’It is the key thing the next generation of market leaders want to see,’ says Liiba

Getting underwriters and brokers back into Lloyd’s Underwriting Room forms part of the London and International Insurance Brokers’ Association’s (Liiba) 2024 agenda.

Published today (12 January 2024), the body’s Developing the streamlined marketplace document highlighted that “the market needs to play catch-up” and tapping into the insights of young and talented brokers will be crucial for shaping the industry’s future.

To help with this, Liiba said it would have discussions with Lloyd’s and London Market Association (LMA) about how the underwriting room at Lloyd’s can be “restored as an effective trading environment where discussions are taken”.

“This is vital to its continuing as the focal point of our relationship-based marketplace,” Liiba added.

“It is the key thing the next generation of market leaders want to see.”

Lloyd’s closed its underwriting room during the summer of 2023 for refurbishment works, with it having reopened in September that year.

It came after Liiba published its Our face-to-face future report in June 2023, which found that underwriters had reduced their time at the box to only Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings.

In turn, the #BackToEC3 campaign was launched to encourage a return to face-to-face trading and will remain a central focus in Liiba’s 2024 programme.

Lloyd’s chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown has promised that changes to the underwriting room will not see ”humans giving way to robots”.

Politics and AI

Meanwhile, laying the groundwork for a potential change of UK government is also a high priority for Liiba in 2024.

It wants to ensure than an incoming government would be “alive to the importance” of London’s commercial insurance market to the UK economy.

To help achieve this, Liiba’s chief executive Christopher Croft said that there was a “need to cement the gains provided” by the Financial Services and Markets Act.

This introduces new secondary objectives for the FCA and PRA to facilitate the growth and international competitiveness of the UK economy.

“Our goal is to ensure that whoever’s running the UK later this year understands that our industry is a key player in addressing economic and societal challenges as well as a major contributor to GDP,” Croft said.

Meanwhile, in response to the rapid advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and the growing trend of flexible working, Liiba plans to assemble a focus group comprising young broking professionals.

The aim is to generate a report about the impact of AI on the market’s trading systems.

“Pre-Covid, the future of our trading environment felt a little abstract and reassuringly distant,” Croft said.

”Today, with rapid advances in AI and the move to flexible working, the future seems to have happened while we were all otherwise engaged.

”If anything, the market needs to play catch-up.

“By pulling together young, talented brokers from our members, we can tap into the very latest thinking and attitudes – thinking that will be the dominant paradigm in a few short years – to ensure that we shape our future rather than it shapes us.”