Since the Lloyd’s of London underwriting floor closed in response to the global pandemic in March, risks placed on the PPL platform have reached record highs, with other electronic platforms also reporting a surge in risks bound.

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It has been reported that some 70% of Q1 business has successfully been placed electronically, “and that’s on a system that’s widely acknowledged not to be particularly user friendly”, according to one of this week’s virtual roundtable participants.

In addition, the 1/4 renewal was successfully executed without much interruption, no physical meetings, no access to offices and no international travel.

So, what does this all mean for the trading floor at Lloyd’s and more significantly the next generation PPL – a central pillar of John Neal’s Future at Lloyd’s Blueprint One – and other electronic placement platforms? A lot, is the short answer.

Focussing on both these aspects in the following pages, this week’s roundtable’s participants provide their honest opinions about the future of the Lloyd’s trading floor post lockdown. No one can deny the early signs of how well things are continuing to work from a trading perspective. If there’s one thing this world-shattering event has demonstrated it’s that brokers and underwriters don’t always need to meet face-to-face for the industry to function well. PPL is not perfect. The Insurer has historically heard more complaints about the continual need to rekey data than Edward Lloyd’s served coffee.

But Lloyd’s has PPL in place. It works. It provides an electronic binding legal interchange agreement.

Indeed, the PPL grumbles have also noticeably quietened since lock-down. The crisis has forced us all to work with what we have and brokers and underwriters have adapted well.

The market deserves praise – as does Hiscox CEO Bronek Masojada, the man who has done more than anyone in London ahead of this crisis to persuade PPL adoption.

His firm is in the Covid-19 spotlight, but he is owned a debt of gratitude. But what happens immediately after lock down? After all, the trading floor is a virus’ dream habitat.

Close knit contact, continual mobility, handshakes and shared papers. And then long-term? Is it an opportunity for Neal to fast-forward his vision? Does Lloyd’s need a trading floor? Find out the thoughts of our executives in this week’s edition.

Much more is discussed this week: from the resilience of the ILS market to the regulatory actions on both sides of the Atlantic.

I hope you enjoy this week’s roundtable – one of the most thoughtprovoking yet… 

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This edition’s participants:

Chris Croft, CEO, LIIBA
Steve Hearn, CEO, BGC Insurance Group
Vegard Nilsen, CEO, Securis Investment Partners LLP
Matthew Wilson, CEO,  Brit Insurance

The latest in our virtual roundtable series will be published every week. Feel free to share widely!