Lloyd’s Announces First Live Message Sent across Exchange

August 17, 2009

Lloyd’s has announced that Miller, a Lloyd’s broker, and Aspen Re were the first to send a message – an energy quotation request, using ACORD data standards – across its Lloyd’s Exchange system.

Sue Langley, Lloyd’s Director, Market Operations and North America, commented: “We have come to the end of the first trial, and we’re delighted that the participants are now starting to use the Lloyd’s Exchange. Going forward, the next three trials will identify any issues that participants may have, improve processes and ensure that more market organizations can participate.”

She explained that the system “offers no functionality, only communication” in an interview in July. It’s designed to allow different suppliers to “all use the same system,” and to facilitate access from many different points.

“80 percent of Lloyd’s managing general agents [the managers of Lloyd’s underwriting syndicates] have signed up,” Langley said. She also indicated that Lloyd’s expects all of the MGA’s to eventually use the system to communicate.

After using the exchange, Ben Snape, eCommerce Program Manager at Aspen Re, noted: “This is an important step forward. The Lloyd’s Exchange makes it easier for brokers and carriers to connect to each other and provides a solid basis on which to expand relationships between business partners over the coming months.”

John Bissell, Director and Head of Operations at Miller, added: “Supporting the placing process with technology requires two key ingredients, firstly being able to exchange messages and secondly being willing to have a go. Both are vital to success and we are delighted to have been able to achieve both through the Exchange.”

Several more underwriters and brokers are expected to send messages shortly, with the second pilot phase already underway.

Bringing electronic elements into Lloyd’s has been a long and sometimes frustrating process. It requires balancing the needs of brokers and underwriters to protect confidential information and to continue face to face discussions, with the real need to reduce paperwork and speed up the flow of information necessary to assess risks and placements.

Change does not come easily for an institution that has existed for more than 300 years. Langley’s mandate to direct the process – as well as North America – is not an easy task. She is, however, optimistic that eventually, as this latest experience shows, the results will entice increasing numbers of brokers and underwriters to use electronic communications. Although she is far too diplomatic to use the phrase “herding cats,” that’s not a bad description of the changeover process at Lloyd’s.

Source Lloyd’s: www.lloyds.com

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