Too good to miss

Sean Sperring, director of facultative reinsurance at BMS Re, talks about why this is an exciting time to rejoin the firm.

What are the challenges and opportunities within facultative reinsurance now?

If you were to ask clients, they would highlight price as a challenge – as they usually do – while brokers would flag that there is limited new capacity coming into the market. Our industry has been through years of soft market conditions and a lot of people who are new to the sector are not aware of what preceded that. It is certainly the most competitive market I have seen in my career.

Since 2017 we have seen steady increases on the direct and facultative side, and it's been needed. The reason there is no new capacity coming in is because people are still paying for the losses they picked up in that time. The challenge for us is getting clients to appreciate the current environment we are in. It’s simply supply and demand. There is limited supply out there now but high demand because people still need insurance.

As for opportunities, there is a lot of growth in this space. I recently moved to the Singapore market after being in Australia for most of my career. I like a challenge and I see it as an opportunity.

What are your predictions for upcoming renewals, and what are the main factors at play?

If you are looking at renewals from a treaty perspective, I can’t see there being much of a change from the past couple of years. The treaty market was slower to respond than others, particularly the facultative reinsurance space. Now there is less supply, the treaty guys have taken advantage and pushed for increases and gone after all the account losses around the world. They want to see their clients retain more of that risk but that will not happen overnight.

BMS Re is growing rapidly, tell us what’s driving this and particularly within your region?

Fundamentally, BMS Re has listened to its clients. I personally don’t think it’s great having two giant brokers dominate the market, so BMS Re being able to offer a good alternative as an independent certainly attracted me to the job. Whenever you talk to clients, they are always talking about the need for something a bit different. BMS Re has listened to that – it has looked at the reinsurance broking side of things and identified the opportunity to build a great team.

You’ve just rejoined BMS Re, what attracted you back?

My first broking job was for BMS Re when I was based in London. There was an opportunity to move to Australia and they were very supportive of that, given I had a young family at the time. I left in 2006 for other opportunities, but when I returned, I had seen the group grow and flourish. It is a very exciting place right now and it’s great to work with this team, some of whom I already knew. I’m really excited about the opportunity that lies ahead.