London Time – Perspectives From a First Time Visitor to the City & “Square Mile”

 

Traveling on the inaugural CHART Goes to London trip (CGL) was an exhilarating experience in many ways. I will touch on three of them in this column: 1) The unique cast of characters who participated in the event; 2) an orientation to the operations of Lloyd’s of London; and 3) the on-site experience of the unique setting and business pace experienced at the worldrenowned insurance hub of the London Market.

May 9-10, 2016, sixty-two US based agent and vendor partners travelled to London and convened at the Doubletree in the Tower district to experience an eventpacked agenda focused on the primary purpose of CHART – to drive new business growth in the US/London marketplace.

Excitement is the common theme which rises to the surface early in any new venture/partnership/ alliance, and the CHART goes to London trip was no exception. Led and moderated by CHART “first adopter” Glenn Clark and the CHART team, in conjunction with the sponsors, ANV, Brit, C.J. Coleman, DTW1991, Iris Insurance Brokers, JLT Re, Novae and Wilson Elser, the agenda came alive and proved to be educational, enlightening and fun, but most importantly, there was a non-stop atmosphere centered around discussion and opportunity for new business opportunities. The picture should begin to unfold if you imagine a small-interactive group represented by Lloyd’s Syndicates, Lloyd’s Brokers, US based MGA’s and Agencies, and strategic Vendor Partners mixing it up, and sharing exciting business ideas in a combination of structured sessions, informal groups, and individual venues for two full days of action.

One of the highlights of the program was a guided tour of Lloyd’s of London’s home office, located just a few blocks walking distance from our hotel. Edwin Lloyd, starting with his popular coffee house in 1688 on Tower Street, provided the impetus to migrate this gathering spot of ship captains to a group of underwriters who in 1787, established the Society of Lloyd’s, which today has become one of the most recognized insurance brands in the world and the world’s specialist insurance market.

“Led and moderated by CHART “first adopter” Glenn Clark and the CHART team, in conjunction with the sponsors, ANV, Brit, C.J. Coleman, DTW1991, Iris Insurance Brokers, JLT Re, Novae and Wilson Elser, the agenda came alive and proved to be educational, enlightening and fun, but most importantly, there was a non-stop atmosphere centered around discussion and opportunity for new business opportunities.”

The tour provided an inside view of the operations, including several of the icons; The Adam room, Lutine Bell, Loss Book. The history of each of them was described in color by the cheery Lloyd’s guide. A replica of the “slip” that insured the Titanic was displayed along with the signatures of the 50+ underwriters who made up the $1 million policy. Today, one can see similar negotiations taking place between brokers and underwriters in the famed “boxes” located on several floors in the architecturally renowned Lloyd’s building. Anyone who has made insurance a career should consider taking this tour; much like a lifetime baseball fan would enjoy a tour and an opportunity to experience Cooperstown.

London Market business is comprised of commercial and wholesale specialty risks written through brokers or direct through several different entities that are backed by capital and regulated by certain governing bodies. A large part of the business is transacted in the City of London, which is technically a city and county within London.

The City is a major business and financial center, and the insurance industry is focused around the eastern side of The City, which is home to Lloyd’s and many of its participating brokers and syndicates. London’s equivalent to Wall Street, colloquially known as the “Square Mile”, is where you will find representatives from approximately 92 Syndicates, 60+ Brokers and insurance specialists from all points of the globe.

Buildings and offices are located in close proximity, so many meetings are traveled to by foot. Streets with names like Fenchurch, Lime, and Lombard Streets, to name a few, is where international insurance professionals are continuously negotiating business. The pace is fast and fluid as the players work and negotiate through submissions, capacity considerations, and syndicate forecasts. Whether deals are consummated or not, most conversations end with a mutual “cheers” knowing the next conversation is right around the corner.

The CHART model is setup to benefit London Risk Takers, Brokers, and US-based Coverholders, while facilitating expansion within the US/London marketplace. This is primarily accomplished through the finding of new opportunities that fit the model, not competing against existing channels.

The first CHART goes to London trip certainly provided the setting, forum, and agenda where interested parties from all groups could gather and discuss new business opportunities. While relationships and effective business meetings can take place and be productive domestically or in London, I highly recommend newcomers to the London Market try to make time for a trip across the pond to experience The City, business environment, and culture first hand.

About NetRate:

NetRate Systems, Inc. solutions include cloud-based portal, high performance submission, underwriting, rating, easy quote and policy document generation, data analytics and integration with 3rd parties for the Property and Casualty insurance marketplace, primarily in the MGA, Program Administrator, Coverholder and small/medium carrier environment. NetRate products include nationwide rating of ISO® General Liability, Property, Business Auto, Crime, Inland Marine, BOP, as well as NCCI Workers Comp. NetRate also offers custom programming of all lines of business, including Professional Liability. For more information, go to: www.netrate.com.

About the Author:

Mark Stroop, Sales Executive at NetRate has helped MGA’s, Carriers and Agencies with technology solutions that streamline the process of generating new and renewal business for 20+ years.

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