London’s leading underwriter rankings revealed in new survey

MAP’s Richard Trubshaw has retained his position at the top of an annual ranking of London underwriters voted for by his peers in the underwriting and broking community, The Insurer can reveal.

Winners trophy
  • Annual Gracechurch survey sees Richard Trubshaw retain top spot
  • Munich Re’s James Grainger rises to second in ranking and tops energy poll
  • Marine and energy representatives dominate top 10
  • Beazley replaces Axa XL at top of ‘bench strength’ ranking

Trubshaw has topped the overall London Leading Underwriter ranking poll, conducted by London research consultancy Gracechurch, every year since it began six years ago.

Respondents cited qualities such as Trubshaw’s consistency of approach and ability to “build confidence” alongside the “efficient judgments” he makes on risks without over-reliance on vendor models.

Richard Trubshaw (MAP) was ranked as London’s leading underwriter for the sixth year in a row

Trubshaw held off the challenge from Munich Re’s James Grainger, who moved up to second in the latest rankings and topped the poll among energy underwriters.

Grainger serves as head of energy and aerospace at Munich Re’s Lloyd’s operations, and rises from fifth position in last year’s ranking. 

The Gracechurch London’s Leading Underwriters Ranking – Overall

Ben Bolton, founder and managing director at Gracechurch Consulting, said Grainger’s rise to become the leading Munich Re underwriter in the poll, taking the mantle previously held by marine market veteran Dominick Hoare, has highlighted the impact of good succession planning at the carrier.

This year’s top 10 features several new entries with the ranking dominated by marine and energy underwriters. 

David Kirk (Chubb), Tim Garrett (Beazley) and Richard Golder (who left Hiscox to join Tokio Marine HCC late last year) are the marine market representatives among the 10 highest ranked underwriters, alongside fine art and specie underwriter Gary Tredgett, most recently with Ascot.

The Gracechurch London’s Leading Underwriters Ranking – Marine

Steve Hawkins (Convex) and Louis Scott (Travelers) joined Grainger among the energy underwriters making the top 10. 

Jerome Swinscoe, a war and geopolitical risk underwriter at Tokio Marine HCC, and Liberty Specialty Markets aviation and space underwriter Bill Halligan also featured in the top 10 ranking.

“In many places the protegés who we first noticed a few years ago as single mentions are now the new generation of leaders,” Bolton said.

David Kirk

Beazley displaces Axa XL for ‘bench strength’

The survey’s ‘bench strength’ ranking, which collates nominations for each firm, has seen Beazley top the ranking, displacing last year’s leader Axa XL, which has seen significant personnel changes over the past 12 months.

One of the beneficiaries of some of those changes, Convex, has placed in the top five for underwriter ‘bench strength’ in the latest survey, alongside Ascot and Chubb.

The Gracechurch London’s Leading Underwriters Ranking – Energy

Beazley topped the ‘bench strength’ ranking in the marine class where both Garrett and Richard Young were voted among the top 10 London underwriters. 

In energy, Munich Re’s Grainger retained the overall first place position with a notable shift in ‘bench strength’ with Convex displacing Axa XL at top spot – a shift Bolton said reflected the “meteoric rise of the Convex brand in the London market”.

Hawkins, who finished second in the energy rankings behind Grainger, had moved from Axa XL to Convex during 2019.

London’s Leading Underwriters rankings: how the results are calculated

The London’s Leading Underwriters rankings are calculated through two surveys conducted by Gracechurch Consulting – the Gracechurch London Underwriting Monitor, which surveys producing and placing brokers, and the London’s Leading Underwriters Survey, which seeks the view of the underwriting community.

The surveys, which are conducted according to Market Research Society professional guidelines, were conducted between May and December 2020 and generated more than 1,400 nominations covering approximately 750 individual underwriters. Representatives from more than 150 businesses participated in the surveys with underwriters ranked according to the number of mentions within a particular business class, based on the extent to which they are respected for being market leaders.

Nominators are asked to select any underwriter, regardless of seniority. Underwriter names are not prompted so that respondents can freely name any underwriters from any London market insurer, other than their own.

The longlist of underwriters who have been nominated and the lines of business in which they operate is then validated by their employers.

The full survey report is available here.