Aviation market veteran Bill Halligan has landed top spot in this year’s Gracechurch Leading London Underwriters ranking for the sector, The Insurer can reveal.

Aviation winners

Halligan, who was appointed underwriting specialist for aviation at Liberty Specialty Markets last January after stepping down as head of aviation, has been voted the leading London underwriter for the aviation and space markets by his broking and underwriting peers. 

Halligan’s success meant Liberty ranked top for ‘bench strength’ in the aviation and space markets, a reflection of the number of votes accumulated across its underwriters.

Last year’s highest ranked aviation and space underwriter, Global Aerospace’s Christopher Jones, has placed eighth in the latest poll.

The Gracechurch London’s Leading Underwriters Ranking – Aviation and Space

Atrium space underwriter David Wade was runner up in this year’s ranking, having previously been voted in the top five in 2013, 2016 and 2019.

Respondents described Wade as “one of the most accomplished and respected insurers in the market”.

“His opinion counts for a lot when placing insurance policies, with many other insurers asking whether Atrium underwrite the risk,” one respondent said.

Atrium’s Alex Cullen, Chubb’s Nigel Griffiths and AIG’s Murray Walker round out the top five, with Matthew Thomas (Lancashire), Robert Kemp (Ark) Daniel Fulco (Liberty) and Paul Maguire (Convex) also placing in the top 10.

Mike Gosselin, chief underwriting officer for specialty at Liberty Specialty Markets, said the carrier’s aviation team had been recognised for its “strength, experience and knowledge”, with the recognition a “testament to their hard work and dedication”. 

“It’s great to see their efforts are appreciated by the brokers and London market community,” he said.

Halligan also placed seventh in the overall award for this year’s Leading London Underwriter, as revealed by this publication earlier this week.

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

The London’s Leading Underwriters rankings are calculated through two surveys conducted by Gracechurch – 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.