also really easy and fun to talk to. He’s also still only in the fifth year of building out a major insurer, reinsurer and capital markets partner completely from scratch. For Greg and Vantage Risk, time moves a lot faster and experience is accelerated and compressed compared to the rest of us. There’s a huge amount to talk about and that’s why I was delighted to be able to spend so much time talking to him again. Here we catch up on how Greg’s strategy has evolved against plan and get into great detail about the state of the market all the way across the insurance value chain. But I’m glad we also spend a lot of time looking at how technology is shaping the future of underwriting and completely re-organising the way that we all work and interact with our colleagues day to day. After all, not many people get to the chance use all their experience to design a whole new business from scratch following a contemporary Blueprint with no legacy issues to deal with. Greg sounds like he’s really enjoying this opportunity and I think you’ll enjoy it too. NOTES: Greg mentions a Dinos. That is of course Dinos Iordanou, Vantage Risk’s non-executive Chairman. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
3/19/202447 minutes, 53 seconds
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Kate Markham Hiscox: Do More, Do it Better, Do it Cheaper

Today’s guest has one of the biggest jobs in the London Market. Kate Markham is CEO of Hiscox London Market and the last time we spoke she had just brought her business unit through a remediation strategy that was beginning to bear fruit. Eighteen months later, and the results have been stellar. Today the best are looking to invest and grow and get out on the front foot and lean into the opportunities that a still very strong market has to offer. And this podcast is all about that. This is a business very much looking to the future. Our conversation came about because Hiscox has been one of the first to experiment with artificial intelligence to help speed up and enhance the lead underwriting process and so I wanted to dig right into the detail of what Kate and her teams had done and what the results had been like. So we spend much of this discussion going deep into this and examining where the next steps are going to lead. It’s a very heartening and positive message. Underwriters aren’t going to be out of a job because they will be freed up to add real value in the assessment of risk and to enhance the service that they give brokers and innovate to improve the relevance and quality of the cover that can give their ultimate customers. The emergence of fully connected digital value chains is also going to make it much easier for a much larger share of world business to access the London Market. After all if underwriters make it really simple to send something to London, and turnarounds are almost instant, why wouldn’t many more brokers seek quotes? Kate is full of energy and enthusiasm and our conversation is fun and rattles along at a fast pace. Kate is also one of those leaders who has the gift of instilling confidence in the people they come in contact with and this podcast put a spring in my step about the quality of the London Market’s future if it can grasp the unique opportunities it is currently presented with I got a lot out of this chat and I think you will too. NOTES: I let the abbreviation D&F get through. It stands for Direct and Facultative and is big-ticket property business. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
3/12/202435 minutes, 48 seconds
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Sp Ep Guillaume Bonnissent of Quotech: Solving pain points you didn't know you had

Today’s guest is one of the most remarkable and exceptional people I have had on the show. Guillaume Bonnissent is the CEO of Quotech, a business he founded just over four years ago. With over 20 years in underwriting Guillaume can boast one of the most eclectic resumés of any of his peers. He’s written almost every class going, via almost every distribution channel in the insurance value chain, spanning specialist insurance, treaty reinsurance, portfolio underwriting and an MGA. This gives him a unique perspective on the needs of underwriters of all shapes and sizes, and indeed brokers too. But the really remarkable bit is that he has always been a technologist. He learned coding as part of a business degree and has kept his skills up to date. This meant that when in his last role he was looking for some software that it turned out didn’t exist, he was able to write a prototype version of what he needed himself. The tool worked and he quickly saw the potential for a new software business and Quotech was born. It’s a remarkable story which is really all about giving teams everything they need to do their jobs better. It’s a very rare story of software made by an underwriter for underwriters. In this podcast we’ll certainly learn all about Guillaume’s original inventions, which are being adopted by some very influential market businesses, but we’ll also have a really deep and far-ranging discussion about the long-term consequences of digitisation and artificial intelligence on the insurance value chain. Guillaume is a real London Market original and I found it really easy and fun to talk to him. Listen on and I think you will find it as enlightening and enjoyable as I did. LINKS Quotech
3/8/202441 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep201 Natalia Dorfman & James Kench of KIta: Gross Written Carbon

Most of my interviewees are good at using insurance to solve problems, but today’s guests Natalia Dorfman and James Kench of Lloyd’s Lab Alumnus Kita are taking this to a whole new level. This is because the problem Kita wants to help solve is what most would say is the biggest of our generation: Climate change. Kita’s still going to do this by solving client problems and making underwriting profits but it is inventing a whole new class of insurance to do so. Carbon credits are key to the world hitting its 2050 net zero targets, but as a major and highly valuable asset they need high quality insurance to be able to scale up at the speed that is needed if a meaningful positive climate impact is to be made. If we think of a carbon credit in its simplest terms as a physical asset like a forest that has been planted to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, the amount of things that could go wrong is enormous. The trees could burn down or blow over or die from drought, pests or disease. The grower might go bust or run off with your money and not plant anything. Your carbon credit could be nationalised by a foreign government, or it could be wiped out by a change in the methodologies of those who calculate these things or it could just turn out that the trees you have planted might not sequester as much carbon as expected. There’s a lot of moving parts and my example is the simplest of many increasing complex and technical solutions. If we are to make a big dent in climate change we are going to need to scale a currently tiny industry many hundred times so that it grows as big as the Oil and Gas sector is today. That’s where the multiplying effect of insurance comes in. If a project is insured, a fund might be able to buy into three projects instead of one and a bank will be able to lend much more using the same amount of capital. By finding out what could go wrong the hard way Insurance also helps spread best practice and adds another layer of due diligence. Whichever way you look at it, what Natalia and James are building is one of the most exciting new classes of insurance to emerge since cyber. And it’s the good kind – insurance with a strong moral purpose, so any profits can come guilt-free. Natalia and James are really impressive and I think you’ll find this podcast informative and inspiring. Half and hour with these two and you’ll have a spring in your step and you’ll be recommending a career in insurance to every young person that you meet. NOTES: Here’s the link to the report we mention. This is well worth a read: Natalia and James can be contacted at LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
3/5/202440 minutes, 41 seconds
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Ep200 Renaud Guidée CEO AXA XL Re: Much more than just a transaction

Today’s guest has just taken over the running of a reinsurance business that, like many other in the sector has been right-sizing and re-focusing its underwriting over the past few years. But now Renaud Guidée and AXA XL Re are clearly out the other side and are looking to grow from their $2.5bn global premium base. In this podcast we focus on the state of the reinsurance market, Renaud’s plans for the business as well as the question of how this reinsurer fits in strategically at one of the world’s largest insurance groups. With executive experience in investment banking and with a challenging AXA Group role already under his belt, Renaud brings a refreshingly broad perspective to our conversation. Renaud combines high intelligence with great charm and you’ll learn a lot from time spent in his company. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
2/27/202441 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ep199 Kera McDonald Swiss Re Corporate Solutions: Trendspotting and Avoiding Passivity

Today’s guest has had one of the broadest and most diverse careers of anyone I have interviewed. Today Kera McDonald is the Chief Underwriting Officer of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions but over more than 25 years she has been an actuary and a pensions consultant, a risk manager, an aviation underwriter and a senior executive in an internal audit team. I’d say that unique blend of experience is an excellent preparation for her current role, particularly as Swiss Re Corporate Solutions moves out of its remediation phase into a period of sustainable growth. Kera is direct and easy to talk to and in this podcast we discuss the state of the global insurance market and Corporate Solutions’ strategy within it as well as this unique business’s position within its wider group and the applications of technology and artificial intelligence as the market digitises. She doesn’t duck any difficult questions and is excellent and incredibly well-informed company. I really benefitted from my time with Kera and I think you will too. NOTES: A couple of abbreviations slipped through: PYD stands for Prior Year claims Development. And of course, CorSo is an abbreviation of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions itself.. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
2/20/202435 minutes, 22 seconds
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Special Ep Mike Steel Moody's RMS: Answering a whole new set of questions

Today I’m talking to someone with an incredibly long and varied career at the intersection between science, technology and insurance and reinsurance, on both the broking and underwriting sides of the business. Now Mike Steel is General Manager of Moody’s RMS and is serving all facets of the industry from an independent perspective. The legacy RMS business effectively invented the insurance and reinsurance modelling industry and from the evidence that follows, it has been reinvigorated by its acquisition by global ratings agency and data and analytics firm Moody’s. I often liken the business of modelling to being a precision arms manufacturer when there’s a war on – demand for your products is insatiable. These days as formerly secondary perils become indistinguishable from primary threats and new digital and environmental ones are being created all the time, it is clear that the insurance war is opening up on multiple new fronts. Being part of Moody’s is giving this business a whole new perspective on the world of risk, as well as far greater operational and financial capabilities to help measure and analyse those risks. This could manifest itself in developing new products for non-insurance financial institutions and governments, or trying to codify Environmental Social and Governance factors in a format that the insurance industry can easily adopt. What follows is a fascinating run through of what is in Mike’s very varied inbox. It is important and valuable work that is going to keep Moody’s RMS and Mike very busy for decades to come. Near the end of this Podcast I remark that Mike has a really interesting job. And after a listen to this episode, I’m pretty sure you’ll agree LINKS:
2/16/202445 minutes, 34 seconds
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Ep198 Tom Clementi Pool Re: Taking risk off the State

Today’s guest is Tom Clementi, CEO of UK Government-backed terrorism reinsurer, Pool Re. Now over thirty years old, Pool Re has been through a lot of recent changes that have reflected its growing maturity. It has been classified as a Central Government Organisation by the Office for National Statistics and the UK Cabinet Office designated it as an Arm’s Length Body of the UK Treasury. To add to that formalisation, which reflects its public role and unlimited State guarantee, Pool Re is moving from its tariff-led facultative reinsurance structure to a more sophisticated treaty relationship with its members. Add to this the heightened sense of geopolitical risk in the world in 2024 and new UK legislation around safeguarding against the terror threat and Tom and I have lot to talk about. This is a really lively discussion that covers the state of the global terrorism market, a frank assessment of the UK’s terror threat and Pool Re’s continued role in making and growing a private market well-funded enough to relieve pressure on the strained public purse. Tom’s a great guest and his insights will give anyone wondering how successful public-private partnerships can be fostered a lot of excellent pointers. NOTES: We mentioned the UK Cyber Monitoring Centre. The recent Episode with James Burns has all the details: LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank our audio advertiser, Aventum Group Please contact them on: [email protected]
2/13/202441 minutes, 16 seconds
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Ep197 Robert Wiest CEO MS Re: A good plan and the capital to execute it

Today’s guest is Robert Wiest CEO of MS Re. After a long and distinguished career in both insurance and reinsurance, much of which was spent at Swiss Re, Robert took on his latest role in September 2022. With prominent career roles in both P&C and Life - in Europe and Asia Robert is an extremely well-travelled and well-rounded professional and this broad experience shines through in the podcast. Robert is comfortable on any subject and he’s the sort of person with whom anyone could strike up a rapport. MS Re has rebranded and re-set the image it wishes to project out into the market and because of that we talk a lot about this mid-sized reinsurer’s strategy, appetites and growth plans. It’s clear from this meeting that the business has a strong idea of how to differentiate itself and maximise the benefits of the fertile reinsurance markets of 2024. But we also talk in detail about long-term big-picture topics as far-ranging as market digitisation artificial intelligence and how the industry should be attacking the problem of insuring the transition to net zero. Robert’s definitely one of us and is very generous with his insights. Listening back this encounter is packed with the learnings of a distinguished career and buzzes with the energy of someone with unambiguous ideas and lots of experience combined with the time and clear opportunity to execute upon them Robert’s clearly enjoying his new role and I think you’ll really enjoy this episode.   NOTES: We mention Charlie Goldie, MS Re’s CUO. Charlie features in the State of (Re)insurance 2023 Episode: LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank our audio advertiser, Aventum Group Please contact them on: [email protected]
2/6/202441 minutes, 43 seconds
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Special Ep: Ian Summers AdvantageGo and Jeff Cohen Zywave: Let the client choose what they want

Today’s episode showcases a really important advancement in the provision of technology to the insurance industry. Back in the early days of computerisation we installed different systems in our businesses to do different jobs. We didn’t expect them to talk to each other. And because each was made of proprietary tech  – they almost certainly didn’t. Nowadays we want systems to ingest data sources and the output of other systems and we expect these new outputs to be easily ingestible further down the chain by our own suppliers and all the different departments of our business as well as regulators and other essential third parties. Common standards and modern connectivity are allowing this to happen. I suppose this is the difference between computerisation and digitisation. But this begs a change in the way technology providers go about their business. Either they will try to be all things to all people and produce their best attempts at solving every problem and answering every question that the insurance industry is trying to answer, or they will have to be more realistic and pragmatic. In a world brimming with excellent providers of increasingly specialist solutions, many are realising that the best outcomes for customers are going to come about when they are provided with a wide array of choice and ease of operation. A customer should be able to run different tools on the same platform without having to become an expert in plugging them all together themselves. Tech providers should be doing this for them and making their lives easy. There should also be the possibility of choosing between different competing options for certain tasks. This strategy is called an ecosystem approach and it is what we are going to be getting deep into today. To help us I spoke to Ian Summers Global Business Leader of AdvantageGo and Jeff Cohen who is a Senior Vice President at Zywave. Ian and Jeff are vastly experienced in their fields. Ian is the architect of the AdvantageGo ecosystem idea and Zywave is a core member of this affiliation. You absolutely don’t have to be a techie to find this discussion useful and Ian and Jeff are really approachable and good at explaining things to laypeople like me. Half an hour with these two and I guarantee you’ll be excited about the possibilities that a genuinely digitised insurance world are going to open up for all of us, not least in a brave new AI-enabled world. NOTES AND ABBREVIATIONS: We mentioned ISO, which is the Insurance Services Office. API is Application Programming Interface. ECF is the Electronic Claims File used in the London Market. LINKS: Learn more about AdvantageGo’s ecosystem here: Expect more additions as time progresses.
2/2/202430 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep196 Melissa Collett CEO Insurtech UK: A sector in its own right

Today’s guest is a big personality in the UK insurance sector who has been working in and around our industry for almost 25 years. After a working as an insurance lawyer, an ombudsman, a consultant and a Director at the Chartered Insurance Institute Melissa Collett brings a really well-rounded level of experience to her current role as the inaugural CEO of Insurtech trade body Insurtech UK. In this podcast we talk about why Insurtech UK has been set up and what items are top of its agenda. There’s a huge amount going on. The UK’s Insurtech scene is the largest outside of the US and the body already has a hundred active members. There’s a lot to lobby on, from the speed and effectiveness of regulation to the many unfair quirks of the UK tax regime. There are also Government grants to help distribute and international agreements to be struck. Melissa is incredibly busy. But Insurtech UK is a very broad church and is trying to be quite a lot more than a lobby group representing members’ interests. It wants to be a club or an ecosystem that convenes Insurtechs, investors, service providers and incumbents to further the goal of fostering innovation in UK insurance via technology. Melissa is incredibly enthusiastic and bursting with energy and drive. I really enjoyed my time with her and I think you will too. After half an hour you’ll certainly be in no doubt as to what Insurtech UK is all about and how you can get involved. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank our audio advertiser, Aventum Group Please contact them on: [email protected]
1/30/202435 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ep195 Adrian Cox: Beating Inertia

As CEO of Beazley, Adrian Cox runs one of our sector’s fastest-moving and best-rated insurance businesses and so any time I can get him behind a microphone and talking to me is time well spent. In the past year this firm has pioneered the placement of cyber cat bonds, undergone a major restructure with the formation of a US excess and surplus lines insurance company and made the most of the new opportunities being thrown up in North American property by more than doubling its underwriting volume there. In this podcast we talk about all these and an awful lot more. Adrian is excellent company and exudes the kind of confidence that senior brokers complain that they sometimes find lacking in the modern insurance and reinsurance market. In our talk we get a clear sense of Adrian’s insurance philosophy Here is someone with a clear way of understanding the insurance world and the confidence and authority to go and execute when he feels the time is right. Given the rare series of opportunities the global market is presenting brave and decisive underwriters in 2024, I can highly recommend a detailed listen. NOTES Adrian mentions Lloyd’s and now Beazley itself as being ‘A-fifteen’ in size. This a reference to AM Best’s fifteen-point Financial Size Category scale. XV is the largest size, denoting Capital and Surplus of $2bn or more. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank our audio advertiser, Aventum Group Please contact them on: [email protected]
1/23/202435 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep194 1.1.2024 Renewals: It Feels Like The Time is Now

Today’s podcast carries on where we left off after the State of the Reinsurance Market Special Episode which was released after the Monte Carlo Rendez-Vous of 2023. At Monte Carlo what everyone said they wanted after the great re-set of a year ago was orderliness. Buyers and seller alike wanted a period of rational calm after the storm which could be used to clear some of the debris and to rebuild strained relationships. And calm and rationality is what everybody got. Reinsurance capital, profitability and crucially, confidence all recovered and we ended with a largely flat renewal overall. The aim of this podcast is to see how this bodes for the year ahead and the longer-term strategic direction of the reinsurance market for those who work with it, buy from it and invest in it. The big question is how long can the good times last for the newly-re-set and now highly profitable reinsurance world? Have reinsurers hauled themselves up to a peak, only to start sliding quickly down the other rockface, or have they scaled up the side of a ridge onto a new highly profitable plateau upon which they will stay encamped for as long as they can? To help me answer this, I have been able to speak to representatives from three of the top four reinsurance broking groups. David Priebe, Chairman of Guy Carpenter (pictured left) and James Vickers Chairman of Gallagher Re International (middle) are two of the longest-serving senior executives in the business and David Flandro Head of Industry Analysis and Strategic Advisory at Howden Tiger (right) is one of the sector’s longest-tenured analysts. They have all been providing insightful commentary on the industry for longer than I have been an insurance journalist and I have been interviewing them all for almost 20 years. I really had fun with these three interviews and the subsequent time spent blending this highly accomplished and eloquent trio’s thoughts together. It was a bit more work that usual, but I think it’s good value-added exercise and I hope you find it as useful as I did. NOTES Here are links to the reports and commentary I mentioned: Howden Tiger - A New World Gallagher Re – What a Difference a Year Makes Guy Carpenter - January 1, 2024 Reinsurance Renewals Reflect a Motivated Market with Increasing Capital David Flandro mentioned Charlie Goldie, CUO of MS Re. He appeared prominently in both the 2022 and 2023 Monte Carlo Special Episodes – check the 2023 one out here: ABBREVIATIONS WACC = Weighted Average Cost of Capital TIV = Total Insured Values SPONSOR We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
1/11/202437 minutes, 58 seconds
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Special Ep: Navigating the DDM switch-off with Paul Templar CEO of VIPR

Today’s guest is Paul Templar, CEO of insurance technology solutions specialist VIPR. VIPR started out in the London Market 14 years ago and it’s best known for providing software solutions to the endless administrative problem of the ingestion and checking of data in the Delegated Authority (DA) space. And this goes right to the heart of what Paul and I are going to talk about today. This year is highly significant for carriers writing Delegated Authority business in the London Market because DDM – the system that they use to process this business into Lloyd’s - is going to be retired in September. LIMOSS - the not-for-profit body in charge of sourcing and operating common services for the London Market has confirmed the change. So, in just under nine months, a method of underwriting that produces around 40% of London Market premiums is going to take a big step into the unknown. There is an awful lot at stake and a huge amount of work has to be done between now and the autumn. And that’s why I am really grateful to have Paul as an expert guide through this potential maze. Paul is a great ambassador for his company and the wider market and I can’t think of a better-qualified advisor as the market transitions from a centralised service model to one that is likely to be driven by data standards. NOTES: DDM is an abbreviation of Delegated Data Manager. It traces its origins back to the DA Sats system. LIMOSS stands for London Insurance Market Operations & Strategic Sourcing LINKS:
1/5/202427 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ep193 Julie Wood CEO QBE North America: Acting on the best available information

Today’s guest has just become the CEO of a business writing over $7 billion in gross premium a year, which if it were a standalone company, would make her one of the most powerful female CEOs in the global insurance industry. This is a major business unit that has been through a substantial amount of change and re-focusing of strategy in recent times, but which is now well placed to resume profitable growth as favourable market conditions continue. The business is QBE North America and the executive is Julie Wood. Julie has an insurance career in its third decade with senior management experience in broking as well as underwriting. This gives her a well-rounded perspective on all facets of our industry and means that our discussion spans a broad spectrum of what is happening in the North American insurance market as well as everything that QBE is doing to maximise its opportunity there Julie is really engaging and down-to-earth and has a very approachable manner which helps fill this podcast full of insights and candid exchanges. So if you are looking for a detailed update on the largest insurance market in the world from an important and dynamic participant in that market, I can highly recommend a listen. We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank our audio advertiser, Aventum Group Please contact them on: [email protected]
12/19/202342 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ep192 James Burns CFC: Classifying Cyber

We tend to take the institutions that serve our industry for granted. It almost seems that the hundreds of industry trade and standards bodies have always been there. So that’s why this episode is so interesting. Today’s guest is working on setting up the world’s first cyber loss classificatory body that from 1.1.2024 will serve the UK insurance and reinsurance industry and the wider UK society that it is supporting. We don’t do this very often so my chat with James Burns, Head of Cyber Strategy at UK-headquartered cyber and specialist MGA CFC is a unique chance to be in on the ground floor as an industry leader seeks to solve an emerging problem in the risk landscape. The cyber world and its insurers need be able to classify the severity of the systemic loss events that it is facing if they going to be able to continue to grow and fufill the needs of customers and society as a whole. But just how do you go about creating a pan-industry pan-societal body with a mission to work in the best interests of all? James’s answers to this question are fascinating. His expertise and gravitas, mixed with optimism and idealism are a highly effective and infectious combination. So if you are feeling jaded and thinking that what insurance does is sometimes a little uninspiring I can highly recommend a listen. This is an Episode to remind you that our industry is absolutely essential for solving some of the biggest problems of our age. LINKS: The Cyber Monitoring Centre doesn't have a website yet But James is happy to be contacted by anyone looking to get involved. Here is a link to a very well-circulated article he posted to LinkedIn. You can connect to him via his profile: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank our audio advertiser, Aventum Group Please contact them on: [email protected]
12/12/202341 minutes
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Ep191 Simon Bird, Brit: Bumping along the top

Today’s guest is a well-known and respected senior underwriter with a career going back forty years. Simon Bird, Group Executive Underwriter and Active Underwriter of Brit Insurance’s Syndicate 2988, is someone who I’d heard of thirty years ago when I was a broker, but I only ended up meeting  him twenty-nine years later. Regular listeners will have heard his wise contributions to the last two Monte Carlo State of Insurance and Reinsurance episodes. The rushed timetable of Monte Carlo made me wish that we could have a longer and more relaxed meeting to be able have far more detailed and nuanced conversation. And here it is. This is another vintage episode with someone who has spent a generation leading carriers through markets, variously benign, indifferent, soft, hard and completely dislocated. Very few people can put today’s market and the issues of our times into the kind of context that Simon can. But of course Simon isn’t some kind of museum piece or insurance and reinsurance historian, he is a hands-on underwriting leader who is very much in touch with the market. He is also great company and his insights and thoughts on topics as far-ranging as Ai to the structure of the syndicated insurance marketplace are highly original and valuable and I can highly recommend a listen. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank our audio advertiser, Aventum Group Please contact them on: [email protected]
12/5/202347 minutes, 34 seconds
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Ep190 Paul Brand, Convex: Execution is everything

Today’s episode is a real treat. That’s because I’m talking to an underwriter with encyclopaedic knowledge and over thirty-five years in the insurance industry. But what makes this interview special is that I am talking to someone with huge experience but very specifically the opportunity to put all that experience into practice for a second time. Paul Brand was Chief Underwriting Officer at Catlin for almost thirty years. Just under five years ago he founded Convex Stephen Catlin, taking over the CEO role in in the summer of 2022. Convex is proof that there’s nothing like knowing what to do and how to do it to help with speed of execution. It took over 30 years to get Catlin group to a GWP of just under $6bn. As Convex approaches its 5th birthday its likely to surpass $4bn in GWP this calendar year. But listening back, this podcast is really about underwriting. It’s about how to be a good underwriter but more importantly how to build and scale an excellent underwriting business. Paul Brand is someone who has spent most of his career outside the limelight and it’s really enjoyable to witness him moving to the centre stage and making his distinctive voice heard. He’s very considered and thoughtful but at the same time full of dry humour. He’s also incredibly generous with his time and highly tolerant of me and my constant questioning. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank our audio advertiser, Aventum Group Please contact them on: [email protected]
11/28/202337 minutes, 17 seconds
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Ep189 Tom Hoad Howden Ventures: Professionalising Innovation

Innovation is something we all talk about but something that is notoriously hard to do in insurance. That’s hardly surprising because in our industry we prize and incentivise all the things that are the effective opposite of innovative. We reward stable and predictable when, at least at the beginning, most innovative ventures are likely to be highly volatile and unpredictable. And then we wonder why it’s so hard to bring new ideas to fruition in our sector! To be fair to ourselves, in the past few years insurance has started to invest in people who have the word innovation in their job title and whose performance is measured more on whether they can bring the products of the future to market rather than on their initial loss ratios. Tom Hoad, of is one of this select but growing band. He moved to Howden to set up Howden Ventures, which he describes as a vehicle for professionalising innovation. Here Tom is combining seed and venture funding with distribution and the ability to underwrite through the Howden Group’s DUAL underwriting platform. In this almost breathless podcast Tom is hugely energised at the prospect of having all the tools at his disposal to remove the main roadblocks in start-up insurance business’s paths. This is a lively chat with a real expert in innovation and a master of herding the cats of the market behind a common vision. It’s also an episode that I hope will give you a lot of inspiration and make you feel that the London-based insurance ecosystem is in rude good health and highly likely to be the crucible in which many of the insurance products of the future are going to be forged. NOTES: I mentioned I would link to Tom’s first podcast with The Voice of Insurance. Episode 124 is here: I also mentioned an episode earlier in the year with DUAL: Tom mentions a Julia at Airmic. Airmic is the UK’s Risk Management trade body and Julia is Julia Graham, its CEO. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
11/14/202340 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ep188 Nick Cook BMS: Pedal Flat to the Floor

Given the nature of the people I talk to on this show, it’s fair to say that most of my guests are moving pretty fast. Well in a fast-paced industry today’s guest someone who is moving noticeably faster than others. Nick Cook of BMS Group has trebled the size of this broking business in four years. And BMS has just completed a major refinancing deal that will enable it to go even faster. In this breathless podcast we cover the full spectrum of BMS’s strategy and examine the international specialist insurance and reinsurance intermediation landscape in extraordinary detail. It’s great stuff. To keep the momentum going BMS is going to push hard in reinsurance to create a unified global broker with a single point of contact that will be able to challenge the big three in select areas. At the same time it will push even harder in London wholesale and accelerate its acquisition strategy in specialist international retail markets, as well as re-evaluating its MGA proposition. What’s clear from this lively and good-humoured exchange is that Nick’s energy and passion for the job is wholly undiminished since we last spoke two and a half years ago If anything he just seems to be getting started. It’s a real tour de force in which we discuss all aspects of growing a global reinsurance and specialty intermediary. Nothing is off the menu and Nick’s enthusiasm is infectious, so I can highly recommend a listen. NOTES: We discussed BMS’s recently-completed equity financing deal with new investor Eurazeo and existing partners BCI and PCP, as well as the appointment of Emmanuel Clarke as Chairman. The details are here: LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
11/7/202343 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep187 Alistair Wood CEO Hampden Capital: Selling an improved Lloyd’s product

Today’s guest runs a business that has been a cornerstone of the Lloyd’s market for a generation and has a pedigree that stretches a long way further back than that. Alistair Wood is the CEO of Hampden Capital and also Hampden Agencies, the largest of the Lloyd’s Members’ Agents, with over £2 billion in funds under management. Because Hampden is a dedicated investor into Lloyd’s there is no-one better to talk to if you are trying to understand the best opportunities and the most pressing threats affecting the 300-plus year old marketplace today. This is a really enjoyable conversation, not just because Alistair is one of the Lloyd’s Market’s best analysts whose insights are highly valuable, but more because of the progressive and dynamic nature of the business he is running. A Lloyd’s Members’ Agent is an incredibly traditional business in many ways, but that doesn’t mean Hampden is standing still. Hampden has long been a sought-after adviser to corporate, as well as private capital and its efforts to hep build and promote entirely new routes for investors into the Lloyd’s market are highly innovative and encouraging. In the past Lloyd’s has sometimes been perceived as slow to react to new forms of capital, but now that couldn’t be further from the truth. With listed vehicles, cells in London Bridge 2, Syndicates in boxes, follow Syndicate capacity, or innumerable other structures, wherever there is an opportunity it seems that Hampden and the wider Lloyd’s ecosystem is seeking to make the most of it. Alistair is also a great guest – intelligent and completely on top of his brief but unfailingly polite and good-humoured and completely transparent and direct with his answers. He’s a great blend of all the virtues of the traditional Lloyd’s market with something a little more contemporary. Listen on for valuable tips and nuances and a strong idea of where the market is heading. From our encounter Lloyd’s and the wider wholesale specialty and reinsurance markets seem to be in rude good health. NOTES: With hindsight Alistair felt he had slightly oversimplified Lloyd’s London Bridge 2 structure while trying to explain it in plain English to me. Here’s a link to a fully comprehensive presentation about London Bridge 2 from Lloyd’s itself, so use this for hard reference: LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank our audio advertiser, Aventum Group Please contact them on: [email protected]
10/31/202335 minutes, 41 seconds
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Ep186 Todd Davison & Keir Cox of Purbeck Insurance: Introducing Personal Guarantee Insurance

Normally I interview well-known senior executives in the global insurance industry, often with long and distinguished track records and a public persona within our sector, but today I’m talking to two people who I would expect only a few of the regular Voice of Insurance listeners to know. They’re here because I think what they have achieved to date is interesting and genuinely unique and deserves to be brought to wider attention. Todd Davison (Managing Director – left) and Keir Cox (Director of Operations - right) of UK MGA Purbeck Insurance Services are pioneers in Personal Guarantee Insurance. This is insurance looking to cover the personal guarantees that are often required by financial institutions of directors when lending to small businesses. When I first met Keir and Todd and heard what they are doing I loved the idea. Firstly, that I know of, no-one else is doing this and secondly, this idea goes to the core of what insurance does best. Directors running exciting small business are often put off seeking the finance they need to make their growth plans a reality because of these guarantees that are almost always backed by the equity in their homes. You’ve read too many biographies of successful entrepreneurs if you think everyone wants to take that kind of risk. Meanwhile lenders might lend more if they knew an insurer was aligned with them and had done the additional diligence needed to become comfortable underwriting the risk. Here it’s insurance that is the big economic enabler, helping fast-growing dynamic businesses get the finance they need to drive the economy forwards. I like it when we’re the good guys. So listen on and prepare to be enlightened about a whole new class of business that I’m sure will be a standard product in decades to come. Just remember that you heard it hear first from Keir and Todd. NOTES: Some Abbreviations made it through: PCC is Protected Cell Company – these are used to form captives and ILS vehicles, among other things. API is Application Programming Interface –  Something that connects different computer systems together. Todd and Keir mention Dean Cox and Neil Wadsworth as key figures in the founding of Purbeck. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank our audio advertiser, Aventum Group Please contact them on: [email protected]
10/24/202348 minutes, 42 seconds
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Ep185 Paul Bantick, Global Head of Cyber Risk, Beazley: Providing for Cyber growth

