Tony Markel, president and COO of Markel Corporation, has expressed his satisfaction at the progress Lloyd’s has made and the London market’s current strong financial condition.
In a comment on the Lloyd’s web site (www.lloyds.com) Markel said he was “amazed” by the progress made by Lloyd’s since 2000, noting that it has never been better capitalized, managed and able to look after shareholders’ interest.
Speaking at an Insurance Institute of London lecture, Markel added that the Franchise Performance Directorate (FPD) has injected discipline and control into the market, which in turn will help to improve profit year on year. “The past seven years have been one if not the most dynamic periods in the history of Lloyd’s,” Markel noted. “The market has a recognizable license and a brand which has never been so valuable.”
He also emphasized how important it is for Lloyd’s to explore growing international marketplaces such as China, India and Singapore. “Despite the fact that the world is getting smaller, Lloyd’s needs to take its capability to local markets like it is doing in Singapore. We need to consider creating trading platforms in areas outside of London in emerging markets of consequential capability.”
Markel also indicated that although significant progress has been made “there is still a lot to be done”. He mentioned the work already being undertaken by the market on education and training, as well as streamlining and modernizing underwriting processes.
“We also need more pricing stability,” he added. “I would like to see more power given to the Franchise Board. I’m confident more scrutiny will be applied to determine the quality of reinsurance bought by our syndicates.”
In conclusion Markel said that although he recognizes that product diversification is key to the industry, “it is important that the FPD ensures that syndicates don’t get away from their core business, i.e. diversification for diversification’s sake, otherwise they risk damaging their profit.”