The tide has been slowly turning in favour of business process reform. With a growing number of electronic solutions emerging, both industry and market led, the momentum is building up.
But last week marked a significant milestone in the market's acceptance of inevitable change.
Representatives from the broking community, company market, the IUA, G6, the LMA, the Corporation of Lloyd's, the intermediary service providers and Acord (essentially anybody who's able to contribute to the debate about electronic placing), were brought together in the same room for the first time.
The market meeting was an opportunity for G6 to talk about what peer-to-peer placing has meant to them in practice, but it also allowed others to talk about other alternatives to the peer-to-peer system.
The intention: get everybody to the same state of knowledge about electronic placing.
One of the main instigators behind this first-time event was incoming LMA chief executive David Gittings.
Gittings says he would like the LMA to do more 'bringing together' type meetings. "It does reflect my view that we are all in this together, we are all trying to achieve the same thing, so we should absolutely share our knowledge and pool our resources to make these things work."
Gittings agrees that G6 has done a good job in highlighting three or four issues and between themselves moved the debate forward on those issues.
"They have acted as a very useful lightning rod in focusing the debate on issues that need to be changed," he adds.
Despite this seemingly significant coming together and G6's efforts, there are still some who view G6 with caution.
One market source says: "There's a danger that G6 might see its role as predominantly that of the LMA, the body that drives and promotes and encourages changes in reform, but doesn't take into account other players."
The solution, some see, is for the LMA to step out of the shadows and take a lead, not only in identifying what the common issues are, but actually suggesting solutions rather than just identifying problems.
"The LMA has a lot to offer and probably has been doing it in certain areas in the past, but it needs to be brought together as a unit, that is its responsibility – acting as the collective voice of the market," the source adds.
Gittings has been identified as the man to not only focus the minds on electronic reform but also to realign the LMA and the market in addressing what it feels are the important issues affecting the industry.
"We cannot keep on moaning about the corporation producing a three-year plan. We need to now set our own and press the Corporation," insists one senior figure.
If last week's inaugural market meeting is, as Gittings hopes, the first of many, then perhaps the tide is not as slow in turning as it once has been. IT