Cyber is rightly never far from the news. It’s a class of business that’s only 15 years old, but is already producing annual income in the billions of dollars for many insurers and reinsurers. Today’s guest is Paul Bantick, Global Head of Cyber Risks at Beazley Beazley’s gross cyber income was already well over a billion dollars in 2022 and is still growing strongly into this year on the back of seemingly insatiable demand, despite a near trebling of rate over the last three years. And this is demand that is picking up globally well outside the core market of the US. A lot of the cyber buck therefore stops with Beazley, and so what Paul has to say is really important for the future direction of the market. And we’ve got a huge amount to talk about. Cyber is at a crossroads. Rate has come off recently as underwriters have benefited from the pricing re-set of 2020 to 2022 and posted some very healthy combined ratios. The question now is whether we are going to descend into a difficult-to-comprehend downwards spiral like has happened in D&O or whether core discipline will hold. At the same time Beazley and others have pushed to impose much greater clarity around cyber war coverage, something that has sent waves through the market. In the meantime the work to get reinsurers and capital markets more comfortable with its view of systemic risk and supporting a cyber catastrophe market has continued in earnest with Beazley sponsoring a cyber cat bond - Cairney - at the beginning of 2023, a cover that it has since topped up twice with subsequent issuances. We talk about all this and an awful lot more besides. Happily Paul is really easy to talk to - and easy to follow. So if you want a comprehensive update on the insurance world’s most exciting class of business from one of its best-known lead underwriters, listen on. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank our audio advertiser, Aventum Group Please contact them on: [email protected]
10/17/202348 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep184 Ekhosuehi Iyahen Secretary General of the IDF: Putting valuable insurance knowledge to good use

Often when we go to a conference a CEO will pop up to give us an inspiring pep talk about how nothing good in the world happens without insurance and how our industry is one with a genuinely useful moral purpose that has a positive effect on everything that it touches. We may nod along and then think little more of it. But today’s guest is living proof that those CEOs are right to feel inspired. That’s because Ekhosuehi Iyahen, Secretary General at the Insurance Development Forum’s (IDF) job is to harness the strong purpose of insurance to good effect in some of the countries in the world that can most benefit from it. Insurance is a business that brings together a vast array of different skills from science and engineering to statistics and finance all to try and prevent bad things from happening and to fix them when they do. But our skills and experience around prevention and risk mitigation are often lacking in developing countries that haven’t yet grown sophisticated financial systems and that’s where the IDF comes in, acting as a convener between the insurance industry, the aid community and international sovereign governments and local authorities on the ground. For instance how does a developing country know where to site its critical infrastructure if its country hasn’t been properly modelled for natural hazards? Ekhosuehi is a really interesting and intelligent guest. She’s also a very rare example of an academic of high intellect who has moved from the world of ideas to one of putting theory in practice on the ground. There are a lot of misconceptions to dispel – the first of which is the idea that what the IDF is doing is a form of charity. Nothing could be further from the truth – from this encounter you’ll learn very quickly that the IDF’s work is all about developing the vast new insurance markets of the future – and that these are long-term profitable commercial opportunities that will give rise to even bigger opportunities as they take hold. So listen on – if you have ever felt disillusioned at work and wondered whether what you do makes a difference, what you are about to hear should put a spring in your step. NOTES The IDF’s website is here: Get in touch via email: [email protected] LinkedIn: X (formerly Twitter): @InsDevForum LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
10/10/202349 minutes, 3 seconds
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Special Ep: The State of (Re)insurance 2023

This Monte Carlo Rendez-Vous was very different from last year’s. Last year it was all about reinsurers and brokers getting the clearest message possible across to buyers that the market was going to re-set in a major way at the first of January 2023. That made it pretty straightforward to report upon – for me or anyone listening to last year’s inaugural reinsurance documentary episode the message was obvious. And then, if the intentions of mortals weren’t clear enough, the insurance Gods chipped in with major Florida landfalling Hurricane Ian only days later. The message may or may not have got through but a huge lack of certainty for buyers was the result. Everyone could see that prices and attachment points had to rise and terms and conditions had to improve, but it was hard to find out specifically what that meant in firm terms from the market until very late in the day. This was traumatic and painful for many and put relationships under an enormous amount of strain. I’m recapping all of this because the trauma of the recent past meant that a reasonable part of this year’s Rendez-Vous necessarily dealt with looking back and trying to heal some of that scar tissue, repair fractured alliances and rationalise some of the changes that were made after everybody had last met in 2022. Reinsurance is a people and trust business and human emotions ran high at 1.1.23 so there was much more of the past tense than you would usually expect from a forward-looking gather such as this. Things are much calmer now and the word you’ll hear most in this podcast is orderly. But only once that pain of 1.1 23 was got out of the way was this a Rendez-Vous where we could look forwards and try to answer some of the big questions looming in 2024: Were the major changes of the-once-and-done variety or was more to come? Or conversely would the favourable reinsurance market conditions replenish appetites and attract new capital that would unleash renewed competitive forces in a way that has happened so many times in the past? Would this allow cedants to begin the slow process of chipping away at what reinsurers had gained at the last renewal? Would anyone be willing to look at selling a product to ease the increased burden on cedants’ earnings? And after a year marked by back-year deterioration, current inflation and painful US court awards, whether Casualty Reinsurance was likely to be subjected to the kind of re-set that had happened to property markets a year earlier? What follows will cover all of this and a lot more besides. My promise to you is that if you weren’t lucky enough to be down on the Med in mid-September, listening to this podcast will be the absolute next best thing to having been there in person, in the room with me as I canvas the views of a very large number key industry figures. Give me the next hour and I’ll give you the State of (Re)insurance. LINKS We thank our sponsor Stephens Rickard:
10/3/20231 hour, 13 minutes, 48 seconds
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Ep183 Richard Brindle: If you’re good enough, you’re old enough

The Voice of Insurance podcast was very much made with guests like Richard Brindle in mind. A lot of people talk about being independent, but very few live it in the way today’s guest has done. And by that I mean independence of mind, thought and action, sometimes including independence from your reinsurers. Mr Brindle has always spoken his mind but he has also backed up his strong opinions with equally strong conviction and financial support for his views. Today’s market was made for underwriters like him, willing to do deals while others aren’t sure, and able to move quickly and give meaningful support to clients willing to trade on his terms. And now that Fidelis MGU is formally separated from its balance sheet Richard is even more energised and intensely focused on the world’s underwriting opportunities than at probably any time since his early days in Lloyd’s. So we have the ideal guest in an ideal situation, in a fascinating market in a real world that is presenting unique challenges almost daily. The result is one of the best podcast interviews the Voice of Insurance has managed so far. There’s no need to list out everything we talk about because it’s all here. We recorded this down in Monaco on September the tenth. We often moan about the Reinsurance Rendez-Vous in Monte Carlo and whether it is still relevant in the 21st century, but when it throws up opportunities to spend valuable time with some of its most singular industry leaders, it becomes obvious that it is easily worth the effort. If we didn’t have a world forum like this we would surely have to reinvent it, but if we needed to reinvent another Mr Brindle, I’m not quite sure we could. Listen on to see what I mean. NOTES: Richard mentions Fidelis involvement in the Howden-brokered insurance programme covering the UN-sponsored plan to clean up and secure the FSO Safer supertanker decaying off Yemen’s Red Sea coast. More information is available from the UN here: LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
9/26/202349 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ep182 Tim Gardner & Bob Bisset Lockton Re: Let revenue take care of itself

I last spoke to today’s guests as part of last year’s The State of Reinsurance Special Episode from Monte Carlo. In that documentary-style podcast I spoke to over 20 people, so a one-on-one with this duo to look more closely at their still relatively young business was long overdue. Tim Gardner (left) and Bob Bisset (right) of Lockton Re have been very busy in the last four years since the project to build a challenger reinsurance broker began in earnest. The business has hired over 300 staff, run through $200mn in revenues and became profitable last year and in this episode we check in on how the reinsurance broker’s expansion plans are progressing. We also take the temperature on this still relatively hot reinsurance market. The result is a very lively and good-humoured encounter. Tim and Bob are buzzing and are clearly enjoying the considerable challenge of building out and scaling a global reinsurance broker. This is a task others have tried and failed to do and if you listen carefully I think you will hear the tiniest sense of relief in Tim’s voice that much of his early vision has been vindicated. I also think that this episode will give you a lot of insight into what Tim and his team are trying to do that is subtly different from some of Lockton Re’s peers. Tim and Bob say that getting the people, culture and capabilities right is the key and if you do that the revenue and profit will take care of themselves. That is to say they are just a byproduct and not the goal in itself. Lots of people say these kinds of things, but rarely have I met an executive team that really sounds like they mean it. So listen on and see if you hear what I hear. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
9/19/202338 minutes, 4 seconds
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Ep181 Jean-Jacques Henchoz CEO Hannover Re: True partnership has a price

Today’s guest is exactly the right person to have on the show at exactly the right time. The reinsurance world is about to head down to Monaco for its annual global Rendez-Vous. So ahead of that, speaking to the CEO of the reinsurer that according to AM Best is now the second largest writer of gross non-life reinsurance premium in the world, producing almost $26bn in P&C top line, has got to be a good call. A business of that scale has visibility into every nook and corner of the insurance value chain. So I am delighted to be welcoming Jean-Jacques Henchoz CEO of Hannover Re back to the podcast. But not just because of Hannover Re’s scale and strategically important position in the market, but also because of its, and Jean-Jacques’, straightforward approach to communication. Hannover Re is a massive player but it has always spoken to the market in a very direct style that has always struck me as being far more intimate and approachable than its more formal peers. I think that reflects the down-to-earth, no-nonsense nature of this still fast-growing and high performing business and it makes for a very valuable listen. From this conversation I think we can expect a much less dramatic and far more stable renewal season than the radical and revolutionary one we have just had. Jean-Jacques calmly answers all my questions, with no omissions or deviations and exudes all the smarts, coolness, stability and continuity that all cedants are really buying into when they seek out a major reinsurer like Hannover Re’s support. In fact I don’t think I have met a CEO yet who better personifies his company’s brand. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
9/5/202332 minutes, 37 seconds
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Special Ep Arun Balakrishnan CEO Xceedence: AI and Insurance - everything you need to know

Today’s guest is an insurance technology entrepreneur with a great story to tell. Arun Balakrishnan started his career at sea but went back to business school, became an internet entrepreneur and ended up captaining Berkshire Hathaway’s foray into the Indian insurance market. Ten years ago he founded Insurance technology firm Xceedence and the growth has been rapid. But that’s just a bit of background because the main purpose of today’s podcast is to talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and in particular the generative AI that has exploded onto the world’s consciousness in the past six months. When something has been this hyped having someone like Arun on the show is an absolute godsend. Arun is a great explainer and first helps educate me about what the terms bandied around in AI really mean. Then we start to get to work on decoding what the best applications are going to be in the insurance world. This is fascinating stuff and we soon get down to the fundamentals of what machines and humans are really best at. I won’t spoil anything by saying that the humans in insurance really shouldn’t worry about being made redundant by this new technology – there are some things that AI can’t do well, and even if it could, we probably wouldn’t want it to do them for us. This is far more about improved accuracy and vastly increased productivity. Arun says we should think of it a bit like being allocated a smart intern, apprentice or an indefatigable underwriting assistant. Arun is a great teacher and I can highly commend this episode to anyone feeling bewildered or daunted as to how to start to engage with this exciting new technological development NOTES, ABBREVIATIONS AND FURTHER READING Arun mentions Word2Vec, which comes from ‘word to vector’, a technique whereby words are transformed into a numerical representation – ie. a vector, and is at the heart of the development of this new form of Artificial Intelligence. Another concept mentioned and worth reading up about further is Zero-Shot classification, which is all about creating a tool that can do a job that it hasn’t been specifically trained to do. An example might be for the AI to have learned a lot about football and then use this insight to classify an article about basketball, upon which it has never been trained. LINKS & CONTACT As Arun said, you can contact him directly on [email protected]
9/1/202343 minutes, 17 seconds
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Ep180 Craig Kingaby CEO Meridian & Mark Heath CEO Acies: Playing our own game

The older we get the more we lament the passing of the great personalities in the marketplace. Over an after-work drink we tend to reminisce about the entrepreneurial characters of old and how we wish there were more of their kind today. I know I do. Well, today’s guests are proving that this is a myth caused by old age because they are some of the most singular insurance people I have had on the programme to date. Craig Kingaby CEO of Meridian (Left) and Mark Heath CEO of Acies MGU (Right) both have vast London market and international insurance and reinsurance experience but what the Meridian business are trying to achieve is something different and a little special. For instance, they are trying to build a London-based diversified specialist insurance group, but one that is almost sitting outside the market. They have big growth plans and are moving fast but are doing so because the opportunity is in front of them, not because they have to satisfy the ambitions of impatient investors and hit target numbers. They don’t have an eye on an exit, but instead on building a generational business which will stop growing if it ever hits conflicts that might affect its clients. They are largely self-funded and wholly management controlled and they have even decided to spend a lot of time building their own technology platform. I told you that they’re a bit different. They’re also ideal interviewees because they can sign off on their own quotes. So what follows is one of the most frank exchanges about how to build a differentiated broking and MGA business I have ever had. This is a duo that has spent decades learning how things should and shouldn’t be done and becoming experts in the insurance game – the thing is that now they have decided to play their own game. Craig and Mark are great communicators and I think they are onto something interesting, so listen on for a very refreshing and challenging chat about what this new game is all about. Mark speaks first. NOTES: Craig mentions a Marcus at insurance placement platform, Whitespace. That’s Marcus Broome, its chief platform officer. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
8/29/20231 hour, 38 seconds
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Special Ep Amrit Santhirasenan CEO hyperexponential: How to win at the team sport of underwriting

Today’s guest is someone pretty unique for our sector because he’s a software engineer who became a senior actuary and then founded his own insurance-focused technology business. Amrit Santhirasenan, Co-founder and CEO at hyperexponential’s story is a classic of the entrepreneurial genre: Frustrated with a lack of an insurance-specific decision-making platform to bring together underwriters, actuaries and the exponentially growing datasets that an increasingly digital world is producing, Amrit decided to build his own. The longer I am around, the more I find that an unorthodox combination of skills and experience often unlocks extra value and Amrit is a great example of this. He’s also not a stereotypical actuary because, amongst his many talents, he has the sort of communications skills that would put many top brokers to shame. So this podcast is an incredibly eloquent summing up of hyperexponential’s business model and a wider and very detailed examination of the state of insurance today. Ironically you could argue that underwriters and actuaries used to work closer together until technology started to get in the way. Amrit is on a mission to bring back a much tighter feedback loop between the actuaries who interrogate the data to uncover insights and the underwriters who have to take those insights and turn them into decisions out in the real world. Pricing is at the intersection of all the most exciting things that are happening in insurance today – it’s where data, brain power and market savvy all come together to try and give carriers an edge over their competitors. Amrit’s great company and a dream guest, so technologists and technophobes alike do listen on as we set the world to rights. You certainly don’t need any tech knowledge to get the benefit of Amrit’s insights. LINKS:
8/4/202334 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep179 Antony Erotocritou CEO Ardonagh Specialty: We’re not slowing down

Today’s guess is someone with a fascinating story to tell. Today Antony Erotocritou is the CEO of Ardonagh Specialty but he has ridden the Ardonagh story all the way from its origins in the debt-for-equity swap for troubled UK retail consolidator Towergate in 2015. Ardonagh has since been on a journey to build its specialty and international operations, which included 2021’s transformational deal to buy the newly-formed Corant Global Group, comprising the brokers Ed and Besso. The organic and inorganic investment continues at high speed. Over the last eight years, perhaps the only part missing from this story has been a clear narrative from the broking group itself. It has given the impression that it is too busy with its head down to worry about what others might think of it. Ardonagh seemed happy to leave a vacuum that many of its peers have been eager to exploit. It’s fair to say that media coverage of the group in the past few years has been chequered, with as many negative stories of team defections as positive ones around new hires or acquisitions. Well, this podcast gives me the sense of being the start of the group getting out on the front foot. Ardonagh Specialty has consolidated its many brands into Price Forbes and Bishopsgate and Antony has a very positive growth story to tell. As a former CFO he is absolutely on top of the numbers and strategy and we have a very detailed discussion about the economics of scaling up an expansive broking platform. He’s excellent company and as someone who arrived to rectify one of UK broking’s most serious mis-steps, here is someone who knows in great detail how expansion should not be done. Here we learn how he thinks it should be done properly and given his unique experience, it’s really worth hearing him out. There’s a lot to learn and plenty of myths to be exploded. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
8/1/202341 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ep178 Tony Ursano of Insurance Advisory Partners: A ton of fun!

Today’s guest is someone I should have had on the show a long time ago, but I’m really glad has finally got an episode to himself. Tony Ursano is the Managing Partner and Co-founder of Insurance Advisory Partners and is someone who has been right at the top of deal-making in our industry for more than three decades. With roles at blue-chip firms on Wall Street and at Insurance brokers, he’s one of the few people who really excels at making the connection between the insurance industry and the global investment community and has had a hand in a large proportion of the most significant M&A transactions of the last 20 years. Because of this he is a fount of knowledge and is someone whose counsel and analysis it is always worth seeking out. For example if I ask: What will it take for investors to come back to reinsurance in significant volumes? Will higher interest rates take the shine off broker valuations? Or whether the boom in MGAs will run out of steam? With Tony I know I am going to get straight answers and a real feel for where the market is headed that comes from direct and constant experience. He’s also now his own boss and that independence just seems to make it easier for him to speak his own mind. In this discussion I asked all these questions and a lot more besides, and I wasn’t disappointed. And neither will you be. I’ve interviewed and chaired Tony many times over the years and I think our easy and good-humoured rapport comes across clearly in this conversation. So, sit back and get ready for a vintage episode with a real market player. Whether a buyer or seller - or a business looking to raise debt or equity finance or an investor looking for good opportunities in the insurance sector, Tony one is of the first people I’d advise anyone to call. NOTES: I let an abbreviation through. It was SaaS, which stands for Software as a Service. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
7/25/202345 minutes, 8 seconds
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Special Ep Paul Templar and Sebastian Prosser of VIPR: Stop throwing people at the problem

Today’s guests are Paul Templar CEO and Sebastian Prosser, Head of Account Management at insurance technology solutions specialist VIPR. VIPR started out in the London Market 14 years ago. From day one its core offering was to provide a software solution to the endless administrative problem of the ingestion and checking of data in the Delegated Authority (DA) space. With around 40% of the business at Lloyd’s transacted this way, it started life in a very fertile environment that was drowning in a mass of spreadsheets, emails and stray documents. Today it has grown enormously to be the largest player in this segment with over 400,000 bordereaux processed annually relating to around £5 billion of gross premium. This business is at the real coal face of digitisation in our industry and its development is following a ruthless logic: If you can ingest, verify and cleanse insurance data on a large scale, the next step is to start to analyse that data and gain genuine insights into the business you are writing.  And once you can do all this you can also speed up the process of onboarding new partners from a compliance perspective. My chat with Paul and Seb comes as VIPR is making large strides internationally into the US and European markets on the back of significant new blue-chip investment. With digital initiatives gaining traction and prominence all over the insurance world it’s an exciting time for the market and for VIPR. Here we talk about the prospects for a far more efficient, digital and data-driven marketplace, the world of insurance software ecosystems and the exciting expansion opportunities opening up for VIPR and its clients. Paul and Seb are great company and I recommend this episode to anyone looking to learn how to climb the first rung of the digital ladder. NOTES Naturally we mention DA a lot. That’s the abbreviation for Delegated Authority. There is also TPA, which stands for Third Party Administrator (usually for claims). LINKS
7/20/202334 minutes, 3 seconds
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Special Ep Warren Downey & Lee Anderson of Specialist Risk Group: Building a natural home for specialists

Today’s guests are Warren Downey Group CEO and Lee Anderson, Group Deputy CEO of UK-headquartered intermediary Specialist Risk Group (SRG). Warren was last on the show as part of two very early Special Episodes that SRG sponsored over three years ago. Back then SRG was just about to get a new private equity backer in the form of HGGC. Since that change of ownership the growth has been impressive, with SRG increasing its intermediated premium threefold via a combination of organic and inorganic growth. So far this makes SRG sound like it is treading a well-worn path of PE-backed consolidation, but that would be to fundamentally misunderstand what Warren and Lee are trying to do with this singular organisation. SRG is a fast-growing broking and MGA platform with very high ambitions, but it is in no way a conventional scale-up play on the hunt for market leverage and cost removal. SRG is best described as a growing collection of very specialist businesses that are all operating in niches where it is the depth of its specialist knowledge and relevance to very specific markets and not its scale that allows it to compete. Warren and Lee are a brilliant double act and this is a fascinating and fun insight into a broking group that is building something intentionally different and going out of its way to do unexpected and surprising things. From being agnostic about channels to market, doing M&A differently, running a shadow board or giving staff access to accelerated management programmes and share ownership, there is a huge amount to admire in what this duo is trying to achieve. So listen on – Warren and Lee talk about preferring to show people what they have already done as opposed to telling them what exciting, but as yet unexecuted, plans they have for the future and this podcast is full to the brim of excellent examples. And on a personal note I don’t think I have had a more fun, lively and down-to-earth duo on the podcast in a very long time – the time will fly by. NOTES: Warren refers to growth to 600 million in premium volume. That’s in £ pounds, or $785mn in US Dollars. LINKS: SRG’s website is here: You can contact Warren Downey at [email protected]
7/18/202346 minutes, 33 seconds
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Ep177 Chris Killourhy QBE Re: Balance is critical

Today’s guest is Chris Killourhy, Managing director of QBE Re. The reinsurance market has been through some comprehensive changes in the last 12 months and so has QBE Re. In this podcast we delve right into the evolving appetites and re-vamped strategy at this well-respected medium-sized reinsurer. In the past QBE Re was viewed as a highly competent and nimble trader in the markets in which it operated. Today it is evolving into a player that is looking to become a long-term across-the-board partner for the right kind of cedant. Chris hopes that this strategy will deliver a growing, balanced portfolio and a more predictable and less volatile level of earnings than in the past. Chris is a qualified actuary and has had a really varied career to date, which has already included multiple roles within the wider QBE group. But, unlike the apocryphal actuary to be found as the butt of hundreds of insurance jokes, he lays out his stall with great eloquence and his ideas on how to build a more balanced portfolio make for fascinating listening. Listen on for many wise insights and a clear vision for how a mid-sized reinsurer should navigate this market and how it can best compliment and benefit from its ownership by a major global insurance parent group. NOTES: Chris refers to a Jamie. That’s Jamie Cook, QBE Re’s Chief Partnership Officer. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
7/4/202344 minutes, 44 seconds
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EP176 Lorraine Harfitt of Asta: People, Plan, Capital.

Asta is the largest third-party manager of Lloyd’s Syndicates by quite a long way. As such, today’s guest Lorraine Harfitt CEO of Asta, almost certainly has a better view of what types of new business entrepreneurs and major insurers alike are looking to set up. She also has the best view of Lloyd’s changing appetites around what type of businesses it is looking to allow into - and keep out of - the marketplace. So this podcast is a great temperature gauge on the Lloyd’s and wider international insurance and reinsurance markets. I’m happy to report that I found Lorraine full of optimism and enthusiasm, with a long and diverse pipeline of business in prospect on many fronts, be it new Syndicates in boxes, Captive Syndicates, traditional syndicates, other alternative vehicles or MGAs. As Lorraine puts it, there is always a fear that the appeal of the Lloyd’s and London Market may one day wane. On this showing there is no evidence of this happening any time soon. Lorraine is a an industry professional of vast experience who has worked her way from the Lloyd’s Policy Signing Office in Chatham all the way up into the heart of the market. She knows this business inside and out, she’s great company and this podcast is packed with lots of really nuanced observations. NOTES: Lorraine mentions a Julian. That is of course Julian Tighe, former CEO of Asta and now its Group Director and Chief Commercial Officer at Davies Insurance Services. ICAS, the UK forerunner of the Solvency II regime, stood for Individual Capital Adequacy Standards. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
6/27/202331 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep175 Julian James, Sompo International: A Degree of Equilibrium

Today’s guest is someone who has had a career now into its fifth decade and is someone who I have been interviewing on an off for just under 20 years. He has held senior roles in broking businesses, underwriting firms and right in the heart of Lloyd’s. Today Julian James is CEO of Global Markets Commercial P&C Insurance at Sompo International. This is a global role that encompasses everything relating to commercial P&C in the Sompo organisation that is outside Japan or North America. Few executives could cope with a role that is this international, stretching from the far east all the way across to Brazil. But it is a job that suits someone like Julian down to the ground because he is someone who has been a globe-trotter for as long as I have known him and has a global outlook on the insurance business But just because I and many of you know already him, it doesn’t mean that Julian has lost the ability to surprise. In this interview I find someone energised and enthused about the challenge of creating and presenting a consistent and coherent Sompo offering to worldwide clients. With myriad jurisdictions, systems, brokers, languages and cultures to deal with, this is extremely hard to do. I also meet someone heading a business that has been discreetly increasing many of its risk appetites while most others have been moving in the opposite direction and which has grown quickly as a result. I also meet a global representative of a huge business that as recently as 5 years ago was not at all well known or understood outside its core Japanese market and has a large amount of communicating to do. Listening back this is a remarkably broad and fun conversation that covers a vast array of topics and lifts the lid on Julian and the wider Sompo organisation’s strategic thinking on the key issues facing the market. We even briefly touch on Eastern and Western philosophy. NOTES We spoke about some ancient history and I promised to put something in the notes about it. Julian worked at Sedgwick (a major UK-headquartered broker) early in his career. Sedgwick was acquired by MMC in 1998, at the height of what was then an unprecedented wave of consolidation that established MMC and Aon as the first genuinely global broking houses: LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
6/20/202351 minutes, 35 seconds
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Ep174 James Drinkwater, Amwins: Time and Money

Today’s guest is James Drinkwater, the President of Amwins. James is one of the most successful broking entrepreneurs of his generation. But he is also someone who doesn’t give a lot of interviews and so I have been working to get him on the show for quite some time. I am really glad I finally did because this is a really lively and fast-paced interview with someone right at the top of our industry and at a fascinating time in the marketplace. A massive wholesale broking business like Amwins gets to see where all the stress points are in the market far sooner than anyone else and here we identify these and point to the most likely solutions. But it’s in our broader conversation that I think we learn the most about this leading wholesaler and its global strategy. Transforming from being the largest US wholesaler to being a dominant global player will require a clear strategy and a lot of time. And that’s why it’s refreshing to hear James talk about this because unlike many in our business, he certainly gives the impression that he has the patience to play the long game and refuses to compromise the group’s wholesale identity and culture. Also as a Londoner it’s heartening to hear that the group’s London operations are set to play a key role in its global expansion. James is always frank and a straight-talker and our half-hour chat rattles by in no time. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
6/13/202332 minutes, 45 seconds
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Ep173 Clive Washbourn of Navium: Welcome back, my friends

It's great to have Clive Washbourn back on the show. The Episode I recorded with him two years ago has been the most downloaded of any so far, so it’s obviously going to be good for business to do a follow-up. But it’s more than that. Clive is one of those people who is famous in the market. He is someone who people tell stories about, so you’ve heard about him even if you haven’t met him. So when he founded his Navium MGA it was a no-brainer to ask him on the show. I had no idea what to expect. What happened was Clive being an absolute force of nature and one of the most revealing and fun interviews I have ever been a party to. We did that one under a lockdown over a video call. This time we are face-to-face in Navium’s office on Lime Street in the heart of the London market. It makes a huge difference to be physically in the room with someone like Clive. He really comes alive. What follows is another tour de force which reveals what is driving this remarkable marine MGA and what has pushed it to produce an amazing $360mn in gross written premium. We talk about the market, Clive’s business philosophy and where Navium is heading and how it fits in with Pine Walk and the wider, and now restructured, Fidelis operation. But because this is Clive, we get into something that we rarely talk about elsewhere: Listening back, we grapple with the true art of underwriting and how to play yourself into a strong market position. We learn how you can be a really technical underwriter without being the least bit boring and how you need to be ultra-selective and teach yourself to maximise opportunities whenever they arise. We also get an idea of how you can turn down large amounts of under-priced business but at the same time make the brokers keep coming back to see you. After two interviews I’ve got my own theory. I think people come to see Clive because they really enjoy his company. I think he is someone you could talk to about anything and he would make it an interesting conversation and an honest an unflinching exchange of views. I get the feeling Clive makes all the people he talks to feel understood and special. Here Clive even reveals a historical interest in the battle of Waterloo and burnishes his prog rock credentials by bursting straight into song! We both had a lot of fun – and I learned a huge amount - and so will you. NOTES Abbreviations: TLO is a Hull insurance abbreviation for Total Loss Only. ULR is the Ultimate (Net) Loss ratio. Rinku Patel is mentioned as being in the room with us. He is CEO of Navium’s incubator Pine Walk and is also now COO of Fidelis MGU as well as being its UK CEO. The quote ‘No battle plan survives the first shots of war/first contact with the enemy’ has been attributed to many, including Napoleon, but probably dates back to an 1871 paper by Prussian Field Marshal, Helmuth von Moltke. And finally, here’s a link to the 1973 progressive rock classic Karn Evil 9 by Emerson, Lake & Palmer: the original had to be split into 3 parts so that it could fit on a vinyl LP! Clive’s part comes in at 8’40”… LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
6/6/202341 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep172 Simon Lightbody CEO Rhodian: Making a home they’ll never want to leave

Given its 50% share of global premiums, it’s probably fair enough that we spend an awful lot of our time talking about the US market, but sometimes it’s refreshing to broaden our horizons a little. So today we’re going to be looking at Australia. And luckily we’re going to be guided by a real expert and pioneer in this territory. This is someone with an enviable track record and also a very strong grounding in global wholesale insurance. Simon Lightbody has had a very successful 30-plus year career which started as a broker and then an underwriter in London, but really took off 18 years ago when he helped found Miramar, an Australian MGA backed by the growing Steadfast distribution group. Steadfast went public ten years ago and these days Miramar writes well over a billion in annual premiums. After a recent career break Simon is back with Rhodian - a brand-new MGA incubator, set up with support from Amwins. When someone of Simon’s experience and success starts something new it’s always exciting and a chance to find out what opportunity it is they have seen or what gap in the market they have spotted. So what follows is an excellent tour around Simon’s big idea and the opportunities available in the Australian and wider Asia-Pacific markets. Simon’s someone I knew back in my own broking days in the 1990s and I think some of that familiarity comes through in this really friendly and relaxed meeting. But most importantly this is an encounter with a highly successful entrepreneur who knows the MGA business from top to bottom. And because of that I think this Episode has an awful lot to offer any listener, whether they have a particular interest in the Australian market or not. NOTES APRA is the Australian prudential regulator, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. ASIC is the conduct regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
5/30/202342 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep171 Alex Powell of Aegis: Realistic, but with an added dose of niceness

Aegis London is one of the most consistently top performing syndicates in the Lloyd’s market. It’s also one of the least volatile. The business has a new CEO, Alex Powell and so it was only natural that I should invite him onto the show for a catch-up. Alex has been with Aegis since the year 2000 when it was a fledgling syndicate so he knows this firm inside and out – to use his own phrase, he’s been sheep-dipped in this business’s culture. It’s clear from this meeting that we shouldn’t expect radical departures from Alex – but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t expect Aegis London to be radical. Because this is a radical business at heart. It’s found a way of putting into practice what many preach but what is enormously difficult to do – grow when you can and preserve capital when you can’t – and all the while maintaining a healthy balance that brings genuine diversification benefits. It’s also pioneered the digitisation of specialist business classes with a large degree of success, which is something many would not have predicted. In this meeting we spend a lot of time examining the market and going over the secrets of Aegis’s success. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but a bit like his predecessor David Croom-Johnson, Alex seems to be a good living example of the culture he wants to engender in his staff. He is easy-going, curious, smart and charismatic and is open and honest about his strategy and what has and hasn’t worked over the years He’s not prone to hyperbole and gives a strong impression that he would be an excellent person to work for. And perhaps that is the real secret as this business looks to make the most out of what remains of this hard market. But don’t take my word for it. You should hear it for yourself. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
5/23/202333 minutes, 21 seconds
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Special Ep David Cabral: Thinking beyond ESG

