Speaking to The Insurer TV in our Close Quarter series, the executive said there are several factors behind the expansion of the segment that make it more than just a cyclical phenomenon.

“Over the last several years there’s been the need for specialisation. Carriers are evaluating their own distribution channels and further clarifying between retail and wholesale,” he observed.

In many instances this has led them to target growth in the E&S market, but they have been faced with a shortage of talent.

“We have the benefit of 375 underwriters on staff, 90-plus lines of business and high employee retention,” said Wuller.

That means the MGA model at firms like Ryan Specialty can quickly absorb those shortfalls and offer incremental services to carrier partners, allowing them to access growth opportunities by effectively outsourcing their underwriting.

Wuller also highlighted the turnaround time and speed to market that MGAs and MGUs can offer carriers, and their ability to execute.

“The days of studying a market cycle for quarters, coming up with a solution for quarters and delivering a solution for quarters have also ended. Carriers are looking to MGUs for their ability to swiftly provide them access to new products and capabilities,” he explained.

A third key driver of the shift is the substantial investment in and maturity of the MGA space, and the evolution from being viewed solely as alternative forms of distribution as recently as two decades ago, to the underwriting-focused entities that typically now operate in the market.

“MGUs – particularly ourselves – have made substantial investment in talent and technology. Every one of our MGUs is led by a career underwriter with decades of experience in a carrier or an MGU and they’re surrounded by compliance, regulatory, legal, technology and actuarial.

“There’s been a renaissance in the expertise and sophistication of the MGU that’s here to stay and will continue to attract carrier business,” said the executive.