Despite London market brokers' apparent apathy to electronic reform, it will happen

The results of the Ernst & Young London market survey will not make good reading for senior management at broking houses.

The consensus between chief operating officers is that, whilst management tells the market about its great intentions to reform, staff on the ground aren’t so keen.

And in private, it doesn’t seem that management are as keen to reform as they claim. So why the ‘reform apathy’?

One reason could be procedural difficulties. Because of the complex nature of many aspects of the London market – the subscription-based system at Lloyd’s stands out here – it is harder to turn rhetoric into reality and actually implement electronic systems.

Intentions may be good, but in practice, implementation is difficult. Thus, the staff tasked with making the hardware and software changes at ground level may simply be struggling.

What is harder to explain is the difference between the public and private attitudes of brokers’ senior management – which suggests that the apparent good will in pushing ahead with reform is more of a PR exercise than a reality.

This is not a good sign - especially when everybody knows that change is imminent and necessary.