‘Relatively simple’ system offers intelligence on rates

Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford is the latest major London market broker to launch a database, similar to Aon’s Global Risk Insight Platform (GRIP) and MarshConnect. The wholesale broking giant will launch its database by the end of June.

Cooper Gay UK chief executive Shaun Hooper said the database, which is yet to be named, would start off “relatively simply”, capturing data such as the rates and premiums being quoted in different markets across the world.

He said: “The long-term aim is to allow us to have a better understanding of what is going on in the global markets, so that when we deal with international clients, we can offer them a level of intelligence of what is going on in the global marketplace with rates and the like.”

Aon and Marsh both charge insurers to access their databases. Aon’s GRIP has divided market opinion. QBE, Chubb and Zurich have all signed up to the agreement, and supporters say it provides high-quality information that can help insurers to hone in on what lines and even professions they should be focusing their attention on. However, detractors have wondered whether Aon is charging a fee to usurp the role of the underwriter.

When asked if Cooper Gay would charge fees for insurers to access the database, Hooper said: “I think it will take a while to get it to a stage where it will add real value to insurers, so that’s not something that I have considered yet.”

Cooper also believes that the trend of brokers using databases to enhance service to clients will grow.

He said: “The reason more and more people are doing it is because they are starting to understand that the broker’s role is core, in being able to offer a wider spectrum of advice.

“With Willis, Aon and Marsh, you’d expect them to be doing it because of the nature, size and scale of the business. I think you’ll see more and more people go down this route. You’ll certainly see it in the retail side.”