Today’s guest is one of the best qualified senior insurance and reinsurance executives I have ever had on the show. That’s because in a forty-plus year career David Cabral has been in both claims and underwriting, crossed the divide between Life and Health and P&C and worked at brokers, both in good times and in very bad times. He’s also been in charge of a company in run-off and he has overseen debt and equity capital raisings on the private and public markets. He’s built and run operations, done M&A and has worked at the biggest incumbents as well as the smallest start-ups. His resumé includes amongst many other names: Starr Excess, Marsh, Endurance, Frank B Hall, Lloyd’s and latterly sustainable finance-focused start-up Parhelion Capital. He’s also been a longstanding advocate of business and cultural change and the adoption and application of the best technology in our sector. I don’t know anyone with a more 360-degree understanding of our business than David. That long preamble is important because it means that what he has to say about the fundamental issue of ESG should carry an enormous amount of weight. This is someone with the right combination of intellectual heft and real-world experience to see exactly where we are going wrong as an industry on the biggest challenge our sector has ever faced. To his brains and experience I should also add a fearlessness in telling things exactly as he sees them. If ESG represents the greatest re-set of risk since the industrial revolution, here is someone who has thought things right though to their logical conclusions and wants to help build an insurance sector that is fit for purpose in a world of ever more dynamic risk and exponentially-growing real-time data. David is an outspoken communicator and a great advocate for our sector and the transformative power it wields across the global economy and wider society. I have rarely interviewed someone able to express themselves so freely and this is what I think makes this Episode something a little special NOTES Abbreviations. ESG stands for Environmental Social and Governance IoT is Internet of Things. A Julian is referred to. That is Julian Richardson, CEO of Parhelion Underwriting. LINKS We thank our Special Episode sponsor Stephens Rickard: David Cabral:
5/19/202350 minutes, 23 seconds
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Ep170 Simon Wilson, President Markel International: The market will dictate

One of the only real qualifications for my job is to be good at getting on with all sorts of people – I really couldn’t do it if I was too cranky or too shy. In contrast some of the people I talk to aren’t natural communicators but as their careers have progressed and they had to take on more public-facing duties within their organisations, they have been forced to learn that particular skill. Happily today’s guest is an insurance professional who is a natural born communicator. Because of this I think this Episode contains way more content per minute than the average. Simon Wilson is President of Markel International and is responsible for a business that operates in 13 countries and counting on three continents. It’s also incredibly diverse, spanning micro retail all the way to the biggest ticket London Market wholesale business placed at Lloyd’s. Simon’s comfortable talking on an extremely broad range of topics – from specialty  classes and the effects of the hard reinsurance market and the discipline of writing net lines in dislocated markets, to casualty reserving and comparative strategies for global business building and the development of highly specialised industry vertical niches. We even dissect ESG and the opportunities that vast swathes of green investment are throwing up for the industry. It’s a breathless encounter that rattles through an enormous amount at a very fast pace. Simon’s clearly enjoying his role and his intelligence, insights, passion and excellent humour shine through every minute of this episode. Listen on, I think you’ll be impressed and you’ll learn an awful lot. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
5/16/202346 minutes, 35 seconds
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Ep169 Keith Meier of Assurant: Listen to your customers

The more time we spend in this industry the more we learn that there is very little that is genuinely new. Take the insurtech community’s recent discovery of the idea of embedded insurance. To read some of the posts about this on social media, this is an idea forged in the white heat of technology and so recently-minted that it’s still hot to the touch. Well, today’s guest puts that idea into considerable perspective. Keith Meier is Chief Operating Officer of US-headquartered Fortune 500 insurer Assurant and has spent a career of over twenty-five years working in the business to business to consumer insurance space – or B2B2C as it is more often called. Operating in 21 countries, there is almost nothing that Keith and Assurant don’t know about embedding insurance right into the heart of the product offerings of the world’s largest consumer brands. So this is a very mature sector and what follows is a masterclass on how to succeed in this specialist niche of the industry. Keith’s absolute customer-centricity will be a revelation to many listeners from the wholesale world. What’s clear is this is a long-term business that needs the right cultural approach to work for all parties. You have to offer real value or you just won’t last. But when it works, it really works. The insurer grows profitable business and service revenues, consumers get great service and added-value products and the consumer giants get new revenue streams and more loyal and better-quality customers. What’s also clear is that technology is enabling this segment to be so much more responsive than it has been in the past, with new products configurable at scale in a matter of days and weeks at negligible cost. That’s clearly the part that’s exciting the insurtechs – and the growth prospects are indeed considerable. But here is one embedded incumbent who is way ahead and is going to be very, very hard to disrupt! LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
5/9/202345 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep168 Sean McGovern, Chair of the LMG: On the verge of achieving real change

Today’s guest is back on the show in a role he has only recently accepted – that of Chair of the London Market Group (the LMG). Sean McGovern is probably the market’s best qualified incumbent for this job, and in this podcast I found Sean completely on top of his brief; Pushing the UK political establishment hard for changes to the UK regulatory regime to make it more accountable and conscious of the market’s global competitive position; banging the drum to attract talent and develop market-wide initiatives that benefit all participants, big and small; and helping to create consensus around and drive adoption of the London Market’s ongoing technological reform processes. We talked about everything – there were no taboos – not even Brexit! In my dealings with him over the years, Sean has always been incredibly direct and often surprisingly candid and this encounter is no different. This episode will get you up to speed on what’s topping the LMG’s agenda and what Sean, and the rest of the team are doing on the London Market and its clients’ behalf to make sure what everyone needs to happen, happens. I also think it’ll make any London Market practitioners listening feel particularly lucky to be so well represented. Well, see what you think. Enjoy the podcast NOTES We refer to a Caroline. That of course is Caroline Wagstaff, CEO of the LMG, last on the show in Episode 141. LINKS We mentioned the London Insurance Life website: I can highly recommend everyone forwards this to any young person looking for a job, whether they are specifically interested in a career in the London Market or not. We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
5/2/202340 minutes, 13 seconds
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Special Ep: James York of Peacce - from inertia to outright hostility

Today’s episode is a real treat because we are doing something that we rarely do. That something is to undertake a genuine appraisal of what has gone well and what hasn’t in a business in the time since we last spoke. I often interview tech-focused entrepreneurs who have visions of how to transform the industry for the better. But what I almost never do is get them back on the show to examine in detail how their ideas fared when the came in direct contact with the often harsh reality of the industry as it is today. But I suppose James York, the founder and CEO of Peaccce is not like other insurance entrepreneurs. In fact I have never met anyone quite like James. Two years ago he was on the show espousing insurance reviews as a way of achieving a new type of consumer insurance platform sitting somewhere between search and price comparison. Now he’s back on the show to report in graphic detail how that experience went – and how he has adapted to the realities of the marketplace. It’s honest, sometimes brutally so. In tech everyone is always going on and on about how it’s so important to nurture the ability to fail fast and iterate – except almost no-one will admit to having done so. Just because your idea is right it doesn’t mean that it will be accepted with open arms. But James a robust enough character to take setbacks on the chin and re-focus. His latest idea on how to advance his vision is spectacularly simple and incredibly useful and his enthusiasm and energy is completely undiminished. This is an incredibly valuable conversation because it is borne form hard experience. It’s also one that anyone interacting with the Insurtech world will easily relate to and learn a huge amount from. LINKS CAR QR: Peacce:
4/28/202335 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep167 Steve McGill: A billion in revenues through organic growth

Todays’ guest is a broking pioneer with a very clear vision and an even clearer plan for how to achieve that vision. Steve McGill founded McGill and Partners almost four years ago and first appeared on this podcast about a year into the firm’s existence. It’s been over two years since he came on the show. Two years is a long time for anyone, but for a start-up business it is practically a lifetime. In two years the Steve on this podcast hasn’t change a bit, but the global business he runs has really taken shape. With revenues exceeding $170mn and the core build-out of the firm’s global infrastructure largely complete, the focus is unrelentingly on continuing and trying to accelerate growth from here on. Steve remains hugely focused and the strategy and vision remains the same from day one – acquire talent and customers, not businesses, and stay narrow and deep in specialisms while avoiding head on competition with the biggest global generalist brokers. In this podcast we take stock of how far the firm has come in a short period of time, against a backdrop of broking upheaval caused by attempted M&A, a global pandemic and major armed conflict. We also get insights into the transformed reinsurance landscape, the revolution in insurance distribution through the hybrid carrier and MGA incubator phenomenon and the logical consequences of increased digitisation on the market from one of the finest strategic broking minds in the business. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
4/25/202357 minutes
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Ep166 James Boyce CEO Global Specialties Guy Carpenter: Retro pushing peak affordability

My career in insurance was spent largely as a generalist and that’s why when I meet a specialist I really enjoy it. There is something amazing about the level of nuance and detail that specialists can reach into that adds enormous value to the rest of us if we have time to get all of the details out of them. Today’s specialist is James Boyce CEO of Global Specialties at Guy Carpenter which means we are in for a treat because we are getting the best of both worlds. That’s because Guy Carpenter can share as broad a global view of the market as is possible but at the same time we get an incredibly deep level of specialist knowledge and understanding. In today’s show we are focusing primarily on the retro markets. James and his colleagues have been in the thick of it and in this Episode we really clear the decks about where the market has landed after one of the most turbulent renewal periods in its history. I think that the picture that emerges is quite positive. The market has made rational changes that will set it in good stead for seasons to come, but although the product has fundamentally repriced right to the top of its useful range, the market is clearing and is a lot more predictable than it was at the end of last year. The underlying health of the market has also been buoyed by the news that despite Hurricane Ian and the Ukraine conflict, the retro market managed to post a profit in 2022 and has moved decisively back up the value chain, well away from attritional exposures. James is excellent company – well, he is a broker after all – and after this episode you’ll be right up to speed with the mood of underwriters and their capital backers in this the highest, but often least understood end of the capital stack that underpins the global insurance industry. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
4/18/202335 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep165 Bob Kimmel & David Carson of K2: Now hunting all kinds of game

I really enjoy talking to people who are full of energy because some of that energy rubs off. Bob Kimmel CEO of K2 Insurance Services’ return to the podcast with K2 CAT’s Head Underwriter David Carson is a case in point. Here we find Bob buzzing with the possibilities that significant new investment from Warburg Pincus can afford the firm as it looks to accelerate growth and double in size to a $3bn GWP platform over the next 4 to 5 years. David’s also full of energy after the decisive rupture in the reinsurance market at 1.1 has produced what he describes as the best market in property cat since 1993. This is an incredibly candid and fluid discussion. Bob is very open about the potential squeeze that may be coming for MGA and other intermediaries’ margins as reinsurers and carriers push back hard on commissions and trim underperforming agencies from their portfolios. But he’s also really happy about having fresh dry powder to make the most of cooling valuations and special situations as interest rates rise and debt-heavy buyers are priced out of out of a hitherto frothy M&A market. Bob also explains why being a hybrid carrier with a balance sheet was great when K2 was smaller and needed to incubate underwriting talent, but became a distraction to the core business as the group scaled to the $1.5bn of gross premiums it now underwrites on behalf of the market. This is fascinating under-the-hood stuff and no aspect of the market and K2’s plans is left uncovered. It’s also delivered at an almost breathless pace and with great rapport between the Bob, David and this interviewer. If you want to get well ahead of emerging trends in the fast-developing MGA world, this is absolutely essential listening. NOTES: Bob speaks first. The abbreviation LOC snuck in. It means a Letter of Credit. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
4/11/202336 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ep164 Andrew Horton QBE: An injection of pace

Today’s guest is Andrew Horton Group CEO of QBE insurance. His job is to run a global insurer and reinsurer that writes over $20bn in gross premium that originates from almost every market in the world. The business has just posted a very solid set of results and at the same time issued guidance for this good run to continue in 2023. Andrew has been in post for around 18 months and in this podcast it becomes clear that he has had enough time in charge to start to execute some of his own vision. It’s not wholesale change, but it is quietly radical. QBE has been built and integrated by his predecessors over the last 20 years, so the job today is not about filling in gaps with acquisitions. The group is already global and hugely diversified. Today’s job is about optimising the business’s global processes, product and people to create a consistently profitable, and innovative firm that can continue to grow organically. This is clearly easier said than done, particularly in a business run as three divisions and present in almost every time zone on the planet. And that is the core of the interview today. Andrew is a very thoughtful and very accessible leader. His ideas on how to make a large global business more cohesive, coherent and consistent while at the same time being fast-paced, nimble and efficient are extremely valuable. He is trying to bring a small enterprise mindset to a huge global insurance group and that is a radical goal to try and pursue. From today’s talk I wouldn’t bet against him. I can highly recommend a close listen. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
4/4/202342 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ep163 Richard Clapham & Luis Muñoz-Rojas of DUAL Group: Get the ham, not just the bone

Welcome to a very special episode because today’s guests are MGA royalty. Luis Muñoz-Rojas (pictured left) is the founder and Richard Clapham (right) is the CEO of the global MGA DUAL Group, which is part of the Howden Group. DUAL is now a business that writes more than $3bn in premium and employs 1,300 people in 19 countries. And the firm is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Luis and I have a bit of history – in the 1990s we both worked for the biggest broker in Spain, Gil y Carvajal. Aon took over Gil y Carvajal in 1998. For me that was the cue to change career and go off and become a journalist, but for Luis it fired the starting pistol on an incredible entrepreneurial journey with a friendly London wholesale broker called David Howden. I’ll let Luis tell the full story later on. But I don’t want you to think that this is a backward-looking podcast, celebrating the achievements of the past quarter century. There’s a bit of the origin story, because it’s a remarkable one. But this is just as much about the here and now of the reality of today’s market and the direction that DUAL and the MGA sector will head in in the next 25 years. Nothing is off the agenda. 25 years ago MGAs were absolutely not in fashion. But today we seem to be on the third or fourth wave of a revolution in how commercial insurance is underwritten and distributed where MGAs always seem to be at the cutting edge. Who better to be our guides than today’s guests? They have built a global insurance underwriting and distribution machine that can bring geographical and product diversification to even some of the largest carriers, and from the tone of this talk, it feels like they have only just got started. You be the judge, but because I’ve known one of the subjects so long I also think it allows us to have a much more open, candid and fun conversation that we might otherwise have had. NOTES: Luis mentions the DGS. The DGS is the Dirección General de Seguros, the Spanish insurance regulator. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
3/31/202355 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ep162 Scott Egan CEO SiriusPoint: Re-establishing credibility in the marketplace

Sometimes CEOs can be a little evasive. Of course they’re nowhere near as evasive as politicians, but, particularly if they are the CEO of a public company, they do have to be quite careful what they say to journalists. That can make interviews with them a little unengaging. All this makes today’s guest a real breath of fresh air. SiriusPoint’s various twists and turns in strategy and changes in senior management have made it a little hard to follow in the last couple of years. Was the firm a hedge fund reinsurer or was it a hybrid venture capital-style incubator and investor? Or was it actually a fairly traditional international specialist insurance and reinsurance business? In the past it may well have been all three of these and more, all at once. But Scott Egan is here to do something about all of that. Relatively quickly into the role he has acted decisively and communicated very clearly what his plan for the business is going forward. This podcast lays everything out really concisely. Scott let me ask all the questions I wanted to ask and answered them all very clearly where he could. So if you’ve been scratching your head about what Siriuspoint’s strategy has been all about, allow 35 minutes of Scott’s straight talking to make things clear. Scott’s incredibly direct and engaging and his communication couldn’t be more plain. It’s disarming and refreshing and I highly recommend a listen. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
3/28/202340 minutes, 26 seconds
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Ep161 Greg Hendrick CEO Vantage Risk: There’s no such thing as The Vantage Way

Today’s guest is returning to the show after a 2-year gap. For most that would be a reasonable time difference between appearances on the podcast, but today it’s different because Greg Hendrick is the CEO of the start-up Vantage Risk and two years in the lifetime of a company that is less than 3 years old is practically a lifetime. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do and this episode sets everything straight at a really fine pace. Greg has always been confident and accomplished in his encounters with the media and this meeting is another vintage performance. Nothing is off menu and we rattle through where the firm feels it is performing against its original business plan and the big strategic calls Vantage has made, particularly on property cat. We examine some of the early fruits of the group’s big bet on the application of data analysis and technology in core underwriting decisions and also look at how the hard reinsurance market is affecting the insurance market and Vantage’s own development plans. We also discuss possible medium-term avenues for the firm’s original investors and the Group’s attitude to M&A. Vantage is likely to push through a billion dollars of gross written premium in 2023 and is starting to get up onto the plane as Greg would describe it. Greg himself is always on the plane and this is an energising and fun encounter that will get you right inside the mind of one our sector’s biggest thinkers and most dynamic actors. I highly recommend a listen. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:  
3/21/202343 minutes, 43 seconds
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Special Ep Andrew Bart, CEO International Operations Crawford & Company: The Future of Loss Adjusting

One of life’s great paradoxes is that when something is so core to everything that you do that you can’t imagine being able to do your job without it, that’s often when take it a little for granted. And I think that’s what the insurance industry is guilty of when we think of loss adjusters and other trusted third party claims professionals. That’s why I’m delighted I was able to have such an in-depth and probing conversation with Andrew Bart CEO of International Operations at Crawford and Company. It’s clear after our meeting that while many in the sector will regard Crawford’s services as a given and a constant, Crawford itself does anything but. This may be a market-leading business with a very strong position globally, but it is constantly challenging, reinventing and disrupting itself as the world develops. For instance, how does an adjuster scale up and scale down flexibly in the face of ever more frequent, severe and global loss events? And what about when these events occur simultaneously at different points in the world? How does an adjuster rise to the challenge of new developments like parametric insurance, the huge increase in intangible assets and social phenomena like the gig economy? And how about resurgent inflation and the mega-trend of ESG and the transition to net zero which is going to change fundamentally how insurers and their customers deal with all claims in the future? Well, the answers are all here. And they involve a huge amount of technology and data and an enormous amount of collaboration as well as a subtle shift in focus from hindsight and learning historical lessons to foresight, prediction, prevention and prescriptive actions. You may not have thought of all these things, but I can assure that Andrew has very deeply. The result is a fascinating podcast that will give you a clear idea of what the third part claims professionals of the future are going to look like. And I think that after this you won’t take loss adjusters for granted ever again.
3/17/202342 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep160 Andrew Robinson CEO Skyward Specialty Insurance: Still navigating by the North Star

Today’s guest is returning after a very busy couple of years during which he has re-shaped, re-branded and now floated the business he runs on the public markets. Andrew Robinson came to this meeting fresh from presenting Skyward Specialty Insurance Group’s maiden results. Perhaps understandably Andrew was buzzing with energy, insight and good humour in this encounter and our conversation is at times breathless and interspersed by his characteristic directness. Here we examine in a lot of detail the prospects for the US E&S markets in the light of the major re-set at the last Reinsurance renewal as well as Skyward’s ongoing strategies and growth plans within them. We also set the insurance world to rights. I certainly enjoyed our talk. This podcast will run by very quickly and will give you a very good feel for where Skyward and the wider market is heading in 2023 and beyond. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
3/14/202338 minutes, 3 seconds
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Special Ep John Neal CEO Lloyd’s: I’d love to be underwriting today

Today’s guest is John Neal CEO of Lloyd’s, back on the show after an absence of more than two years. Back then he described an ambition to put the Lloyd’s halo back in place. Well, two full years of underwriting profitability later and the market has regained a huge amount of its cachet and prestige and begun to reap the rewards of its painful remediation process. But this podcast is as far as you can imagine from a triumphal romp through the market’s considerable achievements of the past couple of years. It’s about the here and now of this still-transitioning market and the major opportunities it is throwing up for Lloyd’s underwriters. It’s also about a culture change on one Lime Street. Engaging positively with and backing smart businesses with good ideas and being more principles rather than rules-based, while at the same time remaining hyper-vigilant on any backsliding on hard-won improvements in rate and terms and conditions. And it’s about delivery and leadership – delivery on tech reform and leadership on the big calls around systemic risk and on the massive challenges and opportunities being thrown up by ESG and the transition to net zero We even make time to talk about the culture and work environment of the London Market in the post pandemic world. I’ll stop myself there because there’s a danger that these intros become just a shopping list of the topics we address. Take my word for it, we talk about literally everything on the global insurance and reinsurance agenda today and nothing is off limits. But ultimately this is a great opportunity to spend 45 minutes in a very relaxed and intimate conversation with a leader of a very important segment of our global insurance ecosystem. As you’d expect, he’s in great form and it’s clear to me that he is growing in confidence. The confidence and conviction was there before, but there’s nothing like good results to add positive reinforcement. Here is someone who is getting through to the market and clearly feels he is going to be able to carry the market along with him to face the challenges of the future – and do so from a position of relative strength. We haven’t had a Lloyd’s CEO in this sort of position for at least a couple of decades – and that’s why what he says here has more meaning than in the past. The fact is that because of the credible delivery of the objectives of the first phase of his tenure, John’s thoughts about what comes next carry more weight than before. And that’s why I highly recommend a detailed listen.
3/10/202349 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep159 James Baird & Paul Richards Co-CEOs Consilium: Do you pass the barbecue test?

Today’s guests are a pair of broking executives clearly relishing an opportunity to lead a business through a period of accelerated growth in a market that is extremely favourable. James Baird (pictured left) and Paul Richards (right) are co-CEOs and Managing Partners of Consilium, the wholesale and specialist insurance and reinsurance broker that is part of the expansive Aventum group. Aventum Group CEO David Bearman laid down a marker back in Episode 82 almost two years ago and it’s worth re-listening to that podcast to put this one into context: This encounter is a tour de force. Whilst both James and Paul have worked together for most of their long careers they are relatively new arrivals to the Aventum fold. But you wouldn’t know from listening in here – the two are brimming with enthusiasm for their new home. Consilium already places $500mn of Gross Written Premium and has incredibly ambitious growth targets, but what is refreshing is that we aren’t talking about a familiar tale of private Equity backing, debt leverage, M&A and exit multiples. Here we are only using those terms to define what Consilium isn’t. And that’s what’s so fascinating. Consilium is a young broker with an average age way below that of these two interviewees and this interviewer. It has a progressive mindset on the application of tech in broking, much of which it develops in-house, yet in other ways it is incredibly traditional, balking at debt leverage, external equity investment and M&A for volume. The calculation here is that by growing organically whatever it loses in leverage the broker wins culturally, because it only hires people it feels will fit in and buy into the intermediary’s more stable culture. It also banks on that solid environment being a plus for customers who benefit from continuity of service. It’s definitely different. And with 30% organic growth on the cards, it certainly seems to be doing something right! Listen on for a really interesting and refreshing encounter. James speaks first. NOTES: Some Abbreviations. GL is General Liability and the ULR and ILR are respectively the Ultimate and Incurred Loss Ratios. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
3/7/202341 minutes, 31 seconds
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Ep158 Trevor Carvey CEO Conduit Re: The Cat tide has lifted all the property ships

Today's podcast is slightly shorter than many. At first I was wondering why. but listening back just now it’s actually quite clear. Long conversations come about because there are complicated structures, products and new ventures to explain. Or sometimes it’s because the people I talk to say things that I am not expecting them to say and then we have to spend time clarifying exactly what they mean. With Trevor Carvey CEO of Conduit Re, it isn’t like that. First of all Conduit was founded on the simple premise of being an uncomplicated pure reinsurer and that plan hasn’t changed just because the market has. There are no new platforms or initiatives to dissect here. Conduit is staying true to its original business plan, although better-than-expected market conditions may allow the firm to execute that plan a little quicker than expected. And the relative brevity is also down to Trevor himself. He’s concise and gets to the point and always answers questions head-on and in the most transparent and open way. It’s refreshing and this means that in a short time you can learn an awful lot about the exact state of the reinsurance market and where the best opportunities currently lie within it. There’s a lot of highly valuable detail and strategic insight in here coming from someone whose experience is very difficult to match in the industry today. I highly recommend a listen. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
3/3/202324 minutes, 34 seconds
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Ep157 Killian McDermott Executive Partner POP Holdings: The opposite of the Palo Alto approach

Today’s guest is someone you might not know but I think he is someone you should definitely listen to. That’s because Killian McDermott, Co-Founder & Executive Partner of POP Holdings is someone who is quietly innovating and applying technology and the analysis of data to the business of underwriting. Killian is an insurance professional with a long pedigree and so doesn’t come from the school of insurance disruptors. Indeed he believes that successful insurers have been married to the smart analysis of data since time immemorial and that the term insurtech will eventually have to be retired. He is an insurance person whose career would be typical of many in his peer group and recognisable to all of us, but who has learned to focus on the technology side of the business, not the other way around. What is also fascinating is that, in a world where so much tech innovation is going on in personal lines where numbers are large and premiums very low, his focus is on applying data ingestion and analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning, digitisation and automation to highly specialist classes of business such as M&A insurance and financial lines. The firm’s ambition is also substantial. Fusion Specialty Insurance and are the group’s main operating business with licences in many major insurance jurisdictions globally and Killian is targeting a billion dollars of Gross written premiums within five years. So if you want to hear from someone who instead of talking about innovation and insurtech is quietly getting on with making it all a reality, I highly recommend you listen on. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: And our advertiser Bolton Associates:
2/28/202330 minutes, 16 seconds
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Ep156 Duncan Dale, CEO Dale Underwriting Partners: Everything’s better than we planned for

In many ways today’s guest is an archetype of a traditional Lloyd’s Managing Agency business and the lifeblood of the London Market. It’s specialist, not generalist, it’s not too big but not too small. It’s nimble and agile, but also rarely strays from its chosen areas of expertise. And it’s also fiercely independent and supported - but not controlled by - its capital backers. Duncan Dale is CEO of Dale Underwriting Partners, a business in its tenth year of operation that is set to write around $400 million dollars in gross premium in 2023 following a one third pre-emption in its capacity from 2022. We discuss the recalibration in the market following the 1.1 reinsurance renewals, the opportunities this is throwing up and how long these opportunities might last for. We look at the firm’s expansion plans and the continued merits or otherwise of the London Market as a base, the effects of increased inflation on underwriting and we dissect Duncan’s own personal ambitions for the business he founded. But most importantly we get under the skin of a very singular London-headquartered underwriting business with a very clear vision of what it wants to do and where it wants to be. Duncan is on excellent form and I think this podcast proves that these days there is absolutely no such thing as a Lloyd’s archetype. Every market participant has a different approach and a very different philosophy and set of appetites – and I think that bodes very well for the health of the London Market as a whole. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: And our advertiser Bolton Associates:
2/21/202339 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep155 James Hands CEO Miller: Always looking through a client lens

Todays’ guest is a CEO who has just started in post at one of the London Market’s longest-running independent broking houses. As one would expect James Hands of Miller is full of energy and ideas on how to continue the broker’s impressive run of growth. James is a broker’s broker and our discussion rarely beats around the bush. He tends to get straight to the point. Miller is going to grow organically and by acquisition, but it is going to keep a laser-like focus on client need, culture and playing to the broker’s specialist wholesale insurance and reinsurance strengths. We run through how the tough market is playing out for Miller and its clients, whether third party capital backing has changed the firm’s culture and how the group is reacting the major technological changes that are transforming the way business is done across broad swathes of the market. James is excellent company and gives the impression of an open-minded and pragmatic leader very comfortable with where his business is and where its strategy is likely to be taking it in the future. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: And our advertiser Bolton Associates:
2/14/202327 minutes, 19 seconds
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Special Ep. Risto Rossar CEO of Insly: How no-code software will unleash an age of insurance innovation

Imagine a world where your underwriters can design their own insurance products in front of their eyes. A world where you don’t wait months for developers to come back to show you things they have built that end up bearing no relationship to what you asked them to do. In this world if you don’t like it you can just dump it and start again. And in this world the idea of legacy technology is meaningless- it simply ceases to exist. Here your only development cost is a monthly subscription. Well, it turns out this world is already here and not many of us know about it. I think you can tell from these words that today’s Episode is one that I found incredibly liberating and enlightening to record. I love it when I learn something new, especially when its something I have been hearing other people talk about for a while, but I’ve been too busy or perhaps too embarrassed or scared to ask them to explain it to me. The world of no-code software is one of those things that I’ve been hearing about for a few years, but haven’t really understood in any detail. So it was brilliant to meet Risto Rossar CEO of Insly, which is a business that has been running a no-code platform for the insurance industry for the best part of a decade. Risto is one of us – he’s an insurance guy. His first business was a digital insurance broker he launched around the turn of the millennium. Back then to do this you had to create all the tech yourself because it simply didn’t exist. That firm became very successful in the Baltic States and was sold on. But Risto soon realised he was onto something. Scaling brokers globally was hard but scaling software is a lot easier. He decided his next venture would be a tech business that helped to digitise the insurance sector That is how Insly was born. Now it’s working with 40 carriers and MGAs and around 4,000 brokers from around the world. Listen on for an inspiring conversation with someone who understands that the only way to unleash real innovation is to liberate insurance folk from the need to learn how to code and allow us to get genuinely creative with insurance for the first time in our history. In our discussion we also slay a lot of the myths around other tech buzzwords such as Blockchain and the idea of the moment: Embedded Insurance. Risto is great company and I can highly recommend a listen – you’ll learn a huge amount and hopefully end by feeling inspired and invigorated. LINKS Find out more about Insly here: And connect with Risto here:
2/10/202342 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ep154 Richard Watson and Stuart Bridges of Inigo: Curiosity & Hard Work

Today’s Guests are Richard Watson and Stuart Bridges of Inigo This podcast is a really enjoyable encounter wholly because of the unexpected way these two executives decided to conduct themselves. In the build up to an interview like this I usually circulate some sample questions beforehand. This is to get the subjects comfortable and to be able gather their best thoughts before we start recording. But the night before this recording Richard emailed me suggesting that we ditch my list of questions and that he and Stuart should interview me instead. A bit of broking later and we ended up with elements of both ideas. I hope you enjoy it. Listening back it’s definitely something different. But then no-one in the 153 Episodes preceding this interview has ever suggested we do any like this. I think what follows is a great advert for the business Richard, Stuart and their teams are building. The two are different, they’re original and they’re free thinkers who are happy to share their ideas and quite a lot of their own unique personalities. They’re clearly also having the time of their lives running a business that is looking to underwrite in excess of 1.2 billion dollars of premium in its third year, which is, perhaps unsurprisingly, ahead of the original plan. NOTES: Richard speaks first. The abbreviations 10-Q and 10-K are respectively a US-listed company’s quarterly and annual results, as filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The figures and letters refer to the statutory forms the companies have to use. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: And our advertiser Bolton Associates:
2/7/202336 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ep153 Ben Hubbard CEO & Co-Founder of Parsyl: Bringing a good kind of naïveté to insurance

Today’s guest is a real insurtech innovator with a story that is all the more remarkable because is bringing cutting edge tech to one of the oldest and most traditional lines of insurance, cargo. Ben Hubbard CEO and co-founder of Parsyl is an insurance outsider, who now finds himself running a Syndicate in the beating heart of the global cargo market – Lloyd’s of London. How did he get there? The other remarkable part of the Parsyl story is that it is unlike other insurtechs, who see fusty old insurance as ripe for disrupting, Parsyl is born from the idea that it is insurance that completes the tech side of the business because it allows economic incentives and enhanced coverage to be offered to customers to make them change behaviour and run their businesses better in the interests of all. So Instead of just selling technology it is also coming to take on a client’s risk – and that is something much more useful. To give you an idea of the firm’s progress and its potential, the business has just announced a strategic partnership with Lineage Logistics, the world’s largest temperature-controlled logistics solutions provider whose customers spend around $500mn a year on cargo insurance. Ben is a really friendly character who has the charisma and empathy needed to succeed in a multi-brokered market and I think his approach shows the way forward for how best to apply technology in the wholesale insurance value chain. So listen on – you may find inspiration for how to adapt Ben’s approach into your own chosen specialist lines. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: And our advertiser Bolton Associates:
2/3/202337 minutes, 44 seconds
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Ep152 Phil Hobbs President & Managing Director at Liberty Specialty Markets: Meeet the $24bn (re)insurer

