“A lot of people talk about Lloyd’s writing less business in 2019 versus 2018, but it’s actually quite a small reduction of 5 percent,” Neal said.
“In reality and the way I look at it, we’re actually committing to write around £7.5bn of new business,” he continued.
He said that includes everything right across the range of corporate and specialty business – including niche, high growth markets such as $500mn of new cyber premiums.
He also outlined more details about the “prospectus” Lloyd’s will publish next month that outlines a vision on “what the market could look like in the future”. The paper will then lead a debate about how this can be delivered with the market’s stakeholders.
With success often being twinned with timing, Neal will likely be heartened by the commentary that accompanied a number of CEOs comments on fourth quarter investor calls and financial statements over Lloyd’s and the London market driving rate increases.
Andrew Horton, the CEO of Lloyd’s insurer Beazley, commented last week: “After several years of competition that drove the combined ratios of many syndicates well into triple digits, we saw a number of syndicates withdrawing from marine hull, cargo and aviation business. Hull, cargo and aviation rates have recently increased materially”.
While Axis CEO Albert Benchimol said: “This is probably the best market at Lloyd’s in a number of years and I there are opportunities for growth. And where there are those opportunities, we will take advantage of them. But profitability is our number one priority”.
Echoing this theme, WR Berkley CEO Rob Berkley noted: “The UK is some number of paces ahead of the US market and that’s probably a reflection of the London market having drifted farther off course than many other markets around the world and, as a result of that, the pendulum is swinging pretty severely back in the opposite direction”.
Watch The Insurer’s interview with Neal in full for more details of the Lloyd’s prospectus to be published next month…