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11th February 2018

Newslink Global Insurance Trends-The Week

This week, it was refreshing to note that in a pivotal speech at a London City dinner by Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) he stressed that "it is possible to have open financial markets(including insurance) based on mutual recognition of regulatory standards"-at last some clarity which may ease the Brexit confusion. Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2018 highlighted major shortcomings in cyber security in 73% of the more than 4,000 organisations researched over five countries, whilst Pool Re published its first quarterly Terrorism Frequency Report. Standard & Poor's reviewed the UK life sector.
Lloyd's is to mandate use of electronic placement on a phased basis over time, and has the backing of the International Underwriting Association(IUA) and the Lloyd's and International Brokers' Association(LIIBA)-there is a need to accelerate take up and Insurance Newslink will monitor ongoing market reaction. Sapiens is to acquire Adaptik in the US as it seeks to build on its solutions following the purchase of earlier purchases in the country. Celent released a new report on the Build versus Buy software debate.
Year and fourth quarter financials announcements began to flow-they included AIG(record catastrophe losses at $4.2bn for 2017-$1.5bn in pre-tax income), Allstate(positive year), Direct Line(2017 trading statement indicates strong 2017), Mapfre(net profit down 9.7% and revenue up 3.3% for 2017), Manulife("achieved strong operating results in 2017" says ceo Gori), and Zurich(ceo Greco says "our focus and discipline delivered strong performance last year"), Aspen(needs to take further action after fourth quarter "well below acceptable levels"), Axis Capital(net loss of $416m for 2017), Beazley(pre-tax profit of $168m for 2017-ceo Horton looking for double digit growth this year), Everest Re(strong fourth quarter), Hannover Re(anticipates net income of around E950m for 2017-January renewal season "passed off successfully"), Markel(record comprehensive income at $1.2bn in 2017), Munich Re(maintained dividend for 2017-profit up in fourth quarter), and Willis Towers Watson(ceo Haley says "I couldn’t be more pleased to see the evolution of our company in two short years”).
Barbican Bermuda was launched, SCOR grew P&C January reinsurance renewal premiums by 3.7%, Swiss Re confirmed it was in discussions with SoftBank over the latter taking a potential minority stake, and Marsh formed a new protected cell company(PCC) in Malta. There were senior appointments at BIBA, Lloyd's Franchise Board, Brokerslink, Willis Towers Watson, and Sequel.
Articles on the above topics are included in those added to the Insurance Newslink and Financial Newslink global trends database services last Wednesday and today at www.onlystrategic.com-featuring advanced structured search, report facilities, and a free 14 day full trial.