Tough times call for top talent

As insurers and reinsurers face a challenging market, Howden RE’s Bradley Maltese explains why it is more vital than ever that intermediaries provide specialist talent and the highest levels of service…

Top talent

The “wind” season is always a pivotal moment for the reinsurance industry, but with climate less predictable than ever and reinsurance facing a capacity squeeze, January renewals will be even more important. A quiet wind season might ease the pressures, but capacity will still be tight and we can expect a tough 2023.

But a tougher market and strong pricing levels are also good conditions to entice new capital into the market and, while challenging, the year ahead also represents an opportunity. Weathering whatever the next few months hold in terms of activity and being able to grasp the opportunities of the year ahead will require a first-class performance from industry professionals, and intermediaries in particular.

Delivering for clients will require a combination of youth and innovation with the experience and depth of knowledge that comes from our senior colleagues. Clients also need, and deserve, a quality service that goes beyond just clocking up the deals.

Building specialist teams

Howden has made it a priority to ensure we have the best possible teams in place – teams that blend youth and innovation with seniority and experience. Our treaty business, one of our key areas of expansion, has been built with talent as the top priority.

Meanwhile, the Howden-TigerRisk deal will create on completion a business of 450 insurance professionals with global specialist expertise, filling a gap in the market. Both Howden and TigerRisk have complementary strengths, and together we will be leaders in the treaty, fac, capital markets, MGA and analytics space, representing a powerful force in the market.

We have hired nearly 100 new people over the past year in reinsurance alone; many of those are on the facultative side, as well as on the program side of the business in the US and UK. And we now have a team of 50 in London set up for the treaty business.

The global political and economic environment will require expertise in political risk and trade credit risk, which the Howden-TigerRisk combination also delivers.

The specialist capabilities we now offer are: property D&F/retro, marine and energy, casualty, aviation and space and capital solutions. This is no small achievement in an environment in which experienced specialists are in high demand. Outside of the global specialties we are focusing on expanding internationally, and attracting the top talent in the industry is a top priority.

Clients expect a full service

Investment in talent is essential in a market where clients are expecting a fully joined-up service and where they need intermediary expertise more than ever. We feel we can really make a difference with service levels from “cradle to grave” that clients want and deserve. Yes – our job is to get the deal done, but paying premiums correctly and on time, with swift time-monitored claims recoveries is also important.

As we all adapt to the new climate – in both the weather and the economy – we believe having specialist capabilities and the best talent available will be the decisive factor in delivering success.

Bradley Maltese is CEO at Howden RE