17 October 2013News

Lloyds continues to be an attractive option

Four new syndicates were approved to write business at Lloyd’s in 2013, with two existing syndicates looking to increase capacity and a further three new entrants agreed in principle for 2014.

The strengths of the Lloyd’s market continue to attract new entrants, with AXIS, Acapella (a subsidiary of Ironshore) and Dale all set to join the market in 2014. They will join four syndicates that began writing business this year, backed by Barbican, Canopius and Tower, Nephila and R&Q.

According to Aon Benfield’s latest report on the Lloyd’s market, gross written premiums grew to £15.5 billion, a rise of 5 percent on the previous year. Growth was stimulated by organic growth, risk-adjusted rate increases and positive foreign exchange movement, the report found.

The market was also able to achieve its best ever first half-year underwriting results in 2013, with an average market combined ratio of 86.9 percent.

Profitability was however down 10 percent or £1.38 billion for the first half of 2013, thanks largely to the troubled investment environment. Investment yield fell from 1.2 percent points to 0.5 percent during the first half of the year. Lloyd’s is not however alone in facing such headwinds.

Confidence in the market was nevertheless evident among the rating agencies, with AM Best, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s all revising Lloyd’s outlook to positive this year.

Mike Van Slooten, international head of market analysis at Aon Benfield Analytics said that recent success would “likely to be rewarded with rating upgrades over the next 12 months, which in turn will potentially widen the market’s access to business.”