Paul Lavenhar Interviews Duncan Dale

Paul Lavenhar of PL Communications, a CHART Vendor Partner, had the opportunity to speak with Duncan Dale, Chief Executive of Dale Underwriting Partners after the 2nd Annual CHART Summit in October.

“CHART was refreshing because we are having lots of conversations with people that have an interest in finding ways to trade with the Lloyd’s market and learn more about it. It has been quite dynamic.”

Can you give us an overview of your company?

Duncan Dale: We are a Lloyd’s syndicate and started business in 2014. I've been in the market for 34 years prior to setting up the syndicate and worked for one of the largest syndicates in Lloyd’s, which was a great experience with a good underwriting culture, very bottom line focused, and a great team of people. But, I wanted to do my own thing. So, I left in September 2012 on good terms, and I started talking to Lloyd’s in March of 2013 about forming a new syndicate. There has been a lot of talk here at CHART about people going through the challenges of going through the cover holder approval process. The new syndicate application process is also challenging, but we were approved in principle at the September 2013 Franchise Board meeting. Our experience applying to be a syndicate was very good. We had very good endorsement from Lloyd’s at a senior level. Part of the reason we think there was a good endorsement was that we have a spread of capital behind the syndicate. Our plan was to create something with a spread of capital behind it, and be something that is Lloyds centric – with a Lloyd’s broker distribution channel. We've had great support from Lloyd’s, from the broker community and from clients. For this year we will write about $150 million of direct written premium. We focus our business into three areas. We’ve got a property reinsurance team, a property insurance team and a casualty team. Just under half of what we write is through some form of delegation of authority. So the coverholder model is important to our business - critical to our business.

PAUL: What made you decide to be a part of CHART?

Duncan Dale: The first year we were nervous being a new business that is fully committed to the Lloyd’s broker distribution channel. All of our business comes through the Lloyds broker distribution channel. We were nervous that there was a limitation on the brokers being here, and that there was a possibility that some of the clients that we would see here are already clients of other brokers who are not represented here. We didn’t want any perception as a new business that we were in any way undermining some of the relationships that already exist. We became comfortable that that wasn’t going to be the case, and we are very prepared to work hard to develop new business for the market.

PAUL: What are you hoping to accomplish while you are here?

Duncan Dale: We started out to look at this as a forum that is quite refreshing. We go to a lot of conferences, and a lot of those we go to are geared towards education or networking for the clients.

Whereas CHART was refreshing because we are having lots of conversations with people that have an interest in finding ways to trade with the Lloyd’s market and learn more about it. It has been quite dynamic. I think having been here for the best part of two days, there were things that obviously can be improved, but overall we've had a good experience of it. Meeting a good number of new people is the focus of the conference and that has been very good.

Dale Underwriting Partners Duncan Dale Camomile Court, 23 Camomile Street, London EC3A 7LL (203) 307-1423

Duncan Dale is a highly experienced underwriter in the London/ Lloyd’s market. He started his career in 1982 and entered Lloyd’s in 1989. Following a long career at the Amlin Syndicate, where his last position was the Managing Director of Amlin London, he left in order to establish his own Syndicate. The new Syndicate, known as Dale Underwriting Partners commenced underwriting for the 2014 year of account. Duncan is an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute, the past Chairman of the Lloyd’s Market Association’s Casualty Reinsurance Business Panel and its Non-Marine Committee and is a current member of the Board of Directors of NRRA.

Download This Article