Today’s guest is Phil Hobbs President & Managing Director at Liberty Specialty Markets. In the past Liberty Mutual businesses used to be run allowing a lot of autonomy and sometimes geographical and operational overlap. But these days Liberty is a business that has undergone a huge amount of work to unify in structure and present much more of a united front globally. And when you hear that Specialty Markets now produces 24 billion dollars of gross written premium, making it one of the largest commercial P&C insurers in the world, you can see why it makes an awful lot of sense to project and leverage that sort of scale out in the marketplace. That’s what makes this such an interesting discussion. When Phil joined Liberty 15 years ago he had a role in the group’s Lloyd’s Syndicate. Now he has a completely global view and only half of the premium he overseas is written in London. And because the business is a buyer and seller of reinsurance and retro, very few other organisations have such a joined up view of the insurance value chain in its entirety and with such breadth and depth. Given the turbulent state of the market Phil’s view is extraordinarily valuable. Here we talk in depth about how the recent reinsurance reset might affect market dynamics in insurance, as well as grappling with the state of play in core London specialty political risk and violence classes, Cyber, resurgent inflation, ESG and the post-pandemic work environment. Phil is very articulate and his calm and easygoing demeanour permeates our exchanges. He is also very good at making very complicated processes and dynamics much easier to understand and that is why I think a listen today will be very well rewarded. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: And our advertiser Bolton Associates:
1/31/202349 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep151 Rob Schimek Group CEO bolttech: Cooperate to graduate

Todays’ guest is from Insurtech royalty. He’s part of a select club of executives running youthful insurance businesses with valuations exceeding a billion dollars.  Bolttech and its Group CEO Rob Schimek have been in a hurry, building technology and a licensed ecosystem that is connecting large companies and their customers, brokers and other intermediaries, carriers and thousands of their insurance products in 30 markets across three continents. It’s done this from a standing start in only 2020 and today billions of dollars of premiums are quoted through the fluid connections that the business facilitates. I’ve been around insurance and technology long enough to know that getting this kind of traction this quickly is something special and that is why I wanted to get Rob on the show. In the last two decades insurance investment graveyards have been filled with big bold ideas like this and I wanted to get to the heart of what Bolttech is trying to do differently. It turns out that far from disruption the firm’s approach is to bring collaboration and flexibility to everything it does. It is also incredibly focused on the hard and unglamorous technical yards of Insurance that many more naïve insurtechs make the mistake of overlooking. Dealing seamlessly with the complex regulatory aspect of distributing thousands of products in different markets, perhaps through unlicensed entities, is an enormous challenge that this business takes just as seriously as the tech side of things. With a very senior insurance career already under his belt Rob really is one of us. So listen on for an idea of what the future of general insurance distribution is going to look like. And if you were ever dying to learn what all the fuss surrounding embedded insurance is really all about, then you have absolutely come to the right place! NOTES A couple of abbreviations smuggled themselves in: OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer - eg. Samsung for mobile phones. API = Application Programming Interface – ie a way of connecting up different computer systems LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: And our advertiser Bolton Associates:
1/27/202352 minutes, 17 seconds
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Ep150 London: Creative when we need it to be, with John Sutton and Jonathan Tritton of Acrisure London Wholesale

Today’s guests are brokers - a London Market wholesale veteran and a rising star executive. John Sutton (CEO) and Jonathan Tritton (SVP) work together at Acrisure London Wholesale (ALW). The business does exactly what is says on the tin – it’s fast growing retail broker Acrisure’s London Wholesale operation It’s almost five years since ALW was formed and for the incredibly acquisitive Acrisure group, it’s a rarity because it is a business that has so far done all of its growth organically. This is a really lively discussion and one that I think shows this business and the market where it operates in a very positive light. ALW is finding ways of serving its huge and growing retail, and now wholesale, network with product designed and built in London. It’s doing this through a combination of old school savvy and expertise and a youthful nimbleness and technological awareness that is refreshing to see. What’s more as the market has hardened across the board and already hard-to-place covers are becoming even harder to place this duo are adamant that the London Market is standing up and being counted and is rediscovering much of its old creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. NOTES One abbreviation. PV stands for  Political Violence. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: And our advertiser Bolton Associates:
1/24/202338 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ep149 Adrian Cox CEO Beazley: High Risk & High Reward

I’m delighted to say that todays’ guest is a returning visitor and he returns very much the insurance executive of the moment. Adrian Cox is the CEO of Beazley which since we last spoke has cemented its reputation as the most dynamic and pioneering of the London-headquartered global specialty insurers and reinsurers. Late in 2022 Beazley raised fresh capital to deploy into the hard reinsurance market. It did this in an environment when almost nobody else could get financing away. And just as we were about to do the recording the firm announced it had placed the first ever Cyber cat bond. So perhaps understandably Adrian was absolutely buzzing in this episode. The firm’s core markets have all reset and Beazley’s positions within them look extremely attractive In this crackling podcast we cover the market resets in property reinsurance, specialty and cyber classes and where Beazley fits in with them, as well as the ongoing ESG transition, the prospects for rising tech efficiencies in insurance and the emergence of new ways of working in the post-pandemic world. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: And our advertiser Bolton Associates:
1/17/202333 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep148 Reinsurance Reset 2023 with David Priebe, James Vickers & David Flandro

Today’s podcast carries on where we left off after the State of the Reinsurance Market Special Episode which was released after Monte Carlo. We already knew this renewal was going to be difficult, but the subsequent intervention of Hurricane Ian stiffened reinsurers’ resolve further. The result was a bruising and often frustrating encounter. You should already know the headline numbers by now: Dedicated reinsurance capital shrank by the most since the global financial crisis of 2008 Global property catastrophe pricing was up 37% - the largest 1.1 increase since 1992 And there was a 50% increase in retro pricing, which means this highest echelon of reinsurance is now 165 percent more expensive than in 2017 The aim of this podcast is to put all of this into historical context, ask the big questions about who the winners and losers were and to examine what the change means for the 2023 outlook and the long-term strategic direction of the market and those who invest in it. To help me I have representatives from three of the top four reinsurance broking groups. David Priebe is Chairman of Guy Carpenter and brings experience and a global market view that few can match, although James Vickers Chairman of Gallagher Re International should certainly feel he is a peer. Finally David Flandro Head of Analytics at Howden brings his unique research-focused mind to bear and to give us a bigger macro take on what has been happening. A quick note. You must read Gallagher Re and Howden’s respective 1.1 reports as an essential accompaniment to this podcast. Both are hugely informative and insightful and are wholly complementary to each other Links to both are below. This was a bit more work than usual but I really enjoyed my three interviews and the subsequent time spent blending this highly accomplished trio’s thoughts together. I think it brings the renewals to life and will be useful for anyone wanting to navigate the re-set markets of 2023 ABBREVIATIONS IRR: Invested Rate of return EVA: Economic Value Added D&F: Direct and Facultative NOTES: David Flandro acknowledged the work of principal Howden 1.1 report author, Head of Research, Julian Alovisi. LINKS The Howden report is called The Great Realignment: The Gallagher Re report is called Market Turns: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: And our advertiser Bolton Associates:
1/10/202344 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep147 Alastair Swift Head of CRB Global Lines WTW: The open-scissor market

Todays’ guest is a highly experienced broker. And since right now is a market absolutely made for brokers of his calibre and experience, in this podcast Alastair Swift and I get stuck straight into the reality of the global specialty insurance market and the ultra-hard reinsurance market. Alastair is Head of Corporate, Risk & Broking Global Lines of Business at WTW and is CEO of Willis Limited, so has a view of the state of play in London that is hard to match. Listen on and you’ll hear: How net lines and greater syndication are the order of the day as insurers’ outwards reinsurance renewals stall Why the market is like an open pair of scissors – up where there are aggregation, and therefore reinsurance-related, issues and down where there aren’t. You’ll learn why clients have had enough, and alternatives such as captives and parametric solutions are booming. How the cyber market has stabilised and is ready to continue its exceptional growth. And why some insurers may choose to increase market share by absorbing higher reinsurance costs themselves and not passing them on. Alastair’s been on the show before and it shows through in his confidence and the concise way he answers all the questions I throw at him So listen on for an intensely concentrated description of the state of the market today, right from the eye of the storm, with someone completely on top of their brief. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
12/22/202226 minutes, 42 seconds
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Ep146 Alex Blanco CEO Vantage Insurance: Seeking the intellectually curious and mentally ambidextrous

Today’s guest is Alex Blanco, CEO of Vantage Insurance. Alex has been dealt a rare hand in the insurance world, because he has had the chance to build something from scratch with no legacy. What would you do if you could start a specialist insurance business from a clean piece of paper, and in a pretty favourable insurance market environment?  What lines would you start with? How would you use technology? Would you stick to the E&S market or would you add admitted capabilities? How would you approach alternative distribution such as MGAs? Would you go international? These are the core questions at the heart of this podcast and Alex puts his multi-decade executive experience to providing the answers. Alex is a great guest and this is a really robust and far-reaching conversation. I can highly recommend a listen. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
12/16/202247 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep145 Adrian Jones Partner HSCM Ventures: We need to reconsider the word Insurtech

Today’s guest is one of the smartest people in the insurance sector and I am really lucky to have been able to spend time talking to him fairly regularly over the course of the last few years. I first got to know him just as the whole insurtech movement started to really take shape in around 2016 to 2017 and ever since that time he’s always been open and honest about the way he appraised the new wave of technological investment sweeping through the industry. He never lost his critical faculties and never got caught up in the hype that defined part of that era. But that doesn’t mean he’s a sceptic either – he’s actually quite a rare animal – an enthusiastic but realistic adopter and promoter of better ways of doing the business of insurance. Today’s episode is one I am really pleased with because it does the job of a podcast properly. Over the years I have had many enlightening conversations with Adrian just like the one you are about to hear. But up until now I had never recorded one. So prepare yourself for a masterclass in what the smart money thinks about the state of insurtech. Embedded insurance, insurtech bubbles – whether they existed and whether they have now burst – how the hard reinsurance market will affect start-ups and even the very logic of the phrase insurtech itself are all addressed in the discussion. I’ll wager you’ll get more benefit from listening to Adrian for 45 minutes than you will from attending any 3-day Insurtech conference. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: TRANSCRIPT -------- The views expressed are the views of Adrian Jones as of the date hereof. Hudson Structured Capital Management Ltd. (“HSCM”) undertakes no responsibility to advise you of any changes. Neither the podcast nor any of the information contained herein constitutes an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any security or instrument in or to participate in any trading strategy or investment vehicle. Past performance is not indicative of future results. There can be no assurance that any objectives can be achieved or are realistic in any given market condition. This podcast may contain forward-looking statements; such statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements reflect our views as of such date with respect to possible future events. Actual results could differ – perhaps materially – from those in the forward-looking statements. The HSCM Public InsurTech Index (HPIX) tracks the price movements of a portfolio of common equity securities listed in the last 10 years by companies operating in the United States insurance sector with novel business models differentiated by technology. The HPIX components, currently 22 companies, describe themselves as having novel business models differentiated by technology. The Index components also meet certain criteria, defined in the Index Guideline (available at, concerning minimum size, length of public listing, geography, and certain other aspects of the business model. The chart illustrates the price movements of HPIX starting with an initial value of 100 on the first trading day of 2020. Solactive AG (“Solactive”) is the licensor of HSCM Public InsurTech Index (the “Index”). The financial instruments that are based on the Index are not sponsored, endorsed, promoted or sold by Solactive in any way and Solactive makes no  express or implied representation, guarantee or assurance with regard to: (a) the advisability in investing in the financial instruments; (b) the quality, accuracy and/or completeness of the Index; and/or (c) the results obtained or to be obtained by any person or entity from the use of the Index. Solactive does not guarantee the accuracy and/or the completeness of the Index and shall not have any liability for any errors or omissions with respect thereto. Notwithstanding Solactive’s obligations to its licensees, Solactive reserves the right to change the methods of calculation or publication with respect to the Index and Solactive shall not be liable for any miscalculation of or any incorrect, delayed or interrupted publication with respect to the Index. Solactive shall not be liable for any damages, including, without limitation, any loss of profits or business, or any special, incidental, punitive, indirect or consequential damages suffered or incurred as a result of the use (or inability to use) of the Index. For more information about HSCM, including risks and other disclosures, please refer to
11/22/202249 minutes, 57 seconds
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Ep144 Talbir Bains Group CEO Volante Global: I’d rather lose doing the right thing than win doing the wrong thing

I think Talbir Bains is one of the most single-minded and driven people I have ever had on the show. He is also moving incredibly quickly. Since the last time I spoke to him back in 2020 his Volante Global business has grown premium substantially, found new ownership as part of the Acrisure Group and launched a Syndicate at Lloyd’s. I just had to get him back to make sure we kept up with all the things that have happened in the last 24 months. And I am really glad I did, because despite the apparent whirlwind surrounding him and his fast-growing business, it is Talbir’s rock-solid convictions that permeate every minute of this podcast. Volante is a business with a focus on underwriting profit that is bordering on obsession and five minutes with Talbir can leave you in no doubt that this company’s uncompromising philosophy and culture originates directly from him. Talbir has also been through a life-changing personal experience since we last met and that only heightened the intensity of talking to him face to face once more I can’t help thinking we could all learn an awful lot not just from listening to what Talbir has to say, but by studying precisely what he has done to position Volante as an underwriting business that is so consistently highly rated and respected by its peers and stakeholders. Of course, living and breathing underwriting discipline is far easier said than done, so listen on and see if you can get some of Talbir’s passion and belief to rub off onto you. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
11/15/202246 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep143 Chris Cheatham Bold Penguin: Build out now because digital’s definitely working

Today’s guest is one of the original poster children of the Insurtech movement and has been applying technology to solve insurance problems since long before the phrase insurtech was coined. Back when the first insurtech conferences were getting started he was a highly sought-after speaker. If you listen today you’ll soon understand why. Chris Cheatham founded RiskGenius in 2012 and in 2020 that business was absorbed by fellow insurtech and online exchange Bold Penguin Very soon afterwards the enlarged Bold Penguin became part of the American Family Insurance group. Chris’s story is one of entrepreneurship and a path into insurtech maturity. Unlike many in the first wave and many of the speakers at those early conferences, neither RiskGenius nor Bold Penguin made any claim to be insurance disruptors intent on revolution and disintermediation. Instead these businesses were industry partners, looking to remove friction and pain points, largely for existing insurance entities. As the tech funding climate cools it is their model that is the one gaining traction and adoption from some of the most traditional elements in the insurance value chain. Today’s discussion is really valuable because it mirrors the growing maturity of the insurtech scene and shines lots of light on where things are heading in the short, medium and long term. Chris has been on a remarkable journey – and from this encounter I feel he’s just getting started. No matter where you are sitting in the insurance value chain I think the next half hour will be a very valuable investment of your time. NOTES: Chris mentioned a cool electronic paper tablet called a reMarkable. It does indeed look really cool – any remaining paper junkies should have a look: LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
11/8/202234 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep142 Luke Tanzer CEO RiverStone International: Freeing live underwriters to work the hardening market

Today we have a live market where reinsurance capacity has dried up and investors are utterly fatigued or are openly on strike, and so every dollar of spare capital feels twice as valuable as it did last year But at the same time we have a highly sophisticated legacy market that is well capitalised and, because of its relatively solid recent track record, has access to more funding if it needs it. Also legacy infrastructure is probably better equipped to handle anything the live market can throw at it than at any time in its history. Surely in today’s market every live dollar than can be freed up to write new business at tomorrow’s better prices, will be freed up? Now is clearly a great time to be talking to today’s guest. Luke Tanzer is CEO of RiverStone International, a business at the heart of the Lloyd’s and UK company legacy market. RiverStone has a new owner, fresh capital and focus and ambitious international expansion plans. Luke is one of the most engaging members of the legacy community and if you haven’t met him before, I think you’ll find him incredibly insightful and refreshing. And if you still have any outdated ideas about what run-off is in the 2020s, a few minutes in Luke’s company will set you straight. Given what is happening in the live market, Luke and his peers’ profiles are very likely to be raised a notch or two in the next couple of years as excess demand seeks out his capital and expertise, so get ahead of everyone else and listen on. NOTES A couple of unexplained abbreviations. RITC is reinsurance to close, a key part of the Lloyd’s three-year accounting process. DD is of course due diligence. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
11/1/202239 minutes, 10 seconds
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Ep141 Building a bigger welcome mat: Matthew Moore and Caroline Wagstaff of the LMG

Normally I have C-suite guests on the programme who are working for companies with tens, hundreds and sometimes low thousands of employees. They generally write between the tens, hundreds of millions or single-digit billions in annual gross premiums. But today’s guests are working on behalf of a marketplace that directly employs 47,000 people and many more offshore. It writes well over a hundred billion dollars in gross premiums and that is a number set to rise sharply as the market continues to harden. This is because together CEO Caroline Wagstaff, and Chairman Matthew Moore, run the London Market Group, the LMG. The LMG is the London Market’s trade body bringing together Lloyd’s and its constituent underwriting businesses, the London company market and the brokers to represent the whole London insurance and reinsurance Market to the outside world and to lobby on its behalf. London is facing a demographic squeeze where its stock of over 50-year-olds exceeds its number of those under the age of thirty. In this lively episode Matthew and Caroline recount the nature of this problem and, more importantly, articulate the plan they have formulated to address it. We also talk about the prospects for the UK regulator to have to take the market’s competitive position into consideration when making and implementing new rules as key financial services reform legislation makes its way through the UK Parliament. The agenda includes the prospect of the UK seeking to develop a ‘red carpet’ welcome to rival that of more nimble and proactive jurisdictions such as Bermuda and Singapore. The continuing iterations of ongoing work to further the London Market brand under the London Makes it Possible banner are another topic of discussion. Matthew and Caroline are passionate and really engaging speakers and this episode will give you a great sense of where the market’s collective marketing and lobbying efforts are being channelled both now and in coming years. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
10/25/202233 minutes, 3 seconds
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Special Episode Richard Chattock and Stephen Brittain of Insurtech Gateway: To discontinue the old we must accelerate the new

Regular listeners will know that I really rate today’s guests and what they are trying to do for the market. I also find them really good company – they are fun, smart infectiously enthusiastic and are always brimming with new ideas. Every time I have a meeting with them I come away with something new to think about. Listen on and you will too. The Insurtech Gateway has been a pioneer in the insurtech space, providing early stage investment as well as licences, insurance knowledge and industry support and connections to entrepreneurs trying to put innovative insurance ideas into practice. It’s just come through an important milestone. Its inaugural fund is maturing and it second fund has now been raised. In a cooling tech investment climate this as clear a validation of the Gateway’s business model as you’ll need. My conversation with director and co-founder Stephen Brittain (bottom right) and CEO Richard Chattock (top right) is valuable because it brings together everything the Gateway has learned from the cutting edge of insurance investment from the past six years. None of this is theoretical – this is all hard-won experience earned by the risking of real capital in the real world with real people. We examine what has worked and what hasn’t and look at the emerging trends that are going to drive the successful insurtechs of the future. Richard and Stephen make a great pairing. Stephen has been on the podcast many times before but Richard hasn’t. Yet it is Richard who will be familiar to many listeners as he is an insurance lifer with a high profile and long and successful underwriting career who has made the move to venture capitalism. Meanwhile Stephen is an outside innovator looking inwards to insurance. This is an excellent combination and makes for a really relaxed, highly enjoyable and insightful listen. I’m pretty sure you’ll find it both inspiring and useful. LINKS
10/21/202234 minutes, 35 seconds
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Ep140 Kate Markham CEO Hiscox London Market: No one-hit wonders

Today’s guest is someone who is bringing a rigorous and effective management style that the London Market might not previously have been accustomed to. Kate Markham brings extensive business experience to the role of running Hiscox London Market. Some of this comes from entirely outside our industry as well as the retail insurance space. Her work in restoring top performance to this Lloyd’s blue-chip and keeping it there has entailed a lot of new management thinking and not inconsiderable culture change to embed a performance mindsight that is bottom-up rather than top-down. It’s refreshing and this podcast dives right into the issues facing Hiscox and the wider London Market on immediate concerns about reinsurance renewals and how they will affect coverage such as property cat, and classes such as specialty and cyber. We also talk about the bigger picture, addressing digital transformation, algorithmic underwriting and the diverse talent requirements of the market of the future. Kate is personable, eloquent and concise as well as being direct and this is a really enjoyable exchange with someone who is right on top of their brief. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
10/18/202233 minutes, 30 seconds
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Ep139 Mark Cloutier Group CEO Aspen: Still taking volatility down

Mark Cloutier is a dream guest. And that’s not just because he’s the person some of the smartest financial minds in the industry turn to to shepherd and shape their strategic turnaround investments. Mark Cloutier knows the insurance industry inside and out and from top to bottom, but what makes him a great podcast guest is his openness and willingness to talk about how the insurance, reinsurance and capital markets fit together and interact with each other. He’s also one of the most easygoing people you’ll meet. His job must involve huge stresses and strains, but you would never know if you met him. Well today you do get to meet him and together we’ll go on a grand tour of Aspen and its place in the most dynamic and challenging markets for a generation. Mark’s long career and perspective combined with Aspen’s multi-faceted business model bring a really great insight into this jittery and completely plastic market environment. Inflation, industry capital and investor appetites, property cat, specialty in a post-Ukraine world, the explosion in hybrid carriers, how to handle the ESG challenge – there is valuable understanding and a calm authority backing every statement. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
10/11/202237 minutes, 32 seconds
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Special Episode: Full Digital Ambition. Building a digital-first marketplace

Building a fully digital marketplace for insurance in London has been a tantalising long-term goal for all of my 30-year career. Only too often this has proved a mirage that has turned to sand as the market got close. Dare I say it but this time things seem very different. Now robust core standards are providing foundations of solid rock upon which the market can build with greater confidence. Technology is also more advanced and more readily available at a much more reasonable cost. Today even the smallest player can jump ahead without busting the bank. Indeed the biggest obstacle to accelerated change is now cultural. And that is where the biggest transformation has taken place – in the minds of market leaders. Now instead of the technologists trying to drag the market kicking and screaming towards modernisation change is starting to be demanded of technologists from practitioners themselves. The stars are finally coming into alignment. That’s why I am delighted I could talk to three highly experienced insurance technology experts about this. Kirstin Duffield is CEO of Insurance software business Morning Data and is an advisor to the London Market Data Council, Hélène Stanway also advises the Data Council and is a strategic adviser at r10 Consulting as well as being a senior counsel to numerous other tech bodies. Finally Marcus Broome, is Chief Platform officer at insurance trading platform Whitespace. All have experience providing technological solutions to the Insurance market going back to the early-to mid-1990s. These people have been at the heart of London’s digital journey for the last 25-30 years. They are technologists steeped in deep insurance understanding and their cumulative knowledge of every step and mis-step that the market has taken in that period is second to none. Luckily for you and me they are also a trio of concise and passionate communicators who know how to speak to laypeople. So what follows is a really useful run through of the current market modernisation programmes that dispels a lot of myths and clears up a lot of misunderstanding we might all have about what exactly the latest reforms are and the benefits they might bring to the market. I found it really inspiring and helpful and I’m sure you will too. After this encounter I feel much more confident that the first fully digital fruits of the last 30 years’ labours may finally be within our grasp, particularly if these three have anything to do with it. NOTES: Two acronyms got through unexplained. PAS is a Policy Administration System And GLRC standards refer to the Global Reinsurance and Large Commercial Carrier electronic standards produced by ACORD. LINKS We thank Whitespace for its support today
10/7/202251 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep138 Bill Jewett CEO Obsidian Insurance Holdings: Good shepherds of reinsurance capital

Anyone keeping an eye on the overarching trends in the global wholesale and speciality insurance and reinsurance markets of the last few years cannot have failed to notice the explosive growth of the hybrid insurance carrier. Burgeoning Billions of dollars of premium are being directed in new and interesting ways through a cohort of businesses that ten years ago didn’t really exist. Regular listeners to this podcast will know that this has been a repeated topic of conversation with guests on the show. I think today’s guest will be able to put this topic into context better than almost anyone else. That’s because Bill Jewett CEO of Obsidian Insurance Holdings boasts a more than forty-year career right in the heart of the US and Bermuda reinsurance community. This means Bill is very much one of us and can speak our language. He can also articulate what is happening on the ground because he is personally one of the architects of the hybrid carrier revolution and what looks very much to be a secular change in the distribution of commercial insurance. I had known Bill since his decade at Endurance and was really glad to catch up with him again after such a long time. I’m sure many of you out there will similarly be re-acquainting yourself with an old friend from the business. Bill’s got a great story to tell and this podcast will dispel any lingering myths or doubts you have about the major changes afoot in how many MGAs will source their capital in the future. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
10/4/202233 minutes, 30 seconds
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Special Episode: The State of (Re)insurance

Regular listeners will know that usually I talk to one person at a time, but over the course of four days in Monte Carlo I managed to record over 20 short interviews with industry leaders. This means this podcast is an in-depth documentary on the state of global insurance, reinsurance and the insurance-related capital markets. It’s a document detailing the state of mind of key actors that make and influence the market. The great thing about Monte Carlo is that a consensus can emerge, even from thousands of disparate voices. This year that definitely happened This is without doubt the toughest and most dynamic (re)insurance market since late 2005 – and I should know because I have been to every Monte Carlo gathering from then onwards. My aim is to try and capture the essence of what it is like to be in the room with the top decision-makers. You will experience a tough market consensus emerging and be able to hear the different harmonies and minor discords from within this great chorus of voices. Enjoy this very special podcast! LINKS: We thank our Special Episode Sponsor, Stephens Rickard:
9/30/202251 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep137: Richard Brindle and Dan Burrows of Fidelis - changing the structure of capital forever

Some people seem to have things happen to them, while others make things happen. Richard Brindle (pictured right) and Dan Burrows (pictured left) of Fidelis are in the latter category and are about to make history by becoming the first traditional balance sheet insurance company to split its underwriting and its capital into two independent entities. It’s a typically bold and fascinating move and one which throws up many questions. Are they doing this because valuations of balance sheets are so low and those of MGAs are so high, or are there other motives for going through such a painful process? The answers are all here. Richard also unloads a huge amount of his insight on the state of the reinsurance and specialty markets as we head into the 1.1 renewal season. It’s the toughest talk I’ve heard in my career and that includes the post Katrina Rita and Wilma market of 2006, into which Lancashire was born. This all adds up to one of the best podcasts you’ll listen to this year, or any year. NOTES One slip of the tongue on an acronym. SRT stands for Significant Risk Transfer not Strategic Risk Transfer. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
9/27/202235 minutes, 45 seconds
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Special Episode: Navigating ESG, with Miqdaad Versi of Oxbow Partners

Anyone listening to this podcast over the past couple of years can’t have failed to notice the way that Environmental, Social and Governance or ESG has moved quite quickly to the top of the industry agenda. Taking into consideration the Environmental Social and Governance impacts of all of our customers, all of our investments, all of our suppliers and all of our own activities is something that may be a little too much more many of us in the industry to get our heads around. Once regulators get involved, and it is only a matter of time before they do, ESG will become the biggest potentially existential threat to insurers since the implementation of Solvency II. That’s why it is important to seek expert advice. And that’s why I am delighted to introduced Miqdaad Versi, a principal at Oxbow Partners. Oxbow Partners is a management consultancy specialising in the insurance industry. And Miqdaad focuses on insurance, reinsurance and ESG and sustainability and has authored a first-of-its-kind report on ESG in conjunction with the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA). This podcast lays out his credentials as well as the scale of the problem. If you have been too scared even to start thinking about what to do about the enormous ESG challenge ahead, this is an excellent place to begin. Miqdaad is smart, eloquent and passionate on this topic. He’s also very optimistic that the insurance sector has the skills to navigate ESG’s threats as well as to be able to make the most of the huge opportunities that it is going to throw up. This podcast is also full to the brim of useful information and easy-to-follow advice. NOTES and LINKS Miqdaad Versi’s email is [email protected] The report we mention is ESG in Bermuda: The Rising Tide – The maturity of ESG on the island and what it means for the (re)insurance industry You can access it here: Find out more about Oxbow Partners at:
9/16/202243 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ep136 David Howden & Rod Fox: Blurring the Lines

What an absolute blast this episode was to record! I often interview irrepressible, energetic and ultra-enthusiastic executives on the podcast – it goes with the territory after all. Indeed I have had both of today’s guests on the show before, but there is something about bringing them together that caused sparks to fly and brought a different dynamic into play. David Howden of Howden Group and Rod Fox of TigerRisk Partners are both founders of their respective businesses and are two of the most successful broking entrepreneurs of their generation. The two are combining their firms in an M&A deal that is creating a highly credible challenger reinsurance broker to the big three. This podcast is almost like a metaphor for what they are trying to achieve together. One and one seem to add up to quite more than two and both were already larger than life before we started! No questions were off the table. It’s all here. There’s nothing left out. LINKS Howden Re has an excellent Reinsurance Market report out. It's called Reinsurance - A Tipping Point  We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
9/9/202232 minutes, 39 seconds
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Ep135 Albert Benchimol: An appetite for growth

Today’s guest is someone who, despite being the CEO of a very prominent publicly-quoted global speciality insurer and reinsurer, has been keeping himself out of the media spotlight for the last couple of years. This is because like many other leaders in our world, Albert Benchimol CEO of AXIS Capital has been busy overseeing underwriting remediation and a wholesale re-set of his business’s strategic positioning as the market has transitioned. Now I’m delighted to announce that he has come out the other side and has agreed to be on the show. The Albert I encountered in this episode was someone looking forward to the future with a lot of energy, optimism and enthusiasm. No subjects were off the menu, so after swiftly polishing off the elephant in the room topic of Axis’s widely publicised decision to pull out of property reinsurance, we expanded out into a really broad discussion that encompasses, rate adequacy, the rise of the MGA, inflation, ESG and industry diversity to name but a few. Albert’s now been CEO of AXIS for over a decade and it’s that experience and sense of authority that I think shines through every minute of this lively encounter. We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
9/6/202241 minutes, 42 seconds
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Special Episode: Matthew Grant & Henry Gale of InsTech. Parametric: where traditional insurers fear to tread

Today’s guests are InsTech CEO Matthew Grant (pictured top right) and Research Analyst Henry Gale (bottom right). Regular listeners will know that the InsTech team are my go-to experts from the world of Insurtech. I rely on them to keep me informed and connected with the most important developments in that burgeoning field. Matthew Grant has spent over 30 years at the intersection of technology and insurance. Since he co-founded the InsTech events and intelligence platform five years ago, it has grown into an extremely active global community of around 25,000 industry professionals which has worked with over 200 companies. As this unique community has grown, so has its manpower and the sophistication of its output. Instech’s regular research reports are essential reading for incumbent insurance folk, tech investors and entrepreneurs. And it is the latest InsTech report that we are focusing on today. No-one will have managed to ignore the Parametric Insurance phenomenon as it has exploded into our consciousness, particularly over the past couple of years as eye-catching launches and multi-million-dollar fundraisings have made the headlines. With such an explosion of new ideas and potential partners, the subject is a potential minefield. Who to partner with? Which avenues to pursue and which to avoid? Thankfully Instech has produced a comprehensive and highly practical report on the subject. Matthew has been personally involved with parametrics for over 25 years and Instech has been closely engaged with all of the most interesting players in the space since it was founded. One of the aims of InsTech is to connect incumbents, investors and entrepreneurs around workable ideas that have the best chance of succeeding in the real world and this makes for a very focused podcast. And important for me, Matthew and report author Henry may be supremely well connected and clued up, but they have their feet on the ground and explain their ideas with great enthusiasm but expressed in plain English in an easy-going manner. This means you don’t need to have any specialist knowledge or interest to learn an awful lot from this conversation Enjoy the podcast NOTES As Matthew alludes to at the start, he has been hosting the InsTech podcast since 2018. He has notched up over 200 episodes with a cross-section of the insurtech community. Check them out on your favourite podcast app or here: LINKS The report is called Parametric Insurance in 2022: the 150+ Companies to Watch Here's the link:  If you want to follow up on the offer Matthew makes towards the end of the podcast, please email [email protected] Check out all of InsTech’s latest reports, podcasts and online and in-person events at
9/2/202233 minutes, 26 seconds
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Ep134 Joshua Motta CEO Coalition: Building a Cyber Muscle

