’There is a lot of friction and pressure [within] the current trading environment with clients,’ says chief executive

Brokers have more work to do in placing the “right risk with the right capacity provider” amid insurers being ”choosier or pickier” about the risks they underwrite.

That was according to Mike Edgeley, chief executive of Clear Group, who described the current market as a “complex environment”, which was, in turn, putting pressure on trading conditions.

The winner of the Insurance Times Broker CEO of the Year award made the comments during an Insurance Times’ webinar entitled Top 50 Brokers: What makes a successful broker?hosted on 13 December 2023.

Edgeley noted that insurers were trying to ”grapple and deal with their models moving forwards” following the impact of Covid.

“In the last 15 months, the insurance cycle is at a point where insurers have come out of Covid,” he said.

“They have put a lot of rate through in order to shore up bank balance sheets as a result of some of the impact of Covid and more prevalent events, such as weather events.”

He explained that in a drive to make themselves more efficient to help with their models, insurers were increasingly looking at technology and efficiency measures.

”That technology approach often leads to insurers wanting to deal with clients in quite a segmented way – if they are a certain size or type of client, deal with them via an insurer portal for instance,” Edgeley said.

”Many brokers are, however, still dealing with clients in a very relationship led approach and those two styles of interaction can be at odds at times.”

And he felt that insurers were “being choosier or pickier about the type of risk they want to underwrite”.

He explained that insurers were at the part of the cycle whereby some were ”being far more selective about certain types of risks, which is again placing more onus on the broker to find a market for a particular risk”.

“It is more work for a broker to place the right risk with the right capacity provider,” Edgeley added.

“It is becoming a [much more] complex environment – there is a lot of friction and pressure [within] the current trading environment with clients.”


During the webinar, Edgeley was joined by Seventeen Group chief executive officer Paul Anscombe and MarshBerry UK managing director Olly Laughton-Scott. The session was chaired by Insurance Times’ acting editor Yiannis Kotoulas.

Speaking about the current trading envrionment, Edgeley said that it was more “complex and turbulent”, meaning that brokers were having to spend more time understanding clients’ risks and exposure. 

He added: “Clients have a level of risk and exposure which they insure against, which allows them to take risk operationally.

“That risk and exposure have changed because of the trading environments they’re in and it takes [brokers], because of that, probably a longer amount of time with each client to really understand where they are and what their exposures are.

“But by doing so, we help them mitigate risk, which then allows them to continue trading with confidence.

”At the same time, it allows clients to make decisions and understand their own risk appetite, which is an integral component of managing a business.”