Mat Pini says Lloyd’s and London market is coping ‘admirably’ with the impact of Covid19, he also gives view on rates

Head of UK wholesale, Matt Pini, from Direct Insurance London Market is a panellist on our webinar ’Brokers & coronavirus - what will become the new normal? To join our webinar on May 13 at 1:30pm register details here. You can listen in, join the debate by asking our panel questions and take part in polls. 

How has Lloyd’s and the London Market coped in the absence of the face to face trading it is famed for?

The vast majority of markets have responded admirably.

Working in smaller teams than their composite peers has enabled them to swiftly mobilise and engage their whole team with remote working.

Our broking team has replaced face to face meetings at the box in Lloyd’s with video calls to discuss the more complex risks.

All of that said, whilst this has been effective as a temporary solution and there will inevitably be some lessons to take forward, we look forward to resuming the face to face relationship building which makes this market unique, when it is safe to do so of course.

 How has the Wholesale market adapted to meet the demands of retail brokers throughout the lockdown period?

The financial impact of Covid-19 on the economy will sadly have its casualties.

Our retail broking partners have never need busier as they seek to support their clients through what are the most challenging times of a generation.

The role of the wholesale broking community to effectively support and advise throughout this period is critical.

Within our business we have been issuing practical communications to help our retail brokers with issues such as securing temporarily idle sites and the laying up of vehicles.

Providing the highest possible levels of service in dealing with new business and renewals is paramount, allowing this process to run smoothly and helping to free up time for retail brokers to focus on the key issues their clients are facing.

What do you believe the long-term impact will be in terms of a potential return to a hard market?

There is a common belief that the market was certainly hardening prior to the onset of Covid-19. Whilst this hardening is likely to continue, it is too early to say that we will see a return to true hard market trading conditions.

Fluctuations in the financial markets driven by Covid-19 could limit capacity and risk appetite, certainly in the short to medium term but the length and depth of the current lockdown will dictate the longer-term picture.

Will we see Lloyd’s embrace some of the technology utilised during lockdown once restrictions have been lifted?

Whilst Lloyd’s has been criticised in recent years for being slow to embrace advances in technology, the shift to remote working has been quick and comprehensive, demonstrating the agility of the market.

The current crisis may well serve as a catalyst for the market to consider the potential for more permanent change. Whilst I don’t believe this will be a game changer for the market, there will certainly be some learning points.

The loss of productivity as a result of long commutes and the cost of office space in the square mile could be mitigated by a continuation of remote working on a flexible basis for staff where face to face trading is not an every day requirement in their role.

How can businesses maintain high levels of staff engagement and motivation under remote working conditions?

Times of crisis provide business owners and leaders to show their true colours.

Employees will look to the leadership within their respective businesses to provide confidence that jobs are secure and that they will be supported throughout a significant change in working conditions.

I can only speak for our business, where several steps have been taken to achieve this.

Weekly updates from the chief executive, social events including quiz nights and team drinks over video call, video personal training sessions and charity fundraising initiatives have all helped to keep people engaged and motivated.