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2022 will see an expansion of European specialty MGAs to the detriment of the London market

By Elizabeth Grima, Senior Executive Manager of New Dawn Risk Europe

The dust from Brexit is at last beginning to settle, and it is now possible to see how this will impact the European insurance market in the long term.  At first, following the leave vote, predictions were boldly made that little would change as a result of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.  But in fact this has not entirely been the case, as many London-based insurers have had to significantly reconsider their European business models at the point of Brexit, including whether to continue doing business in some countries at all. 

Therefore, jurisdiction and country of domicile has become more and more of a recognised issue for service providers around the world.  As a result, a number of intermediaries, whether managing general agents (MGAs) or intermediary facilities, have set up office in the EU to preserve or to grow their business in Europe. The choice of legal jurisdiction for these offices has varied in reason but generally is linked to a calculation based on proximity, relationship, regulatory constraints, fiscal and speed-to-market incentives.

Though this is a natural development, there is an undertow here that is not positive for London’s reputation as a hub.  Much has been made of the growth of the MGA model over the last couple of years, and it is generally agreed that this is an area of the market where creativity and new ideas flourish with the innovation of pricing and customer service being particularly successful. It is much to the detriment of the London Market if we begin to see MGAs being established in Europe at the expense of London. 

Though the London Market will always be a hub for insurance business, the recent regulatory changes have created a slow but inevitable shift away from the traditional market with more opportunities for innovation taking place in the MGA and delegated authority space.  Watch out for this trend bringing increased critical mass to European markets, to the disappointment of London in 2022 and beyond.

By Max Carter, CEO of New Dawn Risk

If there is one thing that parties on all sides can agree, it is that COVID has stretched and challenged every aspect of our healthcare systems. This is the case not just in the crowded emergency and COVID wards, but also in related fields, such as physiotherapy and rehabilitation, where the requirement for face-to-face interaction has been altered beyond belief by a year of remote treatment. 

GP surgeries now only treat 60% of their patients face to face and are working through never-before seen challenges in administering new vaccines, catching up on routine appointments and persuading the fearful back into treatment.

Meanwhile in hospitals, consultants are struggling with huge disruptions to their operating lists, from the last-minute withdrawals of patients due to COVID, a shortage of back-office staff to make and manage patient records and appointments and the continued physical barriers to treatment from operating through layers of PPE.

As an insurance broker specialising in medical malpractice cover, I look ahead and see something different – a flood of claims coming towards us. The ability of consultants, physios, midwives, nurses and doctors to deliver consistent and excellent care has been challenged in so many ways. Though the intentions and effort have been heroic, the results have inevitably included delayed procedures and deaths from diseases that might not previously have been fatal.

History tells us that angry grieving families litigate, and this is what I expect to see happen in 2022. While the health service struggles to catch up, failures not of its making will catch it up, leading to a crisis in claims, a rise in premiums, and quite possibly some challenging restrictions in medical malpractice cover.

In 2020 and 2021, health service professionals were national heroes.  They remain heroic, but the results of their efforts may bring them real additional challenges in the year ahead.

Can you describe what your current role involves?

I’m a broker on the Technology, Media and Cyber Team. We find insurance solutions for a wide variety of risks spanning across a plethora of territories from the US to Africa. The classes of business we work with are always evolving so we need to be on our toes!


What is your favourite insurance fact?

In the filming of “A Space Odyssey (2001)”, Stanley Kubrick sought a policy in case a real-life alien invasion came before the movie was released. Lloyd’s of London declined.


What did you do before joining New Dawn Risk?

I joined New Dawn Risk a month after graduating from the University of Birmingham with a Bachelor of Science in Economics.


Tell us one thing about your career we didn’t know:

I originally wanted to go into the underwriting side of insurance but luckily found New Dawn and I haven’t looked back since.


What are your hobbies outside of work?

I am a big sport enthusiast; my main playing discipline is the traditional English game of cricket. I’m also an avid supporter of my childhood football club, Yeovil Town FC. Outside of sport, I love cooking up a storm in the kitchen.

14 October 2021

New Dawn Risk is delighted to announce the appointment of Elizabeth Strange to the new role of Head of Strategic Development within the firm. The role has been created as part of a fast-paced global expansion, which has also seen the recent establishment of New Dawn Risk Europe Ltd.

New Dawn Risk has already built out strong teams in professional liability and financial lines, and within technology, media and cyber.  The appointment of Liz as Head of Strategic Development will enable the next stage of growth for the US and International businesses and allow New Dawn Risk to further build strategic relationships with brokers on a global basis.  

Liz herself has over thirty years’ experience in the Lloyd’s market, having previously held senior positions at Hiscox, Beazley and Paragon. 

Max Carter, CEO of New Dawn Risk Group commented: “Liz will be a fantastic asset to our team. She has incredible relationships in London and the US, and her reputation in the space precedes her. I know that she is the perfect person to develop our business, to identify strategically aligned partner producers and to help fulfil our plans.”

Liz Strange, Head of Strategic Development at New Dawn Risk commented: “The specialist focus at New Dawn Risk aligns perfectly with my own experience, and I believe that together we will make a great team, targeting expansion across all regions and all lines. One of my priorities will be to build upon our high-quality and enthusiastic teams with an ambition to accelerate growth.  It is exciting to step into such a fast-moving business, and one that has huge potential to make further impact in the market.”

Notes to Editors

Established in 2008, New Dawn Risk is a specialist insurance broker providing dynamic advisory solutions. We focus on complex, international liability and other specialty insurance and reinsurance. Clients large and small profit from our expertise, creativity and responsiveness – from risk assessment through to claims.

7 October 2021

The region’s economies have been hit hard by the pandemic, but London has the chance to take more business there, if it sorts out its service problems.

The London insurance market’s focus has turned towards the developing economies as it looks for growth opportunities around the world, where increasing prosperity means there is more risk in need of protection. In Latin America, the terrible economic performances of some countries (Argentina, Venezuela) has been balanced by steady growth in others, such as Brazil, Mexico and Chile.

But the pandemic has had a devastating impact on Latin American economies, particularly Brazil’s. The resulting recession has undoubtedly affected insurance buying across the region and while there looks to be a recovery on the horizon — although it is likely to vary significantly from country to country — 2021 may well be a year of building back, rather than growth.

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on Latin American economies, particularly Brazil’s.

So, as the economic picture improves, what’s the forecast for insurance in the region?

Global insurance prices have risen this year, with rates in the London market hardening in a way not been seen for over 20 years. Latin American buyers are being impacted by this, and, as a result, local insurers and brokers have set up consortia to pool their resources to cover large and complex risks, which in turn reduces their need to buy cover from markets such as Miami or London.

Although some Latin American governments do not allow foreign insurers to participate directly in the market, international, Lloyd’s and London Market brokers will always be needed to provide essential capacity. For now, the London Market still holds enough cards to attract buyers while, also presenting challenges for Latin American brokers.

Poor Service

In a survey we recently carried out in the region, one respondent commented that the London Market sometimes lacked “knowledge of local conditions” and “interaction could be difficult.” There is a general belief that London has been less responsive since Covid, which has had a negative impact on buyer sentiment. But so far there’s been no substantial shift in business towards local insurers or Miami. It is to London’s advantage that wordings and policy conditions available locally remain unfavourable, while Miami has suffered many of the same service issues as London, despite being in a better time zone to do business with Latin America.

The London Market still holds enough cards to attract buