Top managing agents trial electronic trading system with Aon and Benfield

Testing has begun on Lloyd's first peer-to-peer data messaging system, which would allow brokers and underwriters to exchange risk data.

Members of the so-called G6 group of managing agents will individually trial the system over the next three months with brokers Benfield and Aon.

G6 is made up of representatives from Amlin, Hiscox, Beazley, Wellington, Catlin and Kiln.

Sue Langley, chief operating officer at Hiscox and chairman of G6, said: "We are on track, by the end of March, to agree the data standards for phase one, which is a simple placement message that pre-dates the broker's visit to the box."

The message, containing 20 pieces of standard data and any additional documentation, is created automatically from the broker's own system.

Langley said: "The key for us is that it doesn't impose a technological solution on anyone. It is just about data standards."

Testing of the peer-to-peer system, which allows managing agents and brokers to exchange trading data on a one-to-one basis, is expected to last until the end of June before phase two - looking at the requirement of settlement and money - begins.

Langley said: "The payment process at the moment is cumbersome and convoluted, so we will be looking at ways of simplifying it and speeding it up."

Aon, which already has its own technology package Aon Broking Connections, declined to comment on the G6 testing, but said: "We will work with whoever is prepared to deal electronically on a peer-to-peer basis, and we will open up our technology to anyone who wants to deal with us in that way."

Dennis Mahoney, chairman and chief executive of Aon UK, believes that the future lies in peer-to-peer connectivity and 'straight-through' electronic processing.

He told delegates at a recent FSA conference that the challenges now facing the London market are to eliminate the need for rekeying of information; streamlining workflows and reducing frictional costs; and achieving contract certainty by the end of 2006.