Lloyd’s has a good reputation in Europe, but managing agents need to become more client focused to be successful on the continent, explained Inga Beale, Group Chief Executive at Canopius Group Ltd. in an article on the Lloyd’s web site.
Beale knows wherein she speaks, as she has broad experience both in the London market and in Europe. She started her career as a treaty reinsurance underwriter in the London market in 1982. She worked for 14 years at US insurer and reinsurer GE Capital, where she headed the European reinsurance and insurance arms. Beale then took over at Converium in 2006, where she turned the company around, before joining Zurich Financial Services and subsequently becoming the Group CEO of Lloyd’s insurer Canopius in January 2012.
Beale explained that there are great opportunities right now for Lloyd’s to write business in Europe, as “clients see that Lloyd’s is in full control with the Franchise Board and the market has an excellent reputation.”
However, she pointed out that European markets require a different approach to that typically taken in London, which tends to be reliant on brokers and focused on lines of business. In contrast, reinsurers in Continental European markets are much more client focused and able to offer a more complete solution.
“Lloyd’s is able to fulfill the needs of European clients and offer what other reinsurers in Europe can offer, but it needs to bridge the gap and marry that client view with the market’s traditional line of business focused view,” Beale explained.
“When I started working in London I thought it was the center of the insurance universe,” she continued. “Spending time working in the US and Europe exposed me to different approaches and gave me a more global perspective. So I am able to return to London and challenge it with new eyes.”
She pointed out that the Lloyd’s market offers some unique benefits, including the ability to use a diverse range of capital, access market support services, and licensing that allows an insurer to write business around the world.
She described Lloyd’s as a “very flexible way of running a business;” however she added that “we need to get the market working efficiently and keep the expense ratio low if Lloyd’s is to remain an attractive place for business. It would be a huge advantage if Lloyd’s were able to get all the players in the market to work together and share services.”
Despite overseas expansion, Lloyd’s is where Canopius first opened its doors and remains the insurer’s strategic focus, Beale explained, adding that the insurer has a “different identity and outlook, and is fizzing with ambition.”
Source: Lloyd’s of London