Mutual chief executive blames lack of co-operation with Lloyd’s operation but pledges new collaboration

The chief executive of Liberty Mutual, Sean Rocks, said the company’s brand is being diminished by a lack of co-operation between its subsidiaries and suggested they could operate as MGAs for one another.

London-based LMIE and Lloyd’s managing agent Liberty Syndicates, both subsidiaries of US giant Liberty Mutual, have been operating as separate entities with little business shared between the two, said Rocks.

But he added there was now renewed interest in improving the working relationship between LMIE and Liberty Syndicates.

Rocks said: “There’s more willingness for us to collaborate with the syndicates now [new Liberty Syndicates chief executive] Nick Metcalf is there. There wasn’t the same feeling before. The Liberty brand is diminished by operating separately. We each have expertise and could effectively operate as an MGA for one another. We would be able to access more business.”

In March 2006, LMIE set out a five-year plan to strengthen its regional professional liability book. Earlier this month, the company purchased Vision, the professional indemnity specialist, as part of the plan.

LMIE also opened a Spanish office in the past year, and expanded its presence in Dubai —a market that Rocks said had enormous growth potential.

He added that LMIE would continue to expand in the UK and Europe this year, but refused to reveal details. “We have a cautious growth plan and will wait until market conditions are right. It is not our philosophy just to go out and take market share.”

LMIE wrote gross premiums of $492m (£248m) in 2006. Liberty Syndicates has a capacity of £830m for 2008.