Today’s guest is a former Microsoft, CIA and Goldman Sachs employee who, perhaps unsurprisingly, has found his way to somewhere very close to the top of the Cyber Insurance tree in the past few years. With a billion dollars in run-rate GWP after just five years, major VC funding, aggressive international expansion plans and now a newly-acquired US admitted carrier, Coalition and its CEO Joshua Motta have quite a story to tell. With his deep cyber security background it was likely that Coalition was going to build something very different from incumbent insurers and indeed the firm’s offering is much more of a joined-up full service than many of its competitors. As Joshua puts it, Coalition “owns the repair shop” and that helps an awful lot with risk engineering and loss mitigation. And so far the results have been excellent. The grand tour of the Coalition modus operandi is really interesting but it is when the conversation spreads to more weighty industry topics that I think this podcast really takes off. Joshua has some really strong views about how fears around systemic risk in cyber have been overblown and how to unlock the capacity that cyber will need if it is to continue its fast growth without hitting capacity constraints. Now you may say that he would say that, but now that Coalition is funding more of its own underwriting, Joshua is clearly happy to put his money where his mouth is. Coalition is also putting some of its own modelling work out on open source to help others get comfortable with its view of risk. I definitely recommend a listen for anyone nervous about committing capital to cyber reinsurance for fear of earth-shattering systemic risk – the counter-arguments made here are pretty convincing. LINKS Here is the announcement about Coalition buying Admitted lines carrier Digital Affect Insurance Company This coincided with our podcast recording and as you will hear, it was definitely news to me. With hindsight I should have probed a lot more. Next time! We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
8/30/202250 minutes, 12 seconds
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Special Charity Episode: You managing your body, not it managing you. With ABF The Soldiers’ Charity

Today we are going to be doing something completely different. We’re not going to talk about insurance. Regular listeners will know that AdvantageGo has been a great supporter of the Voice of Insurance since the early days of the podcast. But you might not have known that this excellent technology company is also an important backer of UK military charity, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. AdvantageGo is an associate Sponsor of The Soldiers’ Charity’s Annual fundraiser, the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry lunch at the Guildhall in London, which is a fixture attended and supported by many in the London Insurance market. It’s the Soldiers’ Charity’s work we want to showcase here, particularly a highly successful programme the charity funds in the field of pain management. So I’m going to introduce two services veterans, Russ Kirby (pictured bottom right) and Bernie O’Toole (top right) who have both been through the programme. Russ is a Navy veteran and Bernie was in the Army. You may find parts of their accounts distressing, but I would encourage you to continue because you will be rewarded with a great story of empowerment and optimism. The pain management programme has given them their lives back and you will feel their positive energy as they recount drastically reducing the painkillers, or dispensing with them entirely and regaining the confidence and optimism to look forward to productive and satisfying future lives. As Bernie says – the programme works and it’s worth its weight in gold. NOTES For worldwide listeners, B&Q is a major UK DIY store. LINKS If you want to get more closely involved with ABF The Soldiers' Charity, please contact Katy Wildman on [email protected] or email [email protected] Please donate if you can here: The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch website: Or here: ABF The Soldiers’ Charity website: SSAFA is the Armed Forces charity. Russ also mentions other UK Armed Services charities The Poppy Factory  and Help for Heroes Russ’s private business is called Russ Mounts Stuff We thank AdvantageGo for organising this very special podcast:
8/26/202247 minutes, 10 seconds
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Ep133 Jean-Jacques Henchoz: Not yet hitting the glass ceiling

Today’s guest is someone I’m delighted to be welcoming back to the podcast after just under two years. Back then he was the relatively new CEO at Hannover Re and some of my questioning probed what sort of things he might do differently from his predecessors. Now into his fourth year in charge and Jean-Jacques Henchoz is the seasoned boss of a reinsurer that has not skipped a beat since its leadership transition. Very strong growth has continued and results have been excellent. In the first question in this podcast I dared ask if Hannover Re’s growth streak could continue now that the already 3rd largest reinsurance group in the world is far closer to the number two spot than the number four is to it. The answer was a very frank “yes for now” and that set the tone for everything that was to follow. I learned a lot about a huge range of topics, including views on the Ukraine war, Florida, resurgent inflation and the prospects for Cyber ILS. I also discovered how the strong growth environment has created the conditions that have made Covid reinsurance disputes far fewer in number than we thought they might have been two years ago. Jean-Jacques is clearly at the top of his game and I couldn’t recommend this episode more highly as not only a crystal-clear view into the reinsurance industry’s standout performer of the past fifteen years, but a really useful primer for the autumn conference season and the testing end of year renewals to come. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
8/23/202240 minutes, 27 seconds
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Ep132 Sean McGovern CEO UK and Lloyd’s, AXA XL: Redefining Everything

Today’s guest is Sean McGovern CEO, UK & Lloyd’s at AXA XL. Sean was first on the show a year and a half ago when he was less than a year into his first industry CEO role. When we last spoke he was in the middle of a root-and-branch remediation of AXA XL’s book, the severity of which had taken many by surprise. As a senior Lloyd’s executive and spokesperson Sean had been in the public eye for many years, so everyone knew he would be able to handle that side of the job. But if anyone had any doubts about his ability to lead a tough underwriting turnaround, they were dispelled as AXA XL’s Syndicate 2003 posted a vintage 75% combined ratio in 2021 – that’s a 59-point improvement on the previous year. I think the difference between the two podcasts is palpable. Here is a confident and forward-looking executive with growth on his mind in all areas of his business. As a result this is a really positive discussion with one of Lloyd’s largest players about today’s opportunities as well as the major issues affecting the London Market as a whole. I can highly recommend a listen. NOTES A couple of abbreviations: AIRMIC stands for the Association of Insurance and Risk Managers in Industry and Commerce and is the UK’s Risk Manager trade body. NZIA stands for the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance, a global industry body which has been convened by the UN. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
8/7/202241 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep131 Simon Hedley CEO Acrisure Re Group: Finding a way to get things done

Today’s guest is the sort of reinsurance broker I’d want out broking for me in this tough and difficult to call market. Simon Hedley CEO of Acrisure Re Group is a real broker’s broker. What you see is what you get. By his own admission he is someone not averse to rolling up his sleeves and getting out into the market. He is really down to earth and straight talking. But don’t let this demeanour confuse you – just because he doesn’t talk in management speak it doesn’t mean he doesn’t think deeply about the market and strategy. He’s as sharp as a razor and can see the big strategic picture. He is also really good at explaining his vision in language that people like you and me can understand. Acrisure Re is in a really interesting position. It’s owned by a massive and growing US retail broking network and a big part of its role is to connect up capital and analytics with the distribution and technological muscle of its parent. It’s also at the forefront of the current boom in hybrid carriers and MGAs because it is a major supplier of reinsurance capital to support this expansive sector. All this means our talk gives you everything you need to know about the capital and reinsurance markets and how their changing moods can affect everything else along the insurance value chain. NOTES: A few JV abbreviations in this one. A JV is a Joint Venture. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
7/29/202237 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep130 Clive Buesnel CEO Tysers: Here to make our brokers brilliant

Today’s guest is Clive Buesnel CEO of Tysers. Tysers is one of the oldest broking brands at Lloyd’s, with a history going back 200 years.  But the Tysers of today is the product of a lot of recent M&A activity involving the UK arm of Integro and London Wholesaler RFIB, all of which has agreed to be acquired by Australasian broking group AUB. Clive’s background is not as a broker, but as a financial services professional who has spent a career serving the insurance market. He is disarmingly open about this and immediately describes his role as one of an enabler who allows his brokers to be brilliant. And in a market where investment in technology and multi-skilled teams finding new ways of doing business are key to unlocking value, everything that Clive says makes enormous sense. As management and broking are recognised as two separate skills and as brokers become much larger and far more complex entities, far fewer of the brokers of the future are likely to be run by career brokers. But business acumen and technical ability aside, it is Clive’s energy that comes across in this podcast. Tysers is a firm that has been through a lot, but with integration complete and an ambitious new owner behind the group, the overriding impression is of an energised business excited to get to grips with new insurance problems. Clive is concise and direct and that means we cover a large number of topics and detail in a relatively short time. After a listen you should get a really clear idea of how Tysers will develop as a broker in the coming years. See if you find his enthusiasm as infectious as I did. NOTES The AUB takeover of Tysers is pending regulatory approval. iMRC does indeed stand for the Intelligent Market Reform Contract, that is to say the latest digital iteration of the London Market placing Slip. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
7/26/202228 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep129 Waleed Jabsheh President IGI: A Good Company is a Good Company

Today’s guest is Waleed Jabsheh President at International General Insurance (IGI) Waleed and IGI have a really interesting story to tell. IGI is the twenty-year growth story of a very small regional insurance business founded in Jordan that over time has fully internationalised, re-domiciled to Bermuda and is now present in the major international insurance hubs. It is A-rated by AM Best and S&P and now employs around three hundred staff writing 25 lines. It produces underwriting profits that would be the envy of all but the very best players in our business. Finally, the business listed on the Nasdaq two years ago. Were this a company with different origins I think we would be quicker to celebrate its achievements. But at the moment the market is sceptical. But as I’m guessing Waleed would probably put it – we are who we are and it is what it is. This interview gives a strong idea of what makes this close-knit business tick. Waleed is meticulous and thoughtful in his responses and is excellent company. Here is a firm with a patient strategy that is happy to stay out of the limelight and quietly get on with its business with the confidence that at some point it will eventually get more attention and win greater recognition. It makes for a very interesting thirty minutes. NOTES When Waleed refers to ‘here’ he means London, which is where we did the interview. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
7/19/202234 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ep128 Miles Wuller of Ryan Specialty Underwriting Managers: Enabling Masters of their trade

Today’s guest is Miles Wuller, President and CEO of Ryan Specialty Underwriting Managers, the underwriting arm of Ryan Specialty. As such Miles is responsible for more than 20 MGUs, offering more than 150 lines of business and employing around 550 staff in 27 offices who wrote $2.4bn of Gross Premium in 2021. This means he has a fantastic view of the market and where all its pressure points are to be found. A listen to this podcast will definitely get you right up to speed with all the cut and thrust of US and international specialist lines. But Miles is also a great business builder and manager and in our chat we really get to the heart of the Ryan Specialty modus operandi. For instance, how does Miles keep an incredibly diverse business with multiple brands, housing a huge variety of underwriting entrepreneurs within a core strategic Ryan Specialty identity and culture? Very few executives have to maintain and incentivise innovation and creativity on such a scale while at the same time keeping on top of all the compliance and reporting demands of a major unit of a fast-growing public company. Miles exudes a calm competence at every turn and it is abundantly clear that he thinks really deeply about the industry. For instance his thoughts on the effects of inflation on the sector, cyber insurance, his business’s relationship with technology, and the burgeoning hybrid carrier phenomenon are highly insightful. And that’s just to mention four topics among many more. Suffice to say that I learnt an awful lot during this interview and I think that you will too. NOTES: A couple of property abbreviations: TIV=Total Insured Values. SOV=Statement of Values Also a request. If anyone can tell me any significant difference between a Managing General Agent (MGA) and a Managing General Underwriter (MGU), please let me know. After 30 years of head-scratching, I think they are completely interchangeable transatlantic versions of each other. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
7/15/202234 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep 127 Mike Reynolds CEO Oneglobal Broking: Organic builds take longer

It's been two years since I had the CEO of Oneglobal Mike Reynolds on the show. Back then he had just joined and was articulating a vision to build a global specialty broker under the newly-created Oneglobal banner. They always say that no battleplan survives to the first shots of war, so I was really keen to find out how the business had executed on its plan and how it may have iterated its vision in that time. In that 24-month period the specialist broking world has seen more than its fair share of M&A activity and I wanted to put that into context. I found Mike on top form and incredibly candid and lucid about the market and exactly where he sees Oneglobal fitting into it. He outlined the business’s organic build and how some of the firm’s early investments are starting to pay off. Our chat contains some great discussions, not least about sky-high broker valuations and intermediaries’ sometimes difficult relationships with the public markets, But we also spoke about ESG, culture change, technological reform and team-building in broking culture, to name just very few. Brokers are often run by visionaries who need someone else to come and make the vision work to the best of its potential. Mike brings a CEO’s strong vision but tempered with a CFO’s practical experience and in our sector that is quite a rare phenomenon. That’s why I commend this episode to anyone who really wants to learn how to build a specialty broker in today’s market. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
7/12/202242 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ep126 Jonathan Zaffino President, Ascot Group: We don’t believe in big bets

Jonathan Zaffino, President of Ascot Group is one of the industry’s great thinkers Ascot is one of the Lloyd’s Market’s most successful underwriting outfits of the last 20 years and Jonathan is leading that group’s expansion into the key US market. But his style of expansion is not an aggressive kind that pursues growth by taking big bets. It is a far more nuanced and subtle approach and one that recognises some of the big secular changes that have taken place in the insurance market over the last two decades. Behind the detail in our discussion lots of big themes are lurking. I enjoy how our conversation can start with specifics on trends in areas such as delegated authority but quickly change gear and end up encompassing much loftier themes such as the disaggregation of the insurance value chain as a whole and the advent of new far more mercurial forms of capital provision. Ascot is a business with a strong identity and market presence and we talk about how the firm is looking to distil and preserve that culture as it grows, evolves and seeks new ownership in a fast-changing market. Listening back the most common word Jonathan uses in this podcast is Candidly. And that is apparent all the way through our discussion. This is what he really thinks about the challenges and opportunities in the market today. Learning what the market’s finest minds really think about the world is what this podcast is all about, so I can highly recommend this episode to anyone seeking inspiration and enlightenment. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
7/5/202238 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ep 125 Jonathan Turner CEO of Gallagher Specialty UK - Every insurer is talking about growth

Today’s guest is someone I first met almost thirty years ago. In the intervening time he has had a glittering career, most of which has been on the underwriting side of the fence with senior roles at QBE, Brit and most recently at Gallagher’s Pen Underwriting MGA. But now Jonathan Turner is the CEO at Gallagher Specialty UK, he is firmly on the broking side of the box for the first time in his career. In this lively podcast we get to the heart of what is a really vigorous and fascinating market. A market which is managing to be both very hard and very competitive at the same time, depending hugely on line of business and territory. This is also a newly confident market that is in growth mode and not lacking in capital resources in any meaningful way. Gallagher was an early mover in the long wave of London Market wholesale broking consolidation, the highwater mark of which we have been seeing lately, and we discuss how this phenomenon has affected market dynamics. We also reflect on what an underwriter’s experience can bring to running a broker, along with the prospects for market modernisation, not just in technology but in cultural and behavioural change too. Jon’s really smart and is very straight talking throughout our encounter. As a consequence, there are an awful lot of really good things packed into a relatively short period of time. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank this Episode’s advertising supporter Oxbow Partners
6/24/202232 minutes, 1 second
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Ep 124 Tom Hoad Head of Innovation TMK: Innovation is really about doing stuff

Innovation. We keep reading about it. We keep getting harangued at conferences to do more of it. We also keep getting told that Innovation is really hard to do in insurance. But is it? After all, innovation used to happen perfectly naturally and organically in the past. It’s only in the last decade that we have started to take the business of innovation seriously and given it its own department and made people responsible and accountable for making it happen. What have we learnt so far? Meet today’s guest, Tom Hoad. Tom is Head of Innovation at Tokio Marine Kiln (TMK) and has been in the role since late 2015. That’s a lot of accumulated knowledge about how to go about implanting new ideas into insurance. Tom is bursting with energy and enthusiasm and this podcast packs a huge amount of learning into a very short time. We start the conversation by running through one of TMK’s latest product launches in the clean energy space. This is a really great sounding idea and is what brought Tom to my attention again recently and reminded me to get him on the show. But soon the discussion develops into a really broad one that harnesses all that Tom has learnt about the art and science of bringing exciting new insurance products to market. It’s full of mind-expanding and very useful bits of knowledge that Tom has learnt from six-and-a-half years at the bleeding edge. Anyone who wants to improve their innovation hit rate will find this a fascinating and really useful listen. NOTES I let BAU slip through the Abbreviation filter. This stands for Business As Usual. We talk at the beginning about the Altelium battery warranty insurance deal. Here is the announcement in full We also mention Parametrix cloud outage insurance. The Episode with George Beattie of Beazley is Number 117. I’d recommend listening to these two episodes in conjunction with each other. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
5/24/202241 minutes, 42 seconds
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Ep 123 Ryan Mather CEO Ariel Re: Meet the New Guard

Today’s guest is someone very respected in the industry but who hasn’t spent much time in the limelight – until recently that is. Ariel Re’s CEO Ryan Mather now represents part of the significant new capital that has come into the sector since the global market turn accelerated in the last couple of years. Ariel Re is a specialist looking to be an expert and add value wherever it decides to deploy its capital. It is also highly diverse with divisions insuring clean energy, cyber and professional lines as well as operating in the more traditional property cat arena. What seems to set it apart is a willingness to move towards risks that others are running away from. This obviously takes an open mind and the confidence to invest in the sort of expertise that will give the firm the comfort to issue terms where others won’t. That all points to a business and a leadership team that is very much out of the ordinary. I think this podcast will give you a good idea of how Ariel Re sets about this difficult task and help you start to get to know someone whose industry profile is likely to rise significantly in coming years. Ryan is clearly very smart but he’s far from being dry or academic. He’s very amiable and refreshing company and I can highly recommend a listen NOTES One abbreviation that slipped through is SBF, which is Lloyd's shorthand for Syndicate Business Forecast, and an essential part of the market's planning process. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank our advertiser Anaplan and Conor Donohoe and Daniel Ellis for coming on the show to explain what Anaplan's platform does for the insurance sector. Email contacts: [email protected] [email protected]
5/17/202235 minutes, 35 seconds
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Ep 122 Dan Trueman: The only way to be in Cyber is to be an expert

Today’s guest is one of the elder statemen of the Cyber insurance market and a returning guest to the show. Way back in Episode 10 of the Voice of Insurance AXIS’s Global Head of Cyber Dan Trueman made a prediction that the Cyber market was on the cusp of big change and that Cyber insurance would never be sold more cheaply than it was back then. Two years and 111 Episodes later and the hard Cyber market that followed Dan’s comments has rarely been out of the news. I’d use today’s episode as a really good example of the difference between a podcast and a recorded interview. That’s because, instead of being just a series of questions and answers, this encounter is very much a conversation, and a lively one at that! Anyone looking for an update on the highly-pressurised cyber space should look no further. We talk about the re-pricing the sector has gone through and when this might end, loss trends and what cyber criminals are getting up to as well as advances in modelling systemic risk and the potential for unlocking the capital the class is definitely going to need if it is going to meet rising demand without starting to hit supply constraints. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank our advertiser Anaplan and Conor Donohoe and Daniel Ellis for coming on the show to explain what Anaplan's platform does for the insurance sector. Email contacts: [email protected] [email protected]
5/10/202237 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep 121 Johan Slabbert CEO MS Amlin: Sustainable profit before growth

Today’s guest runs a very large Lloyd’s business that in the past seven years has perhaps been the poster child for many of the problems in the London market as a whole. This is a previously star business that lost its way. It has had to retrench, contract and remediate to re-discover itself in the past three years. Johan Slabbert is the CEO of MS Amlin and has been at the Lloyd’s carrier for two years and in the CEO role for 18 months. He is a seasoned executive, into his third decade of experience and gives the impression of someone who is a very solid and safe pair of hands. He is also very likeable, very transparent and exudes trustworthiness. Our discussion is very frank and sometimes almost blunt. I find this really healthy, and feel lucky that we can have this conversation at all. Now that MS Amlin is beginning to emerge from darker times and has posted a profit for the first time in many years, Johan permits himself an occasional glance towards potentially better prospects ahead. But the roots are very firmly planted in the ground. As a consequence I don’t think you will hear a more honest assessment of the state of the market and the opportunities and challenges it presents anywhere else. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank our advertiser Anaplan and Conor Donohoe and Daniel Ellis for coming on the show to explain what Anaplan's platform does for the insurance sector. Email contacts: [email protected] [email protected]
5/3/202240 minutes, 46 seconds
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Special Episode. The Data Council: Standards, not Systems

Today’s episode brings together a trio of London Market leaders. Sheila Cameron is the CEO of the Lloyd’s Market Association (the LMA) and was the guest on the very first Episode of the Voice of Insurance. Clyde Bernstein is the Head of Broking Technology at WTW, as well as being its Head of Broking in Great Britain. Clyde appeared in Episode 63, which was all about the broker of the future. Completing the line-up is someone who I have wanted to get on the show for a long time as he is a strong, really well-known exceptionally bright and eloquent executive who always has an interesting view of the market. Paul Jardine is an Actuary, the former Chief Actuary and Commutations Director of Lloyd’s run-off vehicle Equitas and was one of Stephen Catlin’s top executives for over 15 years. He currently has multiple interests, the most prominent of which is that of Non-executive Chairman of Lloyd’s turnkey Managing Agency Asta. But what unites my three guests is that they are all members of the recently formed Data Council, chaired by Sheila, which has been brought together by overarching London trade body the London Market Group (LMG) to drive the digitisation of the Market. This episode gets to the heart of what the Data Council is and what it is tasked with doing It also dissects the Council’s first major achievement which has been to codify the Core Data Record (or CDR) which will be the building block for making London Market contracts fully computable. Sheila, Clyde and Paul are a lively group and this podcast is a really good way to get up to speed for anyone who may sometimes find the reform process in the London Market difficult to follow. Enjoy the Podcast NOTES and THANKS Sheila used an abbreviation, the GRLC, which I should have clarified at the time. This stands for global digital insurance data standards body ACORD’s Global Reinsurance and Large Commercial standard. There is also a mention of the Rushlikon Initiative, which is a longstanding global standards and process efficiency drive backed by ACORD, WTW, Swiss Re and many other major market participants. We thank today’s sponsor AdvantageGo:
4/29/202245 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep 120 Michael Millette: The best market opportunities for 20 years

Today’s guest is someone I have been meaning to get on the show since this podcast started over two years ago. That’s because he is one of the smartest and most eloquent executives anywhere in the sector. We overuse the word pioneer but Michael Millette has made a career out of innovating at the highest end of our business. He and a handful of others created the ILS market out of nothing in the mid-1990s. Then after two incredibly successful decades at Goldman Sachs, in 2016 he launched Hudson Structured Capital Management. Hudson Structured is a pretty unique business because it is combining alternative asset management and finance with venture capital. I can’t think of another business in insurance with such eclectic tastes. It can get involved in the sector from so many angles and at so many points in the value chain. It’s fascinating and very liberating. Mike has an incredibly broad and deep understanding of the insurance and reinsurance sector, all the way up from the first dollar of personal lines premium to the last cat bond bought by a long-term investor. He is also fun and outspoken and is never afraid to take an unambiguous view on topics. In this podcast we cover a huge variety of subject matter, from the mid-year cat renewals to ABC which is Mike’s shorthand for ‘All But Cat”! For me he’s one of those people who make you feel like your IQ just went up a few points after you have spent some time in their company. So I won’t come between you and enlightenment any longer. Enjoy the podcast NOTES I let one abbreviation get through the interview unexplained. That was CR/I, which is short for Catastrophe Reinsurance. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank our advertiser Anaplan and Conor Donohoe and Daniel Ellis for coming on the show to explain what Anaplan's platform does for the insurance sector. Email contacts: [email protected] [email protected]   The views expressed reflect the current views of Hudson Structured Capital Management Ltd. (“HSCM”) as of the date hereof and HSCM undertakes no responsibility to advise you of any changes. Neither the podcast nor any of the information contained herein constitutes an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any security or instrument in or to participate in any trading strategy or investment vehicle.  Past performance is not indicative of future results. There can be no assurance that any objectives can be achieved or are realistic in any given market condition. This podcast may contain forward-looking statements; such statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements reflect our views as of such date with respect to possible future events. Actual results could differ -- perhaps materially -- from those in the forward-looking statements. For more information about HSCM, including risks and other disclosures, please refer to
4/26/202248 minutes, 15 seconds
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Special Episode: Being everywhere multiple times a day with Stephen Lathrope, Global Head of Insurance, ICEYE

Wow. Wow is not a word we use very much in insurance. But this special episode is full of moments where the perfectly logical response is to say “Wow!” For instance: Did you know the insurance industry had a fast-growing fleet of private satellites at its disposal, capable of giving 100% global coverage? Wow. Did you know those satellites can see in the dark and through cloud, smoke and dust? Wow. Did you know they orbit the earth multiple times a day, giving you near real-time information and they can also make incredibly accurate measurements down to the millimetre? Wow. Did you know that the physical and intellectual property behind this network has been developed and is owned by ICEYE itself? Wow. Over the past couple of decades we have become used to applying satellite imagery in property insurance. We also all knew that satellite technology had come a long way because of miniaturisation and a massive reduction in cost. But until now I don’t think we had realised quite how far things had progressed and what possibilities this could open up for the insurance sector. Today I am talking to Global Head of Insurance Stephen Lathrope about micro-satellite and data and insurance insights and solutions business ICEYE and its plans for the industry. A few minutes into our chat and it is clear that the applications for this new tech are almost limitless and ICEYE has only just begun scratching the surface of what is possible. Persistent monitoring of static objects is one clear application and the use cases for flood and many parametric covers also stand out. Windstorm, wildfire, hail and tsunami are also on the list. But it quickly emerges that it is the blending of ICEYE’s extraordinary satellite data with other data sources, forecasts, maps and models that is going to add the most value. That’s where you come in. It’s fairly obvious from a listen that I really enjoyed my time chatting to Stephen. So I think you should Listen to the podcast for the sheer pleasure of it and let some of the wow moments sink in. Then in time let all the ideas for new products percolate up to the surface and then get in touch with ICEYE and tell them how you would use their technology. Because the final link in the chain is the insurance industry itself. Enjoy the podcast. NOTES AND LINKS Learn more about ICEYE's Solutions here, or download their latest Flood Briefings here ICEYE has a webinar series starting soon, explaining the value of SAR Technology. Sign Up here And any late 1970’s low-budget Brit Sci-Fi fans, just Google ‘Blake’s 7’ and see what Stephen and I were talking about!
4/22/202236 minutes, 8 seconds
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Ep 119 Scott Purviance CEO AmWins: A Market built for Creativity and Response

In this podcast I’m talking to the top broking CEO in the most interesting segment of the insurance market anywhere in the world. Scott Purviance is the CEO of Amwins, the largest of the big three US wholesale insurance brokers. Because of this he has the best view of the trends affecting the world’s largest insurance market. And because wholesale is such an responsive escape valve for the market, any pricing, coverage or capacity pressures are immediately picked up by his organisation. His business also connects directly to the wider international markets and is a major producer of income for all concerned. Scott is relaxed, charming, and engaging. He’s also really smart and has an ability to both analyse and articulate the long-term trends that are affecting the market. In this interview we dissect all the hotspots and crunch points in the US and get a sense of where things might be heading. We also discuss the fast-growing `hybrid carrier phenomenon, broker M&A and why he doesn’t see Amwins stock heading for the public markets any time soon. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank our advertiser Anaplan and Conor Donohoe and Daniel Ellis for coming on the show to explain what Anaplan's platform does for the insurance sector. Email contacts: [email protected] [email protected]
4/12/202234 minutes, 39 seconds
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Ep 118 Vicky Carter: Nurturing the Future of the Industry

Today I’m talking to Vicky Carter, a very senior reinsurance broking executive with a glittering career. As well as chairing Capital Solutions, International at Guy Carpenter, Vicky is a Member of The Council of Lloyd's and is a Lloyd's Deputy Chairman. But we aren’t going to be talking about her day job intermediating between the insurance community and the reinsurance and capital markets and helping to guide and represent 1 Lime Street. That’s because for over a decade Vicky has also been directly involved in Guy Carpenter, MMC and the wider market’s youth development programmes. This work has culminated in the very high-profile Rising Professionals series of events in London. As the first post-pandemic edition is fast approaching I decided to focus this interview on what our industry has learned from the pandemic and what plans and strategies there are to get young people’s careers back on track now that the world is tentatively returning back to face-to-face working. Were there any positives from the accidental work-from-home revolution caused by Covid? And how has insurance fared versus other sectors in the Great Resignation that has followed in its wake? Vicky is one of the market’s great communicators and this is a typically enjoyable and frank encounter, that doesn’t duck any of the big questions. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo For enquiries about the MMC Rising Professionals event contact: [email protected] Vicky was last on the podcast back in Episode 37 in August 2020
4/5/202231 minutes, 53 seconds
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Ep 117 Channelling a Raging Torrent of Insurance Innovation: George Beattie, Head of Incubation Underwriting at Beazley and Co-chair of the Lloyd’s Product Launchpad

Today’s guest is someone with a really difficult and really important job. You could say that the future prosperity of the insurance market is a big part of his remit. We keep fretting about how hard it is, and how it seems to be getting harder still, to innovate in our industry and how if we don’t do it fast enough we are all going to become irrelevant. Well, Head of Incubation Underwriting at Beazley and Co-chair of the Lloyd’s Product Launchpad George Beattie is both inspiring and eloquent and listening to him should make you feel a bit more positive about the industry’s long-term prospects. The structures he is part of both within and outside his own organisation have been designed to make innovation easier by very deliberately removing the disincentives that currently exist for it to happen. After all, who wants to risk their bonus on a new idea that by definition doesn’t come with years of claims data or actuarially-approved pricing models attached to it? It turns out the problem is absolutely not a lack of original ideas and far more a lack of time and resource to do all the best ones justice. Listen on for a fascinating and uplifting episode. NOTES and LINKS: I refer to the Episode with Relm Insurance. That’s Episode 113 Lloyd’s Product Launchpad The IVF venture with Gaia is also backed by Chaucer We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo
3/29/202239 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep 116 James Kent Global CEO Gallagher Re: A broker run by brokers

Today’s guest is a major reinsurance broking CEO at the top of his game. A quarter has passed since the completion of the purchase of Willis Re by Gallagher and the integration of the 3rd largest reinsurance broker in the world into Gallagher Re. Global CEO James Kent is clearly buzzing with energy and enthusiasm for the job in hand and the prospects that new ownership and investment are going to open up for his business. In this podcast we talk about how Willis Re managed to hold itself together during the interminable Aon-Willis merger saga, the state of the reinsurance market and the new business’s ambitious growth plans. I have known James for many years and think this encounter is a great snapshot of a team leader who has come through a trial and is absolutely delighted to be out on the other side and very much looking forward to the future. NOTES: A couple of abbreviations. KRW is of course the infamous trio of 2005 Hurricanes, Katrina, Rita and Wilma. UNL is Ultimate Net Loss and in this context is a synonym for an indemnity-type contract as opposed to a parametrically-triggered one. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo:
3/22/202241 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ep 115 How Parametric will fix Commerial Insurance: Descartes Underwriting

Parametric insurance has been with us for quite a while now, so it is an idea that most of us have become familiar with. We can all see its advantages, particularly when it comes to almost instantaneous claims payments with practically zero adjustment cost. But until recently it has been a hyper specialist corner of the market, often restricted to very large very high value contracts such as cat bonds. This is because it is only now that the cost of technology has come down significantly enough and the availability of accurate information sources has become wide enough to make these often bespoke products relevant at the commercial lines, and even personal lines, levels. There are lots of small specialist parametric players out there but today’s guests have seen this opportunity and really grabbed it with both hands. Tanguy Touffut, CEO and co-founder and Violaine Raybaud, Head of business development at parametric specialist MGA Descartes Underwriting don’t do anything by half measures and the business comes fresh from an eye-popping $120mn fund raise. But that $120mn is not for capital to underwrite with – it is for an enormous investment in people, technology and global locations. And that’s why I asked them to come on the show. Because for an investment of this size to work, the opportunity will have to be of the once-in-a-lifetime sort. Tanguy and Violaine clearly believe so and it is great to hear such passion about the prospects for application of parametric solutions in a vast global market like commercial lines. LINKS: Here is the link to the $120mn funding announcement that I mentioned: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
3/15/202233 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ep 114 Richard Leftley MIC Global: Where Microinsurance and the Gig Economy meet

Today’s guest is a true pioneer in insurance and also in insurtech. In fact Richard Leftley, Executive Vice President of MIC Global has had about fifteen years head start on many of the other others in that game. As a trailblazer in microinsurance in the developing world, where premiums per customer can often be measured in $single digits, Richard learned right away that without a digital-first approach you are going to get swamped by the expense ratio and you won’t have a viable product. As technology and robust data sources have advanced so the microinsurance opportunity is finally coming into its own. But what’s particularly exciting is that it turns out the hard operational lessons learned from that tech first, very high volume, low individual premium microinsurance experience are transferable to the high-growth emerging embedded insurance applications in the gig economies of today’s most developed countries. And now that MIC Global has been given in-principle approval for a syndicate in a box at Lloyd’s it seems poised to benefit from strong growth in both of these incredibly different worlds. Richard is passionate and eloquent and really knows his business inside and out. There is a lot you can learn from him and I can highly recommend a listen today. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
3/8/202231 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep 113 How to Build a Crypto Insurer from scratch: Joe Ziolkowski CEO of Relm Insurance

Sometimes you just have to give credit where credit is due. Most of the guests on The Voice of Insurance are long-term CEOs of large companies. They are all major players in the market and I don’t need any special reason to talk to them. But today’s guest is on the show, not because he runs a market-moving global insurance business, but because I think he has done something completely out of the ordinary that deserves closer attention. Relm is a remarkable business because it has responded to a moment of disfunction by creating something entirely new. Seeing a total absence of insurance industry response to the emerging Cryptocurrency phenomenon Joe Ziolkowski, Relm’s co founder and CEO has built the first Crypto insurer with a licence from a recognised international jurisdiction and an A rating. The result is that Relm is a business that can underwrite in Cryptocurrency limits, pay claims and crucially hold assets in Crypto on its own solvent, rated and regulated balance sheet. I doubt that Relm will be the last of the native Crypto insurers, but the story of what Joe has achieved so far is a fascinating one. And it’s not just Crypto – this business’s culture seems to be to seek out genuinely uncharted areas of opportunity. For this reason insurance for the nascent cannabis and psychedelic sectors are also areas of focus. You don’t need to understand all the ins and outs of these markets to see that there is enormous unmet demand for insurance in these fast-growing new verticals For that reason I would highly recommend a listen. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
3/1/202236 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep 112 Alastair Swift WTW: We can grow exponentially in Specialty

Today’s guest is a broking veteran known across the London Market and beyond. Alastair Swift is Head of Corporate Risk and Broking for Global Lines of Business at WTW as well as CEO of Willis Limited. Recently new WTW CEO Carl Hess has spoken about his desire for the group to get some of its swagger back and I think this interview could mark the beginning of that process for the firm. Following the damaging twists and turns of the Aon merger saga of the past two years and the eventual sale of Willis Re to Gallagher, it was refreshing to hear someone senior at the newly rebranded WTW come out fighting and start focusing on the future at the global broker and advisor. Alastair didn’t duck any of my questions, in fact quite the opposite. I know every podcast introduction says that what follows is must-listen stuff but this really is a must-listen episode! LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
2/22/202239 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ep 111 Rinku Patel CEO Pine Walk Capital: helping underwriters be in their last job

Today’s guest is one of the people behind the scenes who help make the insurance market tick. With a background in finance and operations, he has made a career of helping businesses become successful and stay successful, but hasn’t necessarily taken much of the credit for doing so. Now that Rinku Patel is a CEO – running London-based MGA platform Pine Walk Capital, his profile is considerably higher. But the nature of the business that Pine Walk is in continues to put others in the limelight because the purpose of this firm is to free up underwriters to do what they do best. And that’s why I am really glad to be able to put him in the spotlight today. The MGA space is a fascinating corner of the market at the moment and Pine Walk is at the heart of a movement to professionalise all aspects of this segment. Rinku is the embodiment of a no-nonsense leader and this interview clarifies the vision and purpose of Pine Walk and the nature of its relationship with its parent Fidelis beyond doubt. Rinku is straight-talking and always comes immediately to the point in hand. If dealings with him in his day job are anything like as direct and effective as in this interview, I can highly recommend engaging with him. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
2/15/202222 minutes, 51 seconds
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Ep 110 Rick McCathron President, Hippo: A path to profit, but on our own timeline

Today’s guest is from one of the highest profile firms from the group of pioneering US insurtechs that emerged in the middle of the last decade. Hippo Insurance, along with many of its trailblazing peers, is now a public company. But despite the transparency this brings, it’s easy to look at Hippo and become confused by a whirl of alliances, structures and news announcements. One analyst recently complained that it looked like Hippo was throwing different strategies against the wall and seeing which ones would stick. In the light of this podcast that doesn’t seem fair. Today’s guest would counter that Wall Street hasn’t really got its head around the variety in the newly-arrived insurtech sector and currently tends to put them all in the same bucket. Hippo’s President Rick McCathron joined the business five years ago. With almost 30 years’ P&C experience, Rick has insurance running through his veins and is incredibly focused on what Hippo’s mission is and how he is setting out to achieve that. Insurance people can relate to him and he is excellent company. Listen on and any lingering doubts about this firm’s clarity of purpose will melt away. NOTES Rick mentions the 'CAC to LTV' ratio. This stands for customer acquisition cost to lifetime value. ie a measure of how effective your marketing/acquisition spend is. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
2/8/202242 minutes, 57 seconds
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Special Episode: Seeking quality premium in motion with Madhu Tadikonda, President, Corvus Insurance

Corvus Insurance is a young business that is moving so fast that to those of us looking in from the outside could be forgiven for seeing something of a blur. For instance, should we look at this business as a specialist cyber underwriter or should we see a cyber technology provider or indeed a much broader data-driven insurtech company that is class-agnostic? The answer is probably a blend of all three. That’s why it’s so valuable to speak to someone of the calibre of Madhu Tadikonda, Corvus’s President. As a tech entrepreneur who then rose rapidly to become AIG’s Global Chief Underwriting Officer, Madhu has had a stellar insurance career of his own before joining up with Corvus last year. In this really lively podcast I get Madhu to explain all of the moving parts within Corvus and distil the common themes. In doing so we get a front-row view of the challenges and opportunities facing the cyber market, run through the rationale behind Corvus’s recent acquisition of cyber MGA Tarian Underwriting and look into what other classes are catching this progressive business’s eye. I’d say what really makes Corvus tick is a real affinity for the fastest growing insurance classes where client need, demand and opportunity are greatest. This is then coupled with the realisation that the most important risks of the future are becoming much more dynamic and that the most successful underwriters of tomorrow are going to have to be much faster learners than their predecessors and be much more engaged and helpful to their customers. Almost paradoxically Corvus looks very much like an ultra-traditional insurance business… except that its way of going about things is anything but! It’s fascinating stuff. LINKS
2/4/202242 minutes, 49 seconds
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Ep 109 Bronek Masojada: Just the same, but completely different

The idea at the heart of the voice of insurance is to give everyone access to the most senior and influential leaders in the industry. I want to democatise the sorts of insights that until recently were only available to the privileged few. Today is one of those days when the mission is properly fulfilled because my guest is a very strong leader at one of the London Market’s best success stories of the last 30 years and someone who has almost always been in the room when the key decisions affecting the market have been taken over that period. Bronek Masojada is smart and direct and as Chief executive of Hiscox has built that business into a high-quality insurance franchise with global reach. Now he has stepped down from that major Chief Executive role this interview reflects on what has driven and continues to drive him and examines some of the pivotal moments in the past decades in which he has played a leading role. But we don’t dwell on the past for long and using his position as Chair of London Market electronic placing platform PPL we focus on his vision for a digitally-native global London Market, the challenges of market modernisation and the skills needed by the top underwriters of the future. We also get a feel for what sort of future roles might appeal to one of the London Market’s stars. But more importantly by listening in today you’ll get a great feel for what sort of person and what kind of leader Bronek is and get the benefit of all his hard-earned experience. NOTES, ABBREVIATIONS AND THANKS Bronek mentioned early London electronic trading initiative EPS. EPS stood for Electronic Placing Support. In addition to PPL Bronek mentioned he is Chair of East End Community Foundation We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
2/1/202244 minutes, 26 seconds
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Ep 108 John Cavanagh Beat Capital Partners: Building a perpetual business

Today’s guest is a really strong, highly successful well-known and well-respected presence in the market. He is someone great to know because he knows almost everyone, including the most powerful capital providers behind the scenes. He is a real broker’s broker with a career spanning 45 years, culminating as CEO of Willis Re. And he has all the broker’s charm and craft accumulated over that period. He is also passionate and wears his heart on his sleeve. A consistent theme he has pursued in his career is a belief in the importance of enabling the renewal of the specialty insurance business in general and the Lloyd’s market in particular by giving entrepreneurs the opportunities and support they need to innovate and to refresh the sector. And in the venture he founded four and a half years ago he has made it his business to do just that. John Cavanagh is the chairman of Lloyd’s incubator, underwriter and investor Beat Capital Partners and in this interview we get right to the heart of what Beat is all about. In this podcast we find out the biggest secular trends in specialty insurance and how Beat is on a mission to ride and grow with them to its advantage We are most lucky to get the benefit of a lifetime of market knowledge and understanding delivered in a completely no-nonsense way. You can hear the conviction coming out of every sentence – I challenge you not to find John’s insights hugely useful for your own business. There’s something about the combination of strong passionate leadership and positivity that is really infectious. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
1/25/202236 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ep 107 David Walsh and Graeme Newman of CFC Underwriting: Build your own

Today’s podcast is a really lively one. As I was listening back I found that there are parts of this recording that are almost breathless. That’s entirely down to the energy levels of who I am interviewing. When I met David Walsh (Group CEO, picture left) and Graeme Newman (CEO, picture right) of London-headquartered MGA CFC Underwriting they were still buzzing after a significant fundraise that has given their business a valuation of roughly three and a half billion dollars on a multiple that makes CFC look more like a tech company than an insurer. To put this into context, this valuation is 10 times the what it was in the last investment round just over four years ago and probably more than double when they were first on the show just over a year ago. David and Graeme had also just come through a calendar year in which they had posted 50% GWP growth and in which they had set up a Lloyd’s Syndicate to support their underwriting, which is projected to breach the $1bn GWP barrier in 2022. We talk about the pair’s ambitious growth plans in the ultra-dynamic and dislocated cyber insurance space and how they feel the market is bifurcating between those carriers that are doubling down on the product and really grappling with the ransomware epidemic and those that frankly are not. But perhaps more interesting than the all the valuable details, in this podcast we get a deep view into this duo’s growth mindset and their firm’s almost unique relationship with technology that makes it one of the industry’s very few native insurtechs. From what follows if anything the business’s growth looks likely to accelerate more from here. NOTES: I mention an interesting report on systemic cyber loss costs. This indeed came from CFC itself and was attributed to CFC's head of Cyber, James Burns, speaking at his company's Cyber Forum in December 2021. It was reported by the Insurance Insider: (Subscription needed) LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
1/18/202242 minutes, 23 seconds
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Ep 106 Lucy Clarke President Marsh Specialty and Global Placement, Marsh: Enough is enough

Lucy Clarke is a dream interviewee. Of course, her position as President of Marsh Specialty and Global Placement, Marsh gives her a view of the market that only a very few peers would be able to rival, but it is her smart, no-nonsense and direct personality that immediately stands out. Given the global market is in such an agitated and interesting state, this makes for a really compelling and enlightening podcast. Lucy is a breath of fresh air and a really lively and charismatic interviewee. If I was a client I would love to have her fighting my corner with underwriters. I am really glad to get her on the show and highly recommend this episode to anyone wishing to navigate the late stages of this extremely challenging hard global insurance market. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
1/11/202233 minutes
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Ep 105 David Flandro: Secondary perils driving just about everything at 1.1

Today’s interview is one of the most all encompassing I have ever done. That’s all because of the interviewee and his research team who have just produced one of the most comprehensive 1st of January renewal reports I have ever read. The 2022 renewals have been much more interesting than usual with reinsurers undertaking a fundamental rethink of how they view Property Cat alongside taking a view on casualty trends, Covid and the long-term likely effects of both the social and economic forms inflation. Meanwhile Cyber insurance has been undergoing a huge dislocation and a wholesale re-rating and we have also had the effects of the class of 2020 and record industry capital levels to take into account. For this reason I was delighted to catch up with David Flandro Head of Analytics at Howden’s HX unit to try and make sense of it all. David is one of the smartest analysts dedicated to the insurance world and he is also a great communicator and great fun to spend time with. The report is out now and I would highly recommend a read to accompany your listen here There are some things that only a well-constructed graph can explain! LINKS Howden 1.1.22 renewal report Times are a-changin’: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
1/7/202234 minutes, 24 seconds
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Ep 104 David Ibeson Apollo: Success brings the right to remain independent

Todays’ guest is David Ibeson the CEO of Apollo Syndicate Management. David is a Lloyd’s veteran with over twenty-five years in the market, twenty of which he has spent in the CEO role at Lloyd’s managing agencies. In an era when so many bemoan the lack of strong personalities, David is an exception that proves the rule. David is also another extreme rarity – that’s because he is a qualified actuary but one who is also a born communicator. In this podcast we examine David’s view of the market and Apollo’s strategy within it. From our chat it soon emerges that Apollo is as exceptional as David. That’s because whilst Apollo is in many ways quite a traditional Lloyd’s business, the risks it is looking to take on and the products it is looking to develop are anything but. Here we discuss everything from Nat Cat appetites to the sharing economy and the prospects for algorithmic underwriting – all with a huge amount of energy and good humour. NOTE: In the podcast I mention David’s ‘other hat’ that he wears at Howden group’s international MGA Dual. That is a reference to David being the Chairman of Dual. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
12/14/202127 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep 103 Adrian Cox CEO Beazley: No natural endgame to where we can be

Historically in our business fast growth has been a red flag and a sign that something might be wrong. The fastest growth has often been followed by a period of significant underperformance later on as the chickens come home to roost. But there are some major exceptions to that rule and today I’m speaking to one of them. Beazley has been one of the most successful, innovative and fast-growing specialty companies of the past two decades. Adrian Cox has been part of that journey over the same period and has just taken over the CEO role. In this podcast we get right into Adrian’s vision for what the next twenty years might be like. Growth is definitely a big part of the story. But in this lively interview you really get to know what Adrian is like and how he thinks. This is an organisation that has a tendency to run towards problems, not away from them and in doing so bakes growth into the business. After all, if you can solve the toughest problems you can get well paid to do so and that is my overriding impression from this encounter. As Beazley gets bigger it has greater resources to deploy on solving more sophisticated problems in more areas and should be able to continue to grow at impressive rates, even as it becomes quite a large business. The only brake on growth would be if we suddenly started running out of new problems to solve – and we already know that that is not going to happen any time soon. In our talk, amongst other things Adrian runs us through Cyber market dislocation and how that might be resolved, the logic behind Beazley’s ESG syndicate and the opportunities and threats of algorithmic underwriting. He does all of this with infectious enthusiasm and a smile on his face. I am really pleased with how this episode has turned out. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
12/7/202150 minutes, 39 seconds
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Ep 102 John Fowle CEO Chaucer: A great time to be someone‘s growth engine

Today’s guest is John Fowle the CEO of Chaucer. John’s in an enviable position. He has a very large long-term backer in the form of new owner China Re that is effectively providing almost unlimited permanent capital to his business. Chaucer’s new ownership brings the ability to write almost anything as well as access to the vast Chinese-backed Belt and Road global investment initiative But just because you can do something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. This interview turned into a really open and fun discussion. John’s thoughtful and good humoured personality shines throughout this podcast as I probe him on everything from how ESG and algorithms are going to change underwriting to where Chaucer’s plans to be China Re’s international P&C insurance and reinsurance growth engine will take them. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
11/30/202147 minutes, 36 seconds
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Ep 101 Caroline Wagstaff CEO The LMG: Always a campaigning body

Todays’ guest is a formidable professional with whom I have been sparring on and off for the last 16 years. But most of the time that sparring would have gone on behind the scenes and not while notebooks were open, or indeed, the microphones switched on. That’s because Caroline Wagstaff, who has just been confirmed in post as the permanent CEO of cross-industry body the London Market Group (LMG), has spent her career working on the media relations and strategies of top players in the industry. In this interview we run through what the LMG is all about and what its top priorities are. We talk about lobbying government departments and regulators and selling the benefits of the London Market to brokers, customers and future talent from around the world. There is also a lot of detail around the recent success the LMG has had in getting the UK Government to give regulators an obligation to consider the impact of regulatory activity on the globally competitive position of the market. Caroline says that a big part of this job is about corralling all the hugely varied and often disparate parts of the market together under common banners. This job needs a very strong character to bring all the different players together. Listen to this and I think you’ll see straight away why the LMG board felt Caroline was going to be a good fit for the role. I always enjoy spending time with Caroline because she is so direct and there is no ambiguity – I think you will too. NOTES I refer to The LMG 5-point plan early in the podcast and I think I should have introduced it a bit better, so here it is in all its glory: LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
11/23/202135 minutes, 22 seconds
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Ep 100 Sian Fisher CEO The CII: The strategy is already on the wall

Today’s guest is Sian Fisher. Sian has had an illustrious career in international insurance and this has culminated in a 6-year period as CEO of the UK’s well-renowned professional standards and qualifications body the Chartered Insurance Institute (the CII). Sian is a strong and vocal female leader in our sector and in her tenure has been a dynamic and effective agent of change at this venerable trade body. I think it’s fair to say that she has shaken things up in this time. Now her departure has been announced I caught up with her to reflect on her modernising work ,the highs and lows of running a high-profile organisation through Brexit and then Covid and her vision for keeping a hitherto very traditional institution relevant in the 21st century. We also discuss things that with hindsight she might have done differently and what the future might hold for this highly experienced senior executive. Sian is great to talk to – she thinks and communicates clearly, she’s eloquent, she’s never shy and she’s always direct. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:  
11/16/202147 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ep 99 Mark Wheeler Mosaic Insurance: No Exit Plan

Mark Wheeler is a Lloyd’s market person through and through. In this interview he even refers to himself as a “Lloyd’s groupie” That’s why it was great to meet him face to face in his London office within 100 metres of the Lloyd’s building. We went deeply into what his new venture Mosaic is really all about. The vision is original and the plan is incredibly ambitious. Mosaic is trying to bring the core advantages of London syndication and very detailed specialty know-how much closer to clients around the world through localised international distribution. That’s quite an undertaking. Listening back Mark is clearly in his element and our knockabout conversation is a testament to that. There were no taboo subjects. Mark’s last words of the interview were “we’ve covered a lot of ground, it’s thought-provoking and I really appreciate it” I agree with Mark. Let’s see whether you do too. NOTES: Mark refers to “G and A” a couple of times. I’m pretty sure he is talking about general and administrative expenses – i.e. the part of the expense ratio that is in the control of the carrier, as opposed to acquisition costs, which are external. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
11/9/202141 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ep 98 Richard Watson CEO Inigo Insurance: Low ego and high collaboration

There are two types of journalist – there are those who really don’t like or trust anyone they write about and then there are those that are the opposite and seem to like everyone. I am one of the latter – my natural bias is to get a positive vibe from most of the people I interview. Because of this I make sure I try and balance this inbuilt positivity with a reality check from others around me. But now I don’t work in a large business any more it’ll be you the listener who has to help me out. I’m only mentioning all of this because I found today’s guest off the charts in the likeability stakes. Richard Watson is the co-founder and CEO of Inigo Insurance – a specialty insurance and reinsurance start-up at Lloyd’s. The business is growing rapidly in this transitioning market and is looking to build something highly focused that seeks to deploy the best new thinking and analysis to big-ticket specialty risk. In this discussion we get right to the heart of what it is like to be building a differentiated new Lloyd’s franchise in the 2021 market, Lloyd’s market reform and the applications  of algorithms and other smart technologies. Richard is a London Market veteran and his 33 years at Lloyd’s Blue-chip Hiscox culminated with an 8-year stint as its Chief Underwriting officer, so his views carry a lot of weight. We also examine Richard’s ideas on how to create a new business that attracts smart, curious and fun people and makes them want to stay. Richard gives the impression of someone having the time of their life making the most of a rare opportunity to put a career’s learning into practice. I had a great time – but then I always do – so it’s over to you to tell me anything I’m missing. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
11/2/202157 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ep 97 Stefan Golling: If we don’t achieve our margins now why should we stay?

It really matters what today’s guest thinks. This is because he has one of the biggest and most influential underwriting and insurance and reinsurance management jobs in the world. Stefan Golling serves on Munich Re's Board of Management and until recently was its Chief Underwriter. He also looks after Global Clients, the North America Division and oversees HSB and American Modern as well as the Lloyd’s and Bermuda markets. What I enjoy about talking to Stefan is his disarming frankness. He speaks very clearly for someone in such an elevated position in our industry. In our chat we cover everything anyone would want to know ahead of the first of January 2022 renewals. Up until now many have described reinsurers as a relatively benign influence, content to ride on the coat-tails of their cedants as they remediated their books and brought pricing back into line. Now I’ll leave you to decide if this is just a little bravado on Stefan’s part ahead of upcoming renewal negotiations, but from this encounter I would expect to see reinsurers digging in a little more than they have been up until now. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
10/29/202141 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep 96 Patrick Tiernan Chief of Markets Lloyd‘s of London: A vision bound by logic

Patrick Tiernan Chief of Markets at Lloyd’s has the broadest job description of almost anyone in insurance. He is responsible for whole abstract ideas such as ‘Underwriting’ and ‘Distribution’ at a vast global insurance marketplace which can make it sometimes hard to know where to start. My job as a journalist is to take the abstract and turn it into something really specific and so listening back to today’s interview I must admit I was sometimes a bit annoyed with myself for not diving into every secondary and tertiary line of questioning that our discussion was throwing up. But then I decided to stop beating myself up. There was so much to talk about. With unlimited time we could have done a series of at least five separate podcasts. The unanswered questions are there to be asked next time in subsequent encounters. Always leave them wanting more… But what this interview is - is a really useful walk around one of the biggest jobs in insurance and an introduction to the person tasked with taking that role on. We get to know a little of what makes him tick and there is enough here to get a feel for what sort of reign Patrick’s is going to be over number 1 Lime Street, London, in the coming years. Patrick is incredibly accessible and transparent and comes across as a very level-headed, logical, thoughtful and reasonable person. It is clear he has already listened to what the market wants and thought very deeply about what needs to change to keep Lloyd’s relevant, influential and competitive in the future. He isn’t top-down or dictatorial and with perhaps the exception of when he talks about sustainable underwriting profitability across the cycle, he doesn’t seem in any way dogmatic. He’s also a great communicator and his delivery is laden with considerable Irish wit and charm. It is very hard not to like him. As a first portrait it’s a broad-brush one, but I think listening to this podcast will give you a good idea of the big picture LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) and Bolton Associates for their support today:  
10/26/202150 minutes, 24 seconds
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Special Episode: New Trillion dollar markets wherever you look. How insurtech can improve climate resilience with Robert Lumley and Stephen Brittain of The Insurtech Gateway

I love catching up with Robert Lumley (Top) and Stephen Brittain (Bottom) from the Insurtech Gateway because whenever we do we always have a really fascinating conversation. But I found recording today’s podcast not just fascinating but actually inspiring and energising. First of all a huge amount has been going on since we last spoke and the pace and maturity of insurtech investment is accelerating. So at the beginning of the podcast we spend a little time catching up with where the regulated Insurtech Gateway Incubator and Venture Capital Fund is with its growing and maturing portfolio of investment companies. Then in the second part we start to examine insurtech’s role in improving the world’s resilience to natural catastrophe. We hear a lot of talk about resilience in the sector and much of it is really well meaning but often lacking in effective vision. For example at any big insurance conference we will hear very senior leaders talking about how we must close the protection gap. That’s something we can all agree on – but we rarely hear any of those same leaders sell their vision of how exactly we are going to do it. And that’s why I found this podcast so uplifting. Technology has a lot of the answers to many of the world’s problems and so does insurance. Yet we have often been going about things the wrong way. Instead of solving real problems for real people we have tended to try and find new ways of selling them insurance products. Today you’ll learn about a new model that is far more customer led. Ordinary people don’t wake up every day thinking “I must buy more insurance today” but they do worry that if there is a major storm or flood they will go bust. Insurtech is filling the gap by solving these client problems increasingly cheaply and efficiently and then bringing the insurance in behind, not the other way around. What’s more, 15 years ago, when the idea of microinsurance was first gaining currency, there was a sense that it wasn’t really supposed to make money for insurers – that it was an extension of Corporate Social Responsibility or international aid budgets. But of course loss-making businesses are not sustainable and they are definitely not scalable. These days insurtechs are coming with a sensible profit motive, acknowledging that everyone in the value chain has to get value and has to make money otherwise the protection gap is never going to be filled. That’s what is so exciting – it’s a much more mature idea and of course one that will help create potentially trillions of dollars in brand new accretive premium for the global insurance market. Listen on for some inspiring ideas
10/22/202140 minutes, 39 seconds
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Ep 95 Jean-Paul Conoscente CEO Scor Global P&C: True partnership isn‘t about being accommodating

Today’s guest is one of those people I always enjoy spending time talking to and was really looking forward to having on the show. I first met him when he was running Scor’s North American P&C operations when he would often appear at Insurance conferences I was chairing in New York. Back then Jean-Paul Conoscente was unfailingly charming, calm and very straightforward and open in his approach and always a great asset to any media event. Some time has passed since my last encounter with him, and in that time he has been promoted to CEO of Scor Global P&C and elevated to the executive committee. So I am really pleased to report that he is still as friendly and approachable as he ever used to be. In this podcast we talk about pretty much everything that is affecting the reinsurance market today and in the run-up to the 1.1 renewals. And from loss trends and price rises, reserving and price adequacy to covid disputes and insurtech, Jean-Paul gives a straight and honest answer to every single question I ask him. Listen on and you’ll see what I mean. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
10/19/202145 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep 94 William Spiegel Executive Chairman R&Q: Prospering as the insurance ecosystem comes apart

It’s a long time since legacy was a dusty dead end of the insurance industry where old underwriters went to eke out the remains of their days before retirement. And at the same time it’s been a long time since the era when fronting was seen as a bit of a dirty secret of the industry. These days both segments have matured and taken up their rightful place in the insurance ecosystem. But it’s rare to meet someone so well qualified and quite so dynamic driving a business that is in both of these spaces. William Spiegel the Executive Chairman of R&Q is someone with an impeccable resumé as an investor in some blue-chip start-ups in our sector over the past two decades. And because of that he brings a fresh and very insightful perspective to our industry. I was really interested to find out why someone like him has decided to come and work on the inside of a mature business at this time. The answers are all here in the podcast as William describes two fascinating and uncorrelated high-growth profitable business opportunities in our sector. William is full of energy and drive and it runs all the way through the podcast. I never thought these segments could sound exciting but William tells a compelling story and the combination of his ruthless business logic and his infectious enthusiasm is a winning one. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
10/12/202149 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep 93 Simon Matson of Gallagher and Tom Wakefield of Gallagher Re: A deal made by customers

Today’s podcast is crackling with energy. When I listened back to the recording it was unmistakable. The reason is obvious – the subject matter we are discussing is Gallagher’s imminent takeover of Willis Re. This is the biggest thing to happen in reinsurance broking since Aon bought Benfield back in 2008 and here I spend some time with an ebullient pair of senior executives, clearly ecstatic about how the deal is going to transform the Gallagher group and fulfil its long-held ambition to build a genuinely global reinsurance broker. Talking to Gallagher Europe Middle East and Asia CEO Simon Matson (Picture Left) and Tom Wakefield the CEO of Gallagher Re (Picture Right) was a lot of fun. In the next half an hour or so you will get a good idea of how Gallagher plans to welcome, integrate and invest in the newly formed business in the coming years. We also talk in depth about the dynamics of the global reinsurance market itself, both in the short term, looking at the upcoming renewal season and strategically in the very long term. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
10/5/202137 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ep 92 Andreas Berger Swiss Re Corporate Solutions: Start early and do it quickly

I have met Andreas Berger at various times in the last 15 years and he has been consistently impressive every time I have met him. It was therefore no surprise when in 2019 Swiss Re came calling with a major task to fix its consistently misfiring and loss-making Corporate Solutions, or CorSo, business unit. Two years later and the turnaround at CorSo has been remarkable. I think if you listen here you can see how Andreas has been able to do it. He does what good managers are supposed to do – he brings technical excellence but doesn’t get bogged down in it; he understands the importance of correct management structures but doesn’t come across like a consultant and he gets tech and data but isn’t a technocrat. Most importantly he is also really transparent and honest about where things have gone wrong and knows how important it is to make remedial decisions quickly and get on with executing them. But the key factor overarching all of this is that he is a charismatic communicator who does all of the above with a smile on his face and the ability to bring staff, brokers and clients along with him for the journey. As you can imagine these ingredients make for a really good podcast, where we get stuck into everything CorSo and all the big challenges facing the industry today. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) and Free Partners for their support today:
9/28/202148 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ep 91 Bob Kimmel CEO of K2 Insurance Services: On the hunt for talent and capacity

Bob Kimmel the CEO of K2 insurance services came on my radar and that of most other London-based insurance folk when last year his US-based MGA group picked up the remnants of what had been the Pioneer group of MGAs to form K2 International. K2 owns a major collection of MGAs in the US, writes over a billion dollars in premium and is highly acquisitive both of talent, new agencies and other ancillary insurance businesses I didn’t know Bob personally and researching K2 ahead of our London meeting I suppose I came into this podcast with lots of preconceptions about what the CEO of such a fast-growing and aggressively expansive US-headquartered group would be like. I was completely wrong. Bob is clearly very ambitious for K2 but he is also very easygoing and charming as well as being disarming about how steep the learning curve has been for him, a former reinsurance broker, moving much closer to the end insurance customer in the decade since K2’s formation. New MGA start-ups and acquisitions, a potential Lloyd’s syndicate in the offing and a conscious hunt for talent in specific classes – Bob’s in-tray is absolutely overflowing and in this interview he discusses all aspects of MGA management in a disarmingly open way. I really enjoyed my time with Bob and I think you will too. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) and Free Partners for their support today:
9/21/202135 minutes, 5 seconds
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Special Episode: What the Polish market wants, with Michał Chmielewski and Tomasz Libront of Smartt Re

Today’s podcast is something a little different because instead of talking about our market from the inside we will be looking at it through the eyes of insurance professionals who access our products and services from the outside. What do our customers really think of us and what are they looking for when they come into the international insurance and reinsurance markets looking to do business? Michał Chmielewski Deputy Chairman (left) and Tomasz Libront President (right) have built Smartt Re into a significant independent reinsurance broker in the highly competitive and fast-growing Polish market. Their report card on the London and International insurance markets makes for really interesting listening as well as their description of the huge opportunities as well as the significant  challenges facing the largest market in Central and Eastern Europe. Michal and Tomasz are very open and frank about their experience and some of the observations are frankly eye-opening, so for anyone looking to learn what makes an independent local broker in emerging markets tick and what they are really looking for in an international partner this should be required listening.
9/17/202140 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ep 90 Javier San Basilio of Mapfre Re: Not opportunistic by definition

In insurance and reinsurance we hear a lot of talk about partnerships, but in truth we know that many relationships are marriages of convenience or indeed opportunistic liaisons that are not designed to last. If I was a reinsurance buyer I would like my reinsurer to be committed to supporting me in the long term and someone who was unlikely to run away if I have had a bad year. I’d like to be able to confide in them and I’d really value it if they were perhaps even a little boring in their consistency. Javier San Basilio the CUO of Mapfre Re is very much the embodiment of this old school of reinsurer. I really enjoyed spending time with someone able to give a calm and considered analysis of the state of the reinsurance market today and I think you will too. Listen on for valuable insights and a sense of where Mapfre’s steadily increasing influence is likely to be felt in the run-up to 1.1 and beyond. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
9/14/202140 minutes, 27 seconds
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Ep 89 Jeff Radke CEO Accelerant Holdings: Searching for gems & avoiding landmines

Jeff Radke is someone who has had senior roles in many areas of the insurance and reinsurance spectrum. His career ranges from reinsurance broking at Guy Carpenter to running PXRE, one of the last major Bermudian specialist retro writers. He then played a large variety of senior roles in over a decade at Argo Group, the internationally diversified specialty insurance and reinsurance group formed out of Argonaut’s takeover of PXRE in 2007. But all those roles had one thing in common – all of them were at the very least one step removed from the end customer In his latest venture he is applying all that experience to the world of ultra-specialised, ultra-client-focused MGAs. It is a really interesting proposition because Jeff knows from his own experience that reinsurers and speciality insurers are keen to access portfolios of stable commercial risk to help balance their own increasingly volatile books Meanwhile after the shake-out and instability of the last couple of years, quality MGAs are looking for really solid and committed paper providers. Accelerant does all the things that other MGA incubators are doing including providing and sourcing growth capital, but it also uses its own paper and sources long-term third party insurance capital for its MGA members to give a complete service. It is clear that Jeff is incredibly energised by this project and I think it comes out all the way through this podcast. Listen on for a really interesting and fun encounter with someone who has clearly got the bit between his teeth. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
9/7/202147 minutes, 31 seconds
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Ep 88 Monica Cramer Manhem, President, International Reinsurance SiriusPoint: Using all the tools in the box

One of the best things about this show is that it gives me the perfect excuse to meet people who I have been meaning to meet for ages. Monica Cramer Manhem, President, International Reinsurance at SiriusPoint is one such guest. Over the last fifteen years many mutual friends have recommended I try to get an audience with her, saying that we would get on really well. Well they were right. Monica is indeed fantastically good company and right now she has a great story to tell. SiriusPoint is the product of the merger of two very different legacy businesses and is intent on forging a progressive identity for itself under its new banner. It’s exciting stuff and in this podcast we go into detail on its transformational plans and the challenges that they will bring. We also discuss the state of the market after the mid-year renewals and we hear Monica’s own reflections on her long and successful career as a woman in what was - certainly at the very beginning – very much a man’s world. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) and Free Partners for their support today:
7/27/202136 minutes, 36 seconds
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Special Episode: The Future of Underwriting with James Slaughter and Silvi Wompa Sinclair

Today’s podcast is in two parts. It starts off as a quick run through the state of the market through the eyes of two very senior underwriting practitioners But then it dives right into the heart of the state of the underwriting profession itself and how the life of an underwriter is going to change in the future. In their high-profile careers both Group Head of Portfolio Underwriting at Swiss Re Silvi Wompa Sinclair and Chief Underwriting Officer of Apollo Syndicate Management James Slaughter have been at the forefront of transforming the business of underwriting and are extremely well placed to outline a vision of the future of the profession. The message is pretty clear. Transformation in the way all underwriters work is coming and everyone needs to get ready to change the way they do business in order to reap the benefits. Productivity is set to rise enormously as the machines do a lot more of the grunt work, but the good news for underwriters and brokers is that the roles for the humans in the process are going to become a lot more interesting. At the same time everyone’s career prospects are going to be boosted hugely. Listen on for a fascinating and inspiring dive into the future of underwriting. NOTES: POC stands for proof of concept, a term usually used when new technology is being tested. A TOBA is a terms of business agreement, which in our sector is the contract that governs the dealings between a broker and an underwriter. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure:
7/20/202155 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep 87 Rod Fox & Rob Bredahl of TigerRisk: Don’t stop me now

When my notebook is put away and the microphones are switched off, after a couple of drinks, people in the market often lament the lack of personalities in the modern insurance and reinsurance industry. They say that it’s just not like it used to be and that massive consolidation has pushed the individual to the sidelines within ever larger, ever more soulless corporations. Today’s guests prove that not be true in any sense of the word. Rod Fox (CEO) founded reinsurance broker and capital advisor TigerRisk thirteen years ago and has been carving a place in the sector and taking the big three brokers head on ever since. Two years ago fellow reinsurance veteran Rob Bredahl joined the team as President, reuniting the pair who had worked together at Benfield in the early noughties. When I was organising this interview I was worried that Rob might find it hard to make himself heard because Rod is such a strong character. I needn’t have worried. Their energy and camaraderie is palpable. They are also clearly having the time of their lives, as a well-resourced and aggressive TigerRisk looks to take full advantage of the opportunities presenting themselves in a highly fluid reinsurance and capital markets intermediary space. In this podcast we dissect the state of the market and go into deep detail about how Tiger is planning to double or possibly triple in size in the next five years. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) and Free Partners for their support today:
7/13/202138 minutes, 50 seconds
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Ep 86 Philip Smaje and Marcel Chad of Piiq Risk Partners: Specialty risks need specialty brokers

Today’s guests are the executives behind the fast-growing specialist aviation broker start-up Piiq Risk Partners. In a very short space of time Philip Smaje CEO [picture left] and Marcel Chad President [picture right] have put Piiq on the front pages of the trade press with some eye-popping household name client wins. In a time of seemingly permanent consolidation and the homogenisation of so much of the intermediary market, theirs is a story that I think will inspire many brokers. People, connections specialist knowledge and expertise and an ultra-client focused approach are clearly still incredibly important. Listen on for the secrets of their early successes and what drives their business, an honest assessment of the impending acquisition of their parent company Corant Global by Ardonagh and a frank analysis of the state of the aviation market. Philip is the first of the two to speak. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
7/6/202143 minutes, 42 seconds
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EP 85 Clive Washbourn CEO Navium: The market is always good

Clive Washbourn is a legendary figure in the marine insurance market. His enviable track record of profitability has made him probably the nearest thing to a celebrity within that very particular, and often very difficult to underwrite, subset of our sector. So when the news came out that he had started his own marine MGA Navium, on Fidelis’s Pine Walk platform I made sure I put in a request for an interview. Despite so many years covering the markets I hadn’t met Clive before but you wouldn’t tell from this interview. Clive is the real deal. In this episodel I found a lead underwriter completely at ease with himself and rejuvenated at the prospect of building a new business with the benefit of a successful career behind him. He was also infectiously happy, immensely charismatic and instantly likeable. What follows is a masterclass in entrepreneurial spirit and the art of successful underwriting. I also think it reassuring proof that personality still has a huge amount to play in success in many corners of the insurance world. NOTES Clive and I couldn't remember exact dates, but the Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger aviation war loss indeed occurred 20 years ago, in July 2001. Abbreviations: TLO = Total loss only; IV = Increased Value. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) and Free Partners for their support today:
6/29/202141 minutes, 49 seconds
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Ep 84 Keith Harrison International CEO Lockton Re: Going head to head with the bigger brokers

Today’s guest is part of a team busy building a reinsurance broker to challenge the big three almost across the board. We’ll never see the numbers but it is highly likely that his firm has invested the most of all the challenger reinsurance brokers in the past two years. During that time it has seen its headcount quintuple to two hundred and twenty-five and it has opened twelve new offices to be represented in thirteen locations. Despite this incredibly fast growth Keith Harrison International CEO of Lockton Re has his feet firmly on the ground and is one of the most level-headed and straight-talking brokers I have interviewed on this podcast. Indeed with so much uncertainty for reinsurance intermediaries over the past two years and with the daily news only prolonging the agony for many, Keith’s claim that Lockton Re is actually one of the most stable places to come to work, rings fairly true. Listen on for more details on how Lockton Re plans to bring the fight to its larger rivals and a comprehensive diagnosis of reinsurance market conditions at the mid-year renewals. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
6/22/202132 minutes, 15 seconds
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Special Episode: State of the Market Roundtable with Greg Hendrick, Marc Adee and Andrew Robinson

Today’s special episode does exactly what it says on the tin - plus a little more. AdvantageGo organised a prestigious panel of three prominent US-focused P&C CEOs and I got to work with them on dissecting the state of the market. Marc Adee, CEO of Crum & Forster, Andrew Robinson CEO of Skyward Specialty and Greg Hendrick the CEO of Vantage Group were all on excellent form as we examined rate adequacy, the prospect for loss trends and whether underwriters might keep ahead of them, resurgent economic and social inflation, the re-rating of cyber insurance and the ever-developing view of the industry Covid loss. We also rounded up the mid-year renewals, talked about the largely benign impact of reinsurance on the current market, and took a view on the sky-high valuations of public Insurtech stocks and the future of innovation and the industry’s developing relationship with technology. Many thanks again to AdvantageGo for organising this one – all I had to do was show up and ask the questions! Enjoy the podcast. NOTES Greg Hendrick couldn't remember who said the famous quote about the market being able to stay irrational longer that you can stay solvent. This one is from the British economist John Maynard Keynes.   LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure:
6/15/202148 minutes, 17 seconds
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Ep 83 The $60bn broker: Olga Collins CEO Worldwide Broker Network (WBN)

I have to admit that today’s guest took me by surprise.  Could she be the most powerful female CEO in the world? Well, maybe. She sits at the head of a global broking organisation that has six billion dollars in revenue and handles around sixty billion dollars in gross premiums. If Willis and Aon finally merge, Olga Collins will be the CEO of the world’s third-largest broking organisation. In this podcast we go deep into the detail of the Worldwide Broker Network and how it has set itself up to compete with the dwindling group of wholly-owned global intermediaries. Unsurprisingly I found Olga in bullish mood and licking her lips at the prospect of so many clients falling through the cracks as their big broker advocates work out where they stand with their current or prospective employers. Anyone who thinks the day of the independent broker has come and gone should have a word with Olga first. Her attitude is refreshing and she is probably the most client-focused guest I have ever had on the show. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
6/8/202129 minutes, 6 seconds
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Special Episode: The Power of Purpose with Steve Hearn CEO of Corant Global and Delta V Partners

Today’s special episode is all about how to build a company culture that helps your business to win. To this end I was very lucky to be joined by John Fay MBE (pictured bottom right) and Edward Gordon Lennox (pictured bottom left) of Delta V Partners to help me dig deeply into the subject. John and Edward are experts in the field who are much in demand across all sectors and in multiple countries around the world. They talk our language and know how to get the best out of us. They don’t spout jargon and they are very down-to-earth, practical and pragmatic: they’re a bit like us insurance folk really. The team from Delta V are going to show us the ropes in plain English so you will be able to get your head around this topic and understand all the key themes. Then to make it even more practical we will hear from an industry practitioner who has gone through this process on more than one occasion. Steve Hearn CEO of Corant Global needs no introduction. In fact I got to know Delta V because John Fay MBE listened to the recent podcast I did with Steve where he mentioned the work they had done. So with Steve’s appearance we will top off the theory with straightforward advice on what to expect when building a culture in practice. CONTACTS: Delta V Partners Company contact emails: [email protected] [email protected] Website: John Fay: Twitter: @nuasafc LinkedIn: Edward Gordon Lennox: LinkedIn:
6/4/202145 minutes, 48 seconds
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Ep 82 David Bearman CEO Aventum: Don’t walk into a crowded room

It is only a recently rebranding exercise that has made the size and scale of today's guest's broking and MGA operation come into view. David Bearman is the founder and CEO of London-based Aventum, a group that houses the Rokstone MGA and broker Consilium and controls over £600mn in gross written premium. The group has been around for 25 years but has only just put its head above the parapet and started to show itself to the market. I am really glad to have David on the show. He reminds me of the great broking pioneers and transmits all the energy and entrepreneurial spirit that some say is lacking in the London Market. In a time of extreme broker consolidation and a worry that customer choice and competition may in some way be curtailed it is reassuring to meet someone with his ambition and buzz. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
6/1/202125 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ep 81 Ash Bathia CEO Probitas 1492: Driving your own destiny

Today’s guest is someone I have known for almost 30 years. That’s because I used to broker business to him back in the 1990s when I was working in the London Market. Back then he was making a name for himself as a lead market in the international casualty class at UK composite Eagle Star. As my career changed completely his took off and at QBE Europe he swiftly rose the ranks to become its most senior underwriting executive. Then eight years ago he left to pursue the dream of founding a Lloyd’s business of his own. Anyone who met Ash Bathia CEO of Probitas 1492 thirty years ago will have marked out as someone with the ambition and drive to make a real impact on the market. And as it turned out Ash was going to need all of that drive and a lot more. Probitas had as tough a start in life as it is possible to have. Born right at the nadir of one of the longest soft markets in history, Probitas was hit hard by the unexpected loss of its cornerstone capital provider and extremely challenging early underwriting numbers in its ramp-up years. Almost all of its peers folded or were actively shuttered by Lloyd’s itself in its recent remediation phase. But today Probitas is a top Lloyd’s performer and is pre-empting capacity and scaling up as market conditions continue to turn in its favour. Interviewing Ash was just like broking to him all those years ago. He hasn’t changed much. He is still smart, sharp and direct with great charm. And he is a great trader, problem-solver and dealmaker in the classic Lloyd’s entrepreneurial tradition. The difference is that to those skills you can now add maturity, humility and the wisdom that comes from starting and running a business of his own. These days Ash has one hell of a story to tell. I’m just grateful that he let me be the first to get it out of him. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
5/25/202155 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ep 80 Matthew Shaw CUO of TMK: The most submissions for a decade

As Chief Underwriting Officer of Tokio Marine Kiln (TMK) Matthew Shaw has one of the top ten individual underwriting jobs in the London market, marshalling a stamp capacity of one and a half billion pounds at one of Lloyd’s best-known lead markets, Syndicate 510. In many ways this business is a microcosm of the London Market as a whole. A soft market fall into loss was followed by significant re-underwriting. Then the business bounced significantly back into profit in 2019, only to take a large short-tail hit from Covid in 2020, which it has weathered undaunted. 2021 has seen a bullish 14.9 percent pre-emption in capacity amid the heady combination of significant growth in submissions and continually improving underwriting conditions across the market. Matthew is very easy to talk to and together we embark on a comprehensive tour of his views on the market, market reform and innovation, culture change and where TMK fits into it all. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
5/18/202139 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ep 79 Neil Eckert and Trevor Carvey of Conduit Re: Big enough to be impactful but small enough to be nimble

Executive Chairman Neil Eckert and Group CEO Trevor Carvey are the team behind Conduit Re, a new London-listed Bermuda-based reinsurer. Neil is one of the insurance industry’s most successful serial entrepreneurs, so when someone of his experience and pedigree senses an opportunity we should all take notice. Conduit’s single-location pure reinsurance design is quite different from its class of 2020 peers and here we go deep into the pair’s thinking behind why they have set things up the way they have. Neil and Trevor are direct and easy to talk to and I think their answers are really illuminating. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
5/11/202137 minutes, 23 seconds
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Ep 78 Steve McGill: Building Excitement and Scale

Today’s podcast with Steve McGill, Founder and CEO of McGill and Partners was recorded live. The Voice of Insurance was invited to produce the opening fireside chat at the highly successful Insurtech 3 point 0 insurtech event and we thought it would be fun for a change. Doing things truly live is always different and often unexpected. You’ll find this one a bit faster than usual – that’s not because I have suddenly lost my manners and enjoying interrupting but because I am keeping to a strict time schedule and sometimes need to move things along so we don’t run out of time. There are also a few thrills and spills, but that’s all part of the fun of doing things live with no safety net. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) and Free Partners for their support today:  
5/4/202128 minutes, 18 seconds
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Ep 77 Stephen Catlin & Paul Brand Convex: Being ready ahead of the market

Today’s guests head one the largest and best-placed new businesses in the market. This is because it had a long head-start on the class of 2020. Before the market turn became obvious last year it already had $1.7bn in capital committed and underwriting teams in place. Then with the hardening in full swing it accelerated its growth plan and almost doubled that capital base. Convex’s Chairman and CEO Stephen Catlin and Deputy CEO Paul Brand have had impeccable timing and are looking to use the benefit of all their long experience building Catlin into a global specialty insurer and reinsurer to good use with their new project. It’s clear from this interview that they intend to do everything better, stronger and faster and what’s more they plan to enjoy the journey more along the way. Here we dissect the market opportunity for this very large legacy-free start-up from every angle and leave no topic off the table. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) and Free Partners for their support today:
4/27/202149 minutes, 7 seconds
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EP 76 Keith Wolfe President Swiss Re P&C US: A complete view of the world's biggest market

Today’s guest has one of the biggest single jobs in our business. As President of Property & Casualty for Swiss Re in the US Keith Wolfe has huge responsibility This is because on most measures his employer is the largest writer of reinsurance in the US. This gives him unrivalled visibility on what is the largest insurance market in the world. I have met Keith many times in the past, chairing him at US-based conferences. He is always good-humoured and always says it like it is in ways that you might not expect from someone who is part of such a large multinational organisation. I’m happy to report that in this encounter he was on excellent form as we dissected the US market from top to bottom via Covid, Casualty, Cyber, Insurtech, automatic underwriting and of course the state of the market and the prospects for upcoming renewals. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
4/20/202138 minutes, 43 seconds
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Ep 75 Greg Collins CEO of Miller: A speedboat among supertankers

Today’s guest is the leader of one of London’s oldest independent broking houses. Greg Collins is CEO of Miller, which via major new investment has just extricated itself from the Willis Towers Watson Group. In this podcast we get right to the heart of why the firm’s innovative experiment with Big-three ownership didn’t work out and what this wholesale specialty broker plans to do with its new-found freedom. Greg comes across as someone completely on top of his game and speaks like he has had a weight lifted off his shoulders. It is refreshing to hear. Tune in for insights into Miller’s growth strategy, the reinsurance broking landscape, technological and cultural modernisation and why Miller won’t be doing anything to upset its US wholesale relationships. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
4/13/202132 minutes, 16 seconds
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Special Episode: Introducing McKenzie Intelligence Services with founder Forbes McKenzie

Today’s guest is an amazing person with an incredibly interesting story to tell. After 10 years in the British military and distinguished service in Iraq, Forbes McKenzie was determined to apply the skills he had learned in military intelligence in the civilian world. A decade and lots of hard work later, McKenzie Intelligence Services (MIS) is bringing real-time intelligence to bear on natural disasters and manmade events alike and has won a major tender to provide its services across the Lloyd’s market. As Forbes describes in the podcast, users of the firm’s GEO platform are improving reserving estimates by 93%, cutting claims overheads by 40% and this is making an average 2 percentage point improvement to loss ratios. Here we talk about the art of blending multiple data sources to provide insights that insurers can use instantly. But because this is such a cutting-edge business we get to look into the future and a world of really smart, really focused artificial intelligence, instant straight through claims payments, hugely expanded parametric insurance and the future of exposure management. Forbes is excellent company and has a great way of turning complicated ideas into simple and understandable insights that you can use to improve the way you go about your business today. LINKS: Mckenzie Intelligence Services (MIS) LinkedIn Twitter: @McKenzie_Int Forbes McKenzie LinkedIn: (Connect and ask him how he came to be mentioned in dispatches in Iraq) Twitter: @forbesmckenzie
4/9/202129 minutes, 17 seconds
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Ep 74 Matthew Wilson Group CEO Brit: Pretending Brit didn't exist

Today’s guest is an example to those of us who feel we ought to change with the times but might not feel we are fully equipped to do so. Matthew Wilson is the Group CEO of Brit and is a Lloyd’s man through and through. He has spent most of his career going about his business in the same analogue way that most of us are familiar with. Yet he has embarked on a transformation programme at Brit to overhaul everything it does in readiness for a digital future. A three-year migration of systems to the cloud is just coming to fruition and last year’s pioneering launch of Ki, Brit’s algorithmically driven follow syndicate, is still being digested by the market. In this podcast we focus on how Brit and Lloyd’s can embrace a digital future and reap expense savings, productivity gains and huge business benefits if it can turn its analogue platform into a digital one. Whilst the technical challenges are never to be underestimated, this discussion shows that the greatest hurdles are far more likely to be self-imposed cultural ones. From this encounter it becomes clear that only until we can learn to accept change can we innovate successfully. I would venture that if Matthew can do it, so can the rest of the market. So I highly recommend this one to anyone looking for pointers on where to start and how to begin embracing the insurance market of the future. Enjoy the Podcast. NOTES: The iMRC acronym Matthew mentions stands for the Intelligent Market Reform Contract and is part of the Lloyd’s Blueprint 2 programme. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) and Free Partners for their support today:
4/6/202146 minutes, 43 seconds
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Ep 73 Mitch Blaser CEO Mosaic: If you're a hammer everything looks like a nail

I really enjoyed interviewing today’s guest. I think it was because I was picking up on the energy, enthusiasm and buzz emanating from someone who is running a start-up business. Mitch Blaser, the CEO of Mosaic has done this before and it is his clarity of vision and purpose that shines through our discussion. He has the benefit of experience to know what he would do differently and he also has a very clear idea of how to leverage the advantages of a single clean balance sheet with new investors and no legacy risk and equally as important to Mitch, a brand new enterprise with no legacy systems, technology or culture. The prospects of the post-Covid world of emerging risk are what are firing Mitch and his team of specialty underwriters up But overall it is Mitch’s irrepressible positivity and confidence that is most infectious. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) and Free Partners for their support today:
3/30/202143 minutes, 35 seconds
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Ep 72 Colin Thompson Group CEO Nexus: Eat your own cooking

This week’s podcast is a great encounter with a UK MGA pioneer at the top of his game. Colin Thompson is the CEO of Nexus Group, a firm he founded in London 13 years ago. That business is projecting punchy organic growth of a third this year to $600mn in premiums written. It is also on the hunt for ever larger acquisitions and is looking to back some of its own underwriting with a risk-bearing entity to show its paper providers that it has real skin in the game. During our chat Colin also confirms that Nexus will be selling its trade credit broking arm to focus exclusively on underwriting. We cover a huge amount of ground here and a lot is revealed about the next strategic direction for what is almost certainly London’s fastest-growing MGA business of scale. We also learn a lot about what makes the entrepreneur driving its growth tick. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
3/23/202133 minutes, 41 seconds
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Ep 71 Ross Howard Global Executive Chairman of Lockton Re: Why knowledge is key and king

Today’s guest is one of the best-known and most experienced executives in the reinsurance broking world. Ross Howard is Global Executive Chairman of Lockton Re and has launched himself into a major project to help build a challenger reinsurance broker for the Lockton Group. In this podcast we find out why he thinks the current market opportunities are some of the best he has seen in his long career and why, provided you have the right platform as a base, knowledge, expertise and relationships are more important than they have ever been. I have been meeting and interviewing Ross on and off for around 15 years and I think some of that rapport shows in this encounter. Ross is the consummate broker: charming, knowledgeable, accommodating, imaginative and unflappable. I highly recommend you spend the next half an hour or so in his company. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
3/16/202136 minutes, 32 seconds
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Special Episode: Bonkers or Brilliant? A fresh perspective on innovation from Insurtech Gateway’s Robert Lumley and Stephen Brittain

This episode could easily be called “everything you wanted to know about insurtech but were afraid to ask.” This is because today’s guests are insurtech pioneers who spend their time finding new insurance ideas and the entrepreneurs behind them. They knock the rough edges off, apply expertise, lend regulatory licences so that ideas can be tested and make connections with incumbent insurers as well as investors. They also deploy their own venture capital funds into the companies they find. In short they provide one of the few full service platforms for innovative new ventures and fulfil the role of translators between the often disconnected worlds of technology and insurance. Now with five years’ experience The Voice of Insurance spoke to Stephen Brittain and Robert Lumley of the Insurtech Gateway to find out what they had learned after being at the bleeding edge of insurance innovation for such a long time. The results may surprise you. Here you can get to half a decade’s learning compressed into half an hour. A pioneer like The Gateway has often had to learn the hard way. By listening to this excellent episode you won’t have to...   LINKS
3/12/202133 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep 70 Greg Hendrick CEO Vantage Group: Being what the market will let us be

Today’s guest is one of the industry’s brightest stars and I think the podcast you are about the listen to amply proves why he has earned that moniker. The Voice of insurance has also been lucky enough to speak to him at an exciting time for him and the industry itself.   A veteran of the Bermuda class of 1992, he is back again with a substantial start-up looking to capitalise on major opportunities in the global wholesale specialty insurance and reinsurance market. Here Greg Hendrick the CEO of Vantage Group runs us through his vision from top to bottom and dissects in great detail how he and his team is attacking a market opportunity. Greg has long been one of the best speakers on the insurance conference circuit and here it soon becomes obvious that podcasting comes naturally to him. Here is someone happy, confident, energised, completely at the top of their game and ready to put a career’s worth of knowledge and experience to work in a favourable marketplace. There is a ton of useful information here and I think you can learn a lot from listening over the next 35 minutes or so. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
3/9/202140 minutes, 34 seconds
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Special Episode: Introducing Supercede with founders Jerad Leigh and Ben Rose

Today’s special guests are technology entrepreneurs looking to digitise and revolutionise the reinsurance marketplace. Their radical free-to-use platform has the goal of making the cumbersome submission and placement process pain-free for practitioners. But with these two there’s a big difference. Both Jerad Leigh and Ben Rose of Supercede gave up successful careers in the underwriting, broking and advisory side of reinsurance to found their business. Past attempts at reinsurance platforms have tended to focus on getting the boardrooms of the biggest players signed up and mandating usage on the ground but as former practitioners their focus is on solving the problems of the individual users themselves. As we move to an expense conscious world where big IT spend for no discernible competitive gain is no longer a boast but potentially a source of embarrassment, their free and fully independent model is a compelling one. In this special episode we naturally go for a whirlwind tour of the Supercede product offering, but we stay much longer and get to the heart of what these two founders think the reinsurance market of the future is going to look like and their part in enabling it. Not only are Ben and Jerad exceptionally bright, they are excellent company. I highly recommend listening to what they have to say. NOTES: You may already know Supercede by its original name, Riskbook. Ben mentions a business called Rightmove. For non-UK listeners this is the main UK platform for residential real estate, connecting realtors/(real) estate agents and individual buyers. LINKS:
3/5/202147 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ep 69 Pina Albo CEO Hamilton Group: The wait is over

After an extended build-out Pina Albo’s Hamilton Group now has significant Lloyd’s, Bermuda and Dublin platforms covering specialty insurance, reinsurance and third-party asset management and is building further capabilities on the ground in the US E&S market via an MGA structure. It’s also fully committed to a tech-enabled US brokered small commercial joint venture operation in Attune. Listen to Pina as the group moves to the execution phase of its strategy and looks to be rewarded for the patience it has shown throughout the prolonged soft market into which it was born. Pina is a focused leader with strong convictions about where the market is headed. Her conclusions are concise, unambiguous and easy to follow. I highly recommend a listen. NOTES: Pina refers to Ada Re in relation to Hamilton’s party capital management operation. Ada Re is specifically Hamilton’s retro sidecar vehicle. She of course meant to say Ada Capital. LINKS: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
3/2/202129 minutes, 37 seconds
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Ep 68 Steve Hearn CEO Corant Global: One broker, many brands

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: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
2/23/202146 minutes, 18 seconds
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Ep 67 Charles Mathias Group CRO Fidelis: A market not lacking capital, but profit

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: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:  
2/16/202148 minutes, 38 seconds
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Special Episode: Introducing Worry + Peace with founder James York

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: James’s Twitter handle is: @JamesJWYork
2/12/202135 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ep 66 Nick Cook BMS: A Bullish time to build

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: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
2/9/202142 minutes, 13 seconds
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Ep 65 Matthew Moore President Liberty Specialty Markets: Working for mutual advantage

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: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
2/2/202142 minutes, 16 seconds
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Ep 64 Sean McGovern CEO of AXA XL UK and Lloyd’s: Re-set and re-launch

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: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) and Insurtech Gateway for their support today:
1/26/202139 minutes, 48 seconds
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Ep 63 The broker of the future: Clyde Bernstein, Head of Broking, Willis Towers Watson GB

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: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:  
1/19/202141 minutes, 14 seconds
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Ep 62 Fully capitalised, but rationally hard: the 2021 market with David Flandro of HX

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: 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: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
1/12/202132 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep 61 A healing market: James Vickers, Chair Willis Re International

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: We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling an enterprise view of exposure: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:  
1/4/202133 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep 60 Fear breeds discipline, alignment and innovation: Talbir Bains CEO Volante Global

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: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
12/22/202036 minutes, 34 seconds
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Ep 59 Jean-Jacques Henchoz CEO Hannover Re: Lean and keen

Today’s guest is a year and a half into a role running the best performing major reinsurer of the past 15 years. Hannover Re has been a business that has managed to grow profitably in hard and soft markets alike, maintaining a lean structure and keeping underwriting and rigorous capital management to the fore. With a global market hardening in full swing and one of the most important 1.1 renewals in decades to navigate, I asked Jean-Jacques Henchoz to outline his plans for Hannover Re in a radically changing reinsurance landscape. Along the way I found a charismatic leader who is looking to strike a balance between reinforcing Hannover’s core strengths and underwriting culture while at the same time gently pushing it to adapt and prepare for the future. I enjoyed my time with Jean-Jacques and the insights he gave into Hannover Re’s strategy for 2021 and beyond and I think you will too. We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling underwriters to increase the speed and accuracy of decision making: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) and Insurtech Gateway for their support today:    
12/15/202047 minutes, 20 seconds
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Ep 58 Talent and a willingness to take on risk: Julian James CEO International Insurance, Sompo International

Today’s guest is one of the most experienced and widely travelled executives in the global insurance world and someone I have been interviewing regularly for the past 15 years. During that time he has been in the fairly unique position of having worked on either side of the fence for a broker and carriers alike as well as for the Corporation of Lloyd’s. But what all his roles have had in common have been the formulation and execution of global expansion strategies. And unsurprisingly that is what he is charged with in his latest role running the International Insurance business at Sompo International. In this podcast we talk about the state of the market and current growth opportunities around the world. Julian has been dealing with the media for many years and is a relaxed and eloquent communicator. And given his long and successful track record of growing international insurance businesses of all shapes and sizes, this is one I can highly recommend. LINKS We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling underwriters to increase the speed and accuracy of decision making: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:  
12/8/202035 minutes, 41 seconds
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Ep 57 Color outside the lines: Jim Stanard, Chairman Ariel Re

As journalists we tend to sprinkle superlative terms such as industry legend around a little too liberally. But today’s guest definitely qualifies. As a founder of Renaissance Re Jim Stanard helped completely transform the way the industry analyses and underwrites catastrophe risk and cemented Bermuda’s place in the insurance and reinsurance world. He also co-founded global challenger reinsurance broker Tiger Risk. Now he is back in his heartland as chair of the newly-independent Ariel Re. Here we talk about everything you would ever want to know about how to be a successful underwriter building a sustainable portfolio. Listening back it is a remarkable conversation and one marked by Jim’s extraordinary good humour and openness. We spent a lot more time laughing than is normal in a serious hard market reinsurance conversation. But that is all down to Jim’s open-mindedness and remarkably broad interests. I hadn’t met him before this meeting but it really doesn’t show. I learned a lot, including that this industry leader has a not unimportant side line on the music scene. So do enjoy the conversation. A couple of Notes: Jim told me later he misspoke about Lotus being the first spreadsheet package and meant to say Visicalc. And the quote about predicting the future is variously attributed to Yogi Berra, Sam Goldwyn or Danish physicist Niels Bohr, depending on who you ask. LINKS Jim’s album "Color outside the lines" can be streamed on Spotify and is available on Amazon and other music sellers. Go to: to find out more. We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling underwriters to increase the speed and accuracy of decision making: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
12/1/202038 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep 56 Like 2001, but completely different: Andrew Brooks CEO Ascot Group

