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Viewpoint: The London market has a unique opportunity to deliver reform

By Ashley Prebble, Clifford Chance

There are good reasons to believe Lloyd's new reform programme will deliver where previous efforts have failed

The London market has to deliver on its plans for process transformation and the opportunity to do so has never been greater.

Last week’s Insurance Day London Market Outlook Leaders’ Panel, sponsored by Clifford Chance, discussed a wide range of issues; however, it was clear the need for the London market to drive change to enhance efficiencies and reduce the costs of doing business is the priority.

The publication of the two Blueprints for the Future of Lloyd’s has created a foundation for London to modernise its operations. However, for the strategy to be delivered it will require the support and commitment of those from every area of the market.

Efforts to change the way London operates are not new. Lloyd’s and the London market has a track record. It has always been good at talking about what needs to be done but has been less successful around the delivery of those plans.

But there are now different dynamics within the market, which point to the ability to finally succeed.

Lloyd’s Blueprint II delivers clear and granular detail on what it wants to achieve in the next two years. There is also a recognition that Lloyd’s cannot deliver on its plans in isolation and the company market needs to be part of the process.

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a terrible toll across the world but the move to remote operation has seen the pandemic act as a catalyst and accelerator for the change the London market has long been seeking. It has delivered confidence the market can better use technology to change the way the market has transacted business for more than 300 years. It is the combination of this catalyst and the drive and desire of Lloyd’s executive team and the market that will deliver real change. 

In recent months I have been part of the Clifford Chance team that has supported the formation of Inigo, a significant new syndicate at Lloyd’s. What the process has clearly demonstrated is the supportive attitude across the market to driving change.

From the executive team and throughout the Lloyd’s staffing structure there is a clear will to support the planned changes. Those initiatives are ambitious but the efficiencies and cost savings are potentially significant.

There was a unanimous view across those on the panel that the London market will never be the same as the one that existed before the Covid restrictions. Lloyd’s has created its vision for a market that will leverage technology and the ability for brokers and underwriters to use their time more effectively will no doubt see a reduction in the numbers of brokers queuing to access the boxes in the Lloyd’s Underwriting Room.

The market has a history of creating opportunity from adversity. The opportunity now to create a modern market that is fit for the future will rest on the willingness of all market participants to commit to the process.

 

Ashley Prebble is a partner in the financial institutions group at Clifford Chance

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