It's all about Biba, says Ian Russell

Ian Russell, underwriting director at APC Underwriting:

It never fails to amaze me just how much work the whole company has to undertake just to get us to the BIBA conference. From the chief executive to the admin team, everyone has been given a multitude of tasks to complete before we journey up North to Manchester from our base in Chadwell Heath, Essex.

Designing and building the stand alone takes weeks of work and too many decisions to list. As a broker focused underwriting business, where else could we meet a good proportion of our business providers in just a few days?

This contact has always been important – especially prior to the formation of our regional business development management team at the end of last year.

While their role is to go out and see brokers, the opportunity to speak to many others from their regions on the stand cannot be missed. In fact we will have a larger contingent than ever in the conference centre this time around.

The BIBA conference has always worked for us. I do have to admit though that I don’t tend to attend many of the sessions as I’m usually discussing new products or opening talks with potential new partners. I would probably be concerned if I had the time to even think about which speakers to listen to.

Fortunately on the flip side there is always some time to relax and where better to have a drink or two with prominent members of the market than at the UK largest broking conference. For some reason our ‘after–party’ on the Thursday evening has proven popular already.

Whether I’m speaking to brokers and fellow underwriters on the stand or in the bar I would expect the topics of conversation to be the same – is the market hardening in the way that it should and why are there still carriers writing business for premiums that are still far too low? I’m looking forward to asking everyone for their opinions as I expect views to vary considerably.

Hopefully my voice and legs will hold out until the Friday afternoon.

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