Ascot has been one of Lloyd’s great success stories of the past 2 decades yet its CEO Andrew Brooks doesn’t have the sort of public profile that one would expect to go with the job. After many years waiting out the soft market Ascot is now in aggressive expansion mode backed by a very patient, very deep pool of capital. Given its cautious and prudent track record its diversification plans make for fascinating listening, particularly the thinking behind this historically short-tailed business’s controlled entry into the casualty world. In our talk Andrew is engaging and very open and forthcoming about Ascot’s way of doing things. Anyone looking for pointers on how to build a successful underwriting operation that is sustainable over the long term will learn a huge amount over the next half an hour or so. We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling underwriters to increase the speed and accuracy of decision making: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
11/27/202037 minutes, 38 seconds
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Ep 55 Controlled aggression: Alex Maloney CEO of Lancashire Group

Alex Maloney has been running the Lancashire group of companies for six-and-a-half years. For much of that time the business has been keeping its powder dry waiting for a moment to exploit a change in market conditions and resume growth. That moment seemed to come in Q2 of this year, with a new equity capital raise. In this interview I ask Alex all about his plans to deploy this renewed firepower. I found him invigorated and looking to expand aggressively and diversify in the new year as large segments of the market come back and business flows change. I also got to know a little more of the singular and strong character that has made this business both an outlier and an outperformer since its foundation 15 years ago. We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling underwriters to increase the speed and accuracy of decision making: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:  
11/24/202027 minutes, 31 seconds
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Ep 54 Taking a longer view: Eduardo Pérez de Lema CEO of Mapfre Re

Mapfre Re is a top 20 global reinsurer but it probably doesn’t have the public profile that this size should command. Given my insurance work experience in the Spanish market I thought this was a wrong that needed righting. Mapfre Re has many peculiarities, not least that it is one of the few reinsurers to still be part of a major global insurance group decades after it became fashionable to divest and separate insurance from reinsurance. It also looks after the reinsurance buying for its global top 20 insurer parent. This gives it a unique perspective of the market, which I think you will find refreshing. Mapfre Re CEO Eduardo Perez de Lema is a frank and eloquent interviewee and in this episode he gives us an unambiguous view on what he is expecting from the 1.1 renewals and the long-term sustainable partner philosophy at the heart of his firm’s strategy. We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling underwriters to increase the speed and accuracy of decision making: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
11/20/202039 minutes, 22 seconds
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Ep 53 No end game. The journey to Ithaka: David Howden CEO Howden Group Holdings

I’ve known David Howden for a very long time. When I became a broker in 1992 he was the wholesale D&O specialist who looked after a big book of business for the Spanish broker I worked for. When Aon took over that broker it was my cue to go off and become a journalist and for him it fired the starting gun on an adventure that doesn’t show any sign of stopping. That’s why this episode is a bit special. It’s also a bit longer than usual. A good interview is a bit like a portrait and the art of the interviewer is to coax the interviewee to reveal perhaps more of themselves than they were originally planning to. David doesn’t really need much coaxing because he is always himself, and the most remarkable thing about him is that he hasn’t changed at all in the last 28 years. Here we talk about everything you would expect to talk about, but a lot more. For instance this is the first interview I’ve ever done where poetry has been recited. Today I really think you will get to see what makes David tick and understand what has driven him to be the most successful insurance entrepreneur of his generation. We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling underwriters to increase the speed and accuracy of decision making: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) and Insurtech Gateway for their support today:
11/17/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 45 seconds
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Ep 52 Vanessa Macdonald-Smith of Oneglobal broking: Putting people before numbers and enjoying the fun of the chase

In today’s episode we meet a strong broker of many years’ experience and with subject expertise and contacts that many would take multiple careers to accumulate. She has had a senior career at many of the top independent brokers. Over recent times I have come to know and respect her as one of those people that always speaks their mind and comes as a breath of fresh air with their own perspective on what is happening in the marketplace. Vanessa Macdonald Smith is a former CEO of JLT Fac and is now in a new role as Executive Director and Head of D&F at Oneglobal Broking. She has a broad and senior view of the market but has her feet close enough on the ground to be fully in touch. In this podcast we look at today’s hard market and OneGlobal’s plans to grow into it, the opportunity for independents as the big brokers consolidate and what it is like to be a senior woman working in a time of cultural turmoil and great change. I always enjoy time spent with Vanessa and I think you will too. --------- We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling underwriters to increase the speed and accuracy of decision making: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today:
11/10/202034 minutes, 36 seconds
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Special Episode: Technical Debt and how to get out of it, with Bart Patrick of Duck Creek Technologies

Today’s guest is someone with a long history of implementing technology into the Insurance Market. Bart Patrick, Managing Director, Europe for Duck Creek really understands the demands of the industry and the sometimes fractious and strained relationship with technology that it has had over the years. Well all of that is changing and this discussion is all about how that is going to come about. With the advent of cloud computing the industry finally has an opportunity to leave technology to the experts and simply get on with doing what it does best – market, transact and execute innovative insurance deals. In this brave new world, the software and systems we use are becoming simply a utility that we can avail ourselves of and don’t have to own and maintain anymore. What’s more the best platforms can now allow us to configure them in the way we want to work and let us plug in any of the tools we want to use to help us do our jobs better and compete in the marketplace. This is what people are describing as an ecosystem. But transitioning away from legacy systems that are in fact many systems all bolted together is not easy, particularly if we have limited budgets and the massively important requirement that nothing falls over while we are making the switch to the new way of working. Technical debt is the difference between what you should be spending on innovation and the amount of money you are spending on just keeping the old inefficient systems running. This talk explains how to get out of this debt. My role in this discussion is to be the layman with insurance knowledge and make sure Patrick doesn’t get bogged down in technical jargon. Luckily Patrick is a great explainer who knows how to talk to insurance people. I recommend this podcast to anyone wanting to gain a broad understanding of what our legacy industry tech problems are, where the future lies and more importantly, how we are going to get there. Many thanks to Duck Creek Technologies for their support today. Find out more at:  
11/6/202027 minutes, 11 seconds
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Ep 51 David Walsh and Graeme Newman of CFC Underwriting: 20% organic growth forever

I’ve got to know the interviewees in today’s episode quite well over the last few years. That means I have been able to follow closely their remarkable journey from small subsidiary of the Hyperion Group to an independent employee-owned MGA writing over 500 million dollars of premium in 2020 and still projecting organic growth of 20% in 2021. So how have David Walsh and Graeme Newman of CFC Underwriting done it? I think one of the most striking things is what a partnership these two entrepreneurs make and how their characters compliment each other. It is hard to think of one without the other and of CFC without either of them. They’re also a notch below the average age of many among their peers and I think this translates to a slightly more progressive feel for the business. But you should listen for yourself and make up your own mind. In this episode we talk a lot about CFC’s core line of cyber insurance and building a long-term comparative advantage, its response to the Covid pandemic, what David and Graeme’s long-term plans are for CFC and how the firm is trying to distil its entrepreneurial culture as it begins to grow beyond its core London roots. It’s a great discussion and one which I would highly recommend to any budding entrepreneurs out there looking for pointers to see how it’s done. We thank our naming sponsor AdvantageGo - enabling underwriters to increase the speed and accuracy of decision making: We also thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) and Insurtech Gateway for their support today. Here are links to their websites:
11/3/202045 minutes, 58 seconds
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Ep 50 John Neal: Putting the Lloyd's halo back in place

Welcome to the Voice of Insurance in association with Advantage Go - enabling Underwriters to increase the speed and accuracy of decision making. It was great experience recording today’s episode because it was the first time since the Covid 19 crisis began that I was able to do an interview face to face instead of a video call. And it seemed even more poignant that this first face to face interview should be at Lloyd’s – the only physical marketplace where insurance is traded by multiple counterparties all in the same room. Technology has been a saviour for all of us in these difficult times, but I think this interview shows that there are some elements of genuine human social interaction that it can never replace. Tasked with turning the market’s performance around and driving through a revolutionary programme of reform, John Neal has needed all his charm and skills of communication to convince the market to change the way it does almost everything. Here you can see his skills to great effect. He is incredibly personable, approachable and down to earth and certainly doesn’t get angered by any of my more provocative questions. Or at least if he does he doesn’t show it. Instead the main weapon he deploys is a stark honesty and candidness that is refreshing and endearing. In our time together we discuss the Lloyd’s 2021 business planning process and whether Lloyd’s is striking the right balance between performance and growth, the coming revolution from the imminent Blueprint 2 reform plans, what makes a good underwriter, personal conduct and the impact of the culture survey, climate change and the insurance of fossil fuels, the potential impact of the Aon-Willis merger on the market and John’s personal feelings about his role. I didn’t cut anything out because it’s all too good to miss. I also didn’t over edit it, because I wanted you to be able feel that you too are inside number 1 Lime street on the 11th floor, sitting in with John and I as the recorders are switched on and the discussion gets going. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.   LINKS We thank our supporters today. Our naming sponsor AdvantageGo Claims Direct Access Bolton Associates and WCL
10/27/202055 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep 49 Tim Turner: This is not a re-run of 85-86

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.
10/20/202026 minutes, 1 second
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Commonwealth Insurance Forum Special Episode 1: Insuring high-growth emerging markets with Inga Beale and Lesley Ndlovu

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: The Forum can be contacted on [email protected]  or directly via Francis de Zulueta on LinkedIn:
10/14/202035 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep 48 D&O: The hardest market of all time with David Ritchie of Gallagher UK

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. PS. Don't forget to ask Mark about advertising opportunities on the podcast. [email protected]
10/13/202025 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep 47 Pat Ryan: Build a business people are proud to work for

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. [email protected]
10/6/202041 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep 46 The Best Market for a Decade: David Croom-Johnson MD Aegis London

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. [email protected]
9/29/202035 minutes, 45 seconds
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Ep 45 Selling certainty, with Stefan Golling Chief Underwriter Munich Re

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. [email protected]    
9/22/202024 minutes, 41 seconds
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Ep 44 Juan Andrade of Everest Re: An Underwriter’s market

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: We thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today. Here is a link to their website:
9/15/202025 minutes, 55 seconds
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Ep 43 Swimming as the tide goes out, with Laurent Rousseau Deputy CEO of Scor Global P&C

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:  
9/8/202045 minutes, 53 seconds
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Ep 42 Coverholders in a box: Stephen Card of Carbon Underwriting

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. Abbreviations: DA= Delegated Authority LINK: We thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today. Here is a link to their website:
9/4/202029 minutes, 39 seconds
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Ep 41 A Great Time to be an Underwriter. With Tim Carter CUO of Argo Group

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:
9/1/202024 minutes, 33 seconds
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Ep 40 Rule your niche with Andrew Robinson of HIIG

This episode’s guest is a journalist’s dream. He has deep, long and broad industry experience, he is very intelligent, he has very strong and clear opinions about how insurance works and why he is doing what he is doing. More importantly he is never afraid of expressing those opinions and he does so with great enthusiasm and charisma. Even better for us is that he has a new role heading a company that plays in one of the most interesting hard markets anywhere in the world. He is Andrew Robinson, the company is Houston International Insurance Group (HIIG) and the market is US specialty lines. HIIG is the business founded by maverick industry entrepreneur Stephen Way in 2006 after leaving HCC, so Andrew has some big shoes to fill. I don’t need to pre-empt what we talk about here – the market and how Andrew wants to position HIIG within it are plenty to be getting on with and he won’t leave you with any doubt about what he thinks about all the issues of the day. LINK: We thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today. Here is a link to their website:
8/25/202034 minutes, 46 seconds
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Ep 39 Slaying the myths of Legacy with Tom Booth of Darag

Today’s episode is all about legacy. Legacy used to be called run-off and run-off conjured up slightly negative connotations of difficult old greyhairs in dusty out of the way offices eking out a dwindling pot of claims until retirement. I used to think that its keenness to rename itself was a sign that it wanted to rehabilitate itself in some way and that the change was merely cosmetic or aesthetic. But over the years it has become obvious that the words run-off had themselves to be put into run-off. This is because legacy has developed into a sophisticated capital management tool and is far more about adding value and operational efficiency than the handling of intractable old claims. Today’s guest is the embodiment of that leap in sophistication over the past two decades. Tom Booth is the CEO of Darag, a legacy player with access to capital and global growth ambitions. His background is high finance and I think it really shows through in this encounter. Legacy is becoming a very useful long-term partner of the industry and people like Tom are only going to make it more relevant in the future. We slay a lot of myths in this episode, so stay tuned. LINK: We thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today. Here is a link to their website:
8/18/202032 minutes
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Ep 38 The future of insurance is now, with Stephen Brittain of the Insurtech Gateway

I always think one of the main missions of the Voice of Insurance is to give you access to industry leaders so you can find out how they think and what they think about the big issues of the day. These are people that you’ve almost certainly heard of but not necessarily heard from. But there is a second mission which is to introduce you to people who you almost certainly don’t know but who I think have got some very interesting things to say. In my line of work I get to meet lots of fascinating and very talented people and it’s nice to be able to introduce some of the less well known ones to you. Todays’ guest is one of these. We have heard an awful lot about the Insurtech phenomenon over the last 4 years. A whole industry has grown up around it. Frankly some of it has been very poorly explained and executed. Stephen Brittain’s job is to provide a link between the insurance folk and the tech people who often seem to inhabit completely different planets. I always enjoy talking to Stephen because he is incredibly smart and is buzzing with big and challenging ideas. The conversation always takes an unexpected turn or two. But unlike so many bright sparks he is really good at explaining himself to people less intelligent than he is. So if you’re not a techy here is someone I can highly recommend you listen to – I’m pretty sure it will make you think differently about insurance. And if it does that that is another one of my missions complete.   LINK: We thank Claims Direct Access (CDA) for their support today. Here is a link to their website:
8/11/202034 minutes, 32 seconds
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Ep 37 Capital Masterclass with Vicky Carter of Guy Carpenter

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:
8/4/202040 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep 36 Howden plans with José Manuel González and Barnaby Rugge-Price

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:
7/28/202033 minutes, 48 seconds
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Ep 35 Re-shaping Aspen with Mark Cloutier

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:
7/21/202036 minutes, 52 seconds
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Ep 34 Worldwide ambition with Mike Reynolds of Oneglobal

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:
7/14/202034 minutes, 9 seconds
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Ep 33 Seizing a golden opportunity with Franz-Josef Hahn of Peak Re

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:
7/7/202027 minutes, 23 seconds
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Ep 32 The mid-year renewals with James Vickers, Chair of Willis Re International

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: Willis Re's latest view on Covid-19: And our supporter Claims Direct Access (CDA)'s website:
7/3/202025 minutes, 24 seconds
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Ep 31 Andrew Horton: Beazley, the hard market and the new Lloyd's

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) and Bolton Associates      
6/30/202033 minutes, 27 seconds
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Ep 30 Steve McGill: Rip up your original business plan...

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) CDA is part of Prime Insurance Company:        
6/23/202042 minutes, 59 seconds
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Ep 29 John Ludlow of Airmic: Insurance falling short of high standards and founding principles

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:  
6/16/202023 minutes, 34 seconds
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Ep 28 Meet the Lloyd's Gatekeeper - Julian Tighe of Asta

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
6/9/202023 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ep 27 How captives insure the uninsurable, with Oliver Schofield of RISCS

One of the main aims of this podcast is to introduce you to some of the exceptional people I have been lucky enough to meet during the course of my work as an insurance journalist. Some are not the CEOs and public-facing executives, but the strategic visionaries and innovators who work behind the scenes doing extraordinary things. Today’s guest is just one such character. Oliver Schofield has had over 30 years in insurance working at brokers Alexander Howden and Aon and then RKH and RFIB. He is now an independent consultant working in the captive space at a business called RISCS. As you’ll soon find out Olly is as bright an insurance brain as you will find working in the sector. And because captives are vehicles that can insure almost anything they allow all his creativity to shine through. Listen on and you’ll find out how they are an excellent way of covering systemic risk - including pandemics - as well as all sorts of uninsurable enterprise risk that the traditional market would run a mile from because of the problem of moral hazard. One of the other aims of the Voice of Insurance is to give us all a chance to learn about parts of the market that we don’t often get to interact with. I think captives fall into that category – we all know what they are but there are a lot of things we think we know about them that just don’t stand up to close scrutiny so we will be doing a bit of myth-busting in this session. It soon became obvious that I should get back to Olly to talk about Covid-19 and how captives might play a role in filling in the large gaps in pandemic cover that have since emerged.  
6/2/202034 minutes, 6 seconds
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Ep 26 Talent and the class of 2020/21 with Dennis Mahoney

Dennis Mahoney is a broking industry legend. A consummate intermediary and negotiator he rose to be a trusted councillor at the top of the global broking world and right at the peak of the Aon chain of command. Since relocating to Bermuda he has taken on a wider range of executive and non-executive roles. The latest of these saw him steady the ship at independent London -based wholesale and reinsurance broker RFIB ahead of its eventual sale to Integro/Tysers. Dennis is always honest and forthright in his opinions and has never been afraid to rock the establishment boat in his career – particularly in his zeal for market modernisation. He doesn’t duck questions and he always tells you exactly what he thinks, warts and all. But Despite a fearsome reputation he is actually incredibly easy to get on with and is very happy and comfortable in his own skin as I think this interview shows. I found Dennis on excellent form and buzzing with ideas about the world in which insurance finds itself and the prospects for its future. Do enjoy the listen
5/26/202029 minutes, 53 seconds
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Ep 25 Build me a reinsurance broker: Tim Gardner of Lockton Re

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.
5/20/202027 minutes, 7 seconds
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Ep 24 Running towards risk: Stephen Postlewhite of QBE Re

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.
5/15/202021 minutes, 57 seconds
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Ep 23 Julian Enoizi of Pool Re: Time to become peril-agnostic on non-damage BI?

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    
5/12/202023 minutes, 42 seconds
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Ep 22 Casualty, Capital and Covid with Jason Howard CEO of Beach

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!
5/5/202034 minutes
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Ep 21 Covid-19's reinsurance impact with Andrew Newman and Printhan Sothinathan of Willis Re

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:  
4/30/202045 minutes, 15 seconds
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Special Episode: Biba, the LMG and Liiba respond to Covid-19

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:    
4/28/202042 minutes, 25 seconds
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Ep 19 Bermuda briefing with Chris Bonard and John Turner of Ed Broking

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!
4/22/202040 minutes, 23 seconds
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Special Episode: Covid-19 update with Brendan McManus, Peter Blanc and Warren Downey in association with Specialist Risk Group

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:  
4/15/202048 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep 17 P&I primer with Dorothea Ioannou of The American Club

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.
4/9/202050 minutes, 56 seconds
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Ep 16 Inside the first syndicate in a box with Stuart Newcombe, active underwriter

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...
3/31/202034 minutes, 21 seconds
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Ep 15, Solo 1: Unfair Punishment and Pandemic Re

This podcast is a new feature - I’m calling it Voice of Insurance Solo. It is really an editorial in podcast form – let me know what you think. Is insurance going to get unfairly punished by governments and judiciaries for the systemic global failures exposed by the Covid 19 pandemic? And if so might state-backed Pandemic Reinsurance vehicles be the logical result of the new deal that will follow any government raids on our coffers? Listen on for thoughts and opinion...  
3/24/202016 minutes, 54 seconds
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Ep 14 Early coronavirus thoughts from David Flandro of Hyperion X

How well prepared is the 2020 global insurance industry for the challenge of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic? The best thing about being a journalist is about being able to access the top minds and experts to make sense of the world. So today with economies and our clients being forcibly shut down, events cancelled, sovereign and corporate bonds undergoing spectacular gyrations and share prices tumbling globally, (with insurers stock falling more than the market average), I wanted to talk to someone smart to help ordinary people like me and you to understand a little bit of what is happening and what might be at stake. So that is why I’m delighted that this episode’s guest is David Flandro Managing Director, Analytics at Hyperion X. Longstanding listeners will remember David from Episode 3 where he was talking about the 1st of January renewals. I originally had this interview with David slated to be about the fourth quarter and full- year 2019 results season that has just past. But given the circumstances I thought that that would be inappropriate. Listen on for a state of David’s thinking about how the industry is likely cope with the covid-19 crisis on the risk and the asset side of its balance sheet. There are plenty of caveats of course but David gives us a lot to think about, somethings to worry about and some measure of assurance. in times of crisis I always seek out the brightest and most eloquent and David is certainly both...  
3/23/202037 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep 13 The secrets of Jonathan Parry of QBE Re’s success

The hardening market and the upcoming renewals, ILS, the vexing casualty question and of course the mega-brokers getting bigger - this interview doesn't miss anything out. Jonathan Parry is a highly experienced and well-regarded underwriter with many decades of experience. He knows the insurance and reinsurance markets inside and out. If you don’t know him already I think you’ll like him – and you will learn a lot from him He’s also quite a rare character in that he spent the first half of his career as a broker. This gives him a really well rounded perspective on how insurance and reinsurance works and what clients really want from their underwriters. He is always polite and good humoured but he is firm and has strong convictions and he doesn’t pull any punches.  Jonathan is handing over the QBE Re underwriting mantle at the beginning of April and plans to retire next year. This candid interview gives a career long perspective on what is happening in reinsurance today and what is right and what is wrong...
3/17/202053 minutes, 28 seconds
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Ep.12 Navigating the post Aon-Willis, MMC-JLT world with Toby Esser of AFL

This episode’s guest is Toby Esser, chairman of independent London wholesale broker AFL. Toby is a veteran of the London market broking scene and is the former CEO of Cooper Gay which grew manyfold under his ambitious and energetic leadership both organically and by high-profile M&A. I have interviewed Toby many times over the years and it shows in this interview. Toby is not shy and his personality shines through. We have a really wide ranging discussion from growing an independent business and handling the precocious prima-donna-like talent without which no broker could function, AON-Willis and MMC-JLT as well as the coronavirus, insurtech, market reform and culture change in insurance! I really enjoyed this one and I think you will too!
3/10/20201 hour, 12 seconds
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Ep.11 How to fix the insurance culture problem, with Nicolas Aubert

In this episode I’m talking to Nicolas Aubert, Head of Great Britain at Willis Towers Watson and CEO of Willis Limited. As a Frenchman who has forged a successful career in London, in many ways he is a personal embodiment of the kind of global, multi-faceted and diverse marketplace that London would like to present to the world. The insurance market has been through a lot of soul searching in the past 12 months as every aspect of its culture has been examined in minute detail . Stories of bad behaviour and discrimination have filled the mainstream media and been broadcast all around the world. But starting quite a few years before the scandals started to break, the insurance sector has embarked on a huge programme of education, self-examination and change around the subject of diversity and inclusion. Nicolas has been right at the heart of that major shift for many years and that is the topic of our discussion today. He is also currently in charge of 4500 people, so he is pretty well qualified. If you’re the sort of person who would rather not engage with this topic I would urge you to tune in. That’s because you are actually exactly the sort of person who really must listen the most!
2/28/202042 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ep.10 Cyber masterclass with Dan Trueman of Axis

Dan Trueman is global Head of Cyber at Axis Insurance and is one of the true cyber market pioneers with a 20 year career centred on insuring unconventional enterprise risks. He has developed into an industry spokeperson and an ambassador for the cyber class globally. In our wide-ranging discussion we got to the heart of what has triggered the explosion in cyber growth and the latest in price, demand and loss trends. Listen and discover why Dan thinks that cyber cover will never again be as cheap as it is today. We also dissected all the innovations around cyber modelling and the work going on to maximise the reinsurance and alternative capital that can be brought to bear on this potentially systemic global risk so that its growth story can continue. We also looked at regulation and the thorny issue of silent or non affirmative cyber cover. I really enjoyed our talk and I’m sure you will too.
2/18/202052 minutes, 40 seconds
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Ep.9 Insurtech: Everything you need to know. With Instech London

If you are not a techie but want to be properly informed about what is coming down the Insurtech track and want to know how analogue insurance folk should be reacting, this podcast is 100% designed for you. I caught up with Matthew Grant and fellow Instech London founder Robin Merttens earlier in the month. Matthew and Robin are decades-long veterans of what we now call Insurtech and have spent careers bridging the often sizeable gap between insurance and technology. They do it so we don't have to. Back in 2015 they founded Instech London which hosts a regular monthly get-together for entrepreneurs, venture capitalists service providers, early adopters and people working in the incumbent insurance industry who are curious about new technologies and how they will affect insurance. In this episode we have a wide-ranging discussion that includes a debate about the difference between merely digitising and going fully digital, as well as an examination of insurance’s often difficult relationship with technological change. I think it's a really useful listen... NOTES: Start-up companies mentioned: Concirrus: Exante: Blink: Riskbook:
2/12/202055 minutes, 19 seconds
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Ep.8 Japan, Florida and Casualty renewals preview - Steve Arora, Axis Re

There is a lot to play for in 2020 The reinsurance market has a lot invested in the major 2020 renewals and has high expectations of re-pricing in April, June and mid-year. Japanese Typhoon has been active in the last couple of seasons and loss development has re-written the models and taken everybody by surprise. Florida has been busy developing its losses of 2017 and 2018 in new and surprising ways. And of course tension has been building in the US casualty world which renews in mid-year. Original rates have moved sharply upwards and loss trends and reserving have been coming under a bright spotlight. That’s why I was really lucky to catch up with Steve Arora the CEO of Axis Re at Axis’s fantastic London offices in the shiny and angular new skyscraper in the building opposite Lloyd’s known colloquially as the Scalpel. Axis Re wrote $3.2bn of gross premium in 2019 and has an ambition to break into the top 10 global reinsurers. Steve took up his post at Axis Re just over 2 years ago. In our talk we dissect all the dynamics of the big 2020 renewal seasons in a lot of detail - and much more besides...
2/7/202048 minutes, 22 seconds
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Ep.7 Disrupting Aviation with Phil Smaje and Marcel Chad of Piiq Risk Partners

The Voice of Insurance was lucky enough to catch up with Phil Smaje the CEO and Marcel Chad the President of newly-launched London-based aviation challenger broker Piiq Risk Partners. Piiq is part of BGC Partners, which is also the owner of wholesale brokers Ed Broking and Besso. It is an interesting new addition to the line-up of London specialty intermediaries because Phil and Marcel are both aviation veterans with long careers at the major brokers. The timing is also fascinating because whilst other segments of the global market are merely hardening, there is no doubt that all parts of the aviation insurance and reinsurance market are in full correction-mode and are experiencing the kind of genuine hard market that doesn’t come along very often. Do enjoy the listen. Phil and Marcel tell a really interesting story about their plans for Piiq at a pivotal time for the aviation market. My first question was to Phil, asking him to tell the story behind the formation of Piiq and explain what it was all about. The word disprupt is overused in our industry but Phil got straight to the point with his first answer...   Notes and links:
2/3/202048 minutes, 5 seconds
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Ep.6 The Capsicum-Gallagher deal with Rupert Swallow and Simon Matson

Following Gallagher's deal to buy out 100% ownership of Capsicum Re - the reinsurance broker it founded as a joint venture with former Benfield boss Graeme Chilton and colleagues back in 2013 - The Voice of Insurance caught up with Capsicum Re CEO Rupert Swallow and Simon Matson, the CEO of Gallagher’s UK Broking & Underwriting division. What were Gallagher's plans now that it had finally broken successfully into reinsurance after decades of trying? What would Capsicum do with major human and financial resources at its disposal? Would it stay specialist or have a go at the big three brokers? What would happen to the Capsicum name? With new owner Gallagher such an accomplished serial acquirer, was more dealmaking a likelihood? How would the executives keep the Capsicum founding entrepreneurs motivated after the deal? Tune in for the answers. This was a relaxed and friendly discussion. As you’d imagine there’s plenty of talk about what the plans are for Gallagher’s new reinsurance intermediary but there are a lot of other market insights blended in...  
1/22/202043 minutes, 12 seconds
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Ep 5. John Drzik of MMC at the WEF Global Risks Report 2020 launch

This week saw the launch of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2020 at a big set piece media event in London ahead of the major annual summit in Davos, Switzerland. MMC has been one of the risk report’s longstanding sponsors and I was lucky enough to grab a brief catch up with John Drzik Chairman of Marsh & Mclennan Insights for a dive into the report and what it means for the world of insurance in 2020. Long-term environmental risks of many forms had moved right to the top of the agenda and the cyber threat was still business leaders’ top risk. The full World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report is available here:
1/15/202012 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ep.4 The hard E&S market with Rick Lindsey of Prime Insurance

Rick Lindsey is the CEO of US E&S insurer Prime Insurance Company. The US E&S market has the most interesting dynamics anywhere in the insurance world. Contrasting heavily with the soft global market of the past few years, some of its more stressed classes have experienced capacity withdrawal and consistent compound rate rises. That is why I was delighted to catch up with Rick in London. Rick has been in the E&S market all his working life and knows everything there is to know about the ups and downs in this specialist field Prime is a fast-growing, and very well performing E&S player and writes in all 50 US states Being an owner of part of his own balance sheet gives Rick huge credibility. He also has strong views and doesn’t pull any punches! That’s why I can highly recommend the interview that follows:
1/7/202047 minutes, 2 seconds
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Ep.3 The 1.1 renewals with David Flandro of Hyperion X

David Flandro is Managing Director, Analytics at Hyperion X. I caught up with him following the publication of Hyperion-X's 1.1 2020 renewal report. He is one of the smartest people I have ever met in insurance. He is also good at explaining complicated ideas. If you don't already know David I would highly recommend listening to him on any insurance topic that you want to master. So if you want to know more about the big trends behind the most interesting 1.1 reinsurance renewal for many years, this podcast is essential listening. The Hyperion X 1.1 renewal report can be accessed here Background: David started as an analyst at Merrill Lynch and for the past 15 years has worked for many of the major (re)insurance broking groups. Over that period he has produced many of the most insightful reports on the global insurance and reinsurance sectors. He has since joined Hyperion's exciting new Hyperion-X venture where he is building new data products and engaging heavily with the world of Insurtech. Happy Listening!    
1/3/202045 minutes, 22 seconds
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Ep. 2 The 1.1 renewals with James Vickers Chair of Willis Re International

Willis Re is the big 3 global reinsurance broker behind the excellent and timely 1st View reinsurance renewals reports. Given the shifting global market, the 1.1 2020 1st View has been the most keenly awaited such report for over a decade. From a first read the key words this year are Divergent, Judicious, Discerning and Client-centric to describe reinsurance markets and reinsurer behaviour. The Voice of Insurance caught up with James Vickers, Chair of Willis Re International to dig a little deeper. As sellers found backbone and walked away from unattractive business and strong long-term trading relationships became more important, did aggressive cedants finally get their comeuppance? Listen here to find out and put some colour into the excellent report The report can be downloaded here:  
1/2/202031 minutes, 23 seconds
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The Voice of Insurance Ep.1 Mythbusting Lloyd's Lead-Follow with Sheila Cameron, CEO of the LMA

Mark Geoghegan talks to Sheila Cameron to dig into the detail of the much-discussed Lead-Follow reforms proposed in the Lloyd’s Blueprint One plan. Myths are busted and misconceptions set straight as the CEO of the Lloyd's Market Association and one of the principle architects of this process, explains what the new proposals concerning the future of Syndication of Risk at Lloyd’s are, as well as what they are not. For instance those that worry the reforms are just going to give bigger managing agents even more influence are in for a pleasant surprise. Confused about what Lead-Follow is all about and what it might mean for the future of the market? Anyone who works in Lloyd’s or places business there will benefit from a listen to this concise interview. Recorded 6th December 2019.
12/6/201937 minutes, 13 seconds