ArgoGlobal focuses on syndicate
The industry is facing a number of
key challenges over the next few
years—but ArgoGlobal is well-placed
to handle them, Matt Harris, group head of
international operations at the company, told
Monte Carlo Today.
“We are focused on the performance of
Syndicate 1200, our Lloyd’s platform,” Harris
“We’ve taken a number of very positive
actions over the past 18 months to improve
that business and to drive an improvement in
margins out of that platform.”
In terms of themes at the Rendez-Vous, he said
it is no surprise that rates and digitisation are
topping the list, as well as new market entrants.
“That is going to be one of the fascinating
things to watch over the next 12 months.
We’ll see some of these well-established
industry names forming new distribution in
a market that is already quite crowded with
distribution alternatives,” he said.
Harris thinks it will be interesting to see
how these players differentiate themselves
and whether they use digitisation to lower
However, he said, the greatest challenge
in the industry, outside of cyber, is keeping
multiple steps ahead when it comes to
understanding risk, so that they can help
In the cyber space, he said, the challenge
is around understanding the kind of
exposures businesses have. Most carriers
now have established business verticals with
“ArgoGlobal is no different, with some
very strong underwriters now beginning a
cyber push,” he said.
“It’s going to be a key growth area for the
industry through the next two to three years,
and it will be interesting to see what kind of
events emerge,” Harris concluded.
“One thing we know for sure is that there
are going to be cyber incidents. I expect the
industry will learn more about the ultimate
cyber exposure from one incident to the
Distributed ledger technology will drive down costs: B3i
B3i wants to build a generic system
for the insurance industry, and let
insurers and brokers build their own
proprietary systems that plug into it.
John Carolin, chief executive officer at
B3i Services, believes distributed ledger
technology (DLT) can radically transform the
insurance industry, although he warned that
the benefits would come incrementally, not as
a sudden revolution.
B3i is a technology company that is using
DLT to build products for the insurance
industry. It is launching its property
catastrophe excess of loss reinsurance (CAT
XOL) product on R3’s Corda Enterprise, which
will be ready for use by the year-end renewals
season. It is designed to use DLT to improve
the execution of the risk transfer process.
Insurance is not an efficient industry, with
around 15 percent of revenue eaten up by
administration costs, Carolin said.
“Can you imagine a bank telling customers
that 15 percent of their money was going to
be used as an administration cost for doing
business?” he asked.
“The insurance industry has got away with
being inefficient for a long time,” he said.
“Insurers have coped with having
combined ratios of 100 percent by making
returns on their investment portfolios, but
that is getting harder. That is driving them to
look at how they can reduce costs.”
B3i wants to help them achieve that. DLT
should allow the industry to codify and agree
on business processes that are self-executing
and decentralised, potentially delivering huge
efficiency gains in policy administration.
“CAT XOL is a placement solution, but
we don’t want to compete with brokers in the
placement space—that is their business and it
is where they specialise,” said Carolin.
“We want to master the contract data at
the point at which it is agreed, on a common
platform for the whole industry,” he added.
“We want to build a user interface that the
whole industry can plug into with their own
systems. We want to build what is generic in
the insurance industry, so that every insurer
and broker can plug into it with their own
unique user interface systems.”
Carolin believes DLT can be analogous to
security certificates in e-commerce.
“It would be impossible to buy things on
the internet without security certificates. B3i
and DLT can bring that same level of comfort
to administration in the insurance industry,”
he concluded. l
Monte Carlo Today Day 4 Wednesday September 11 2019
One thing we
know for sure is that there
are going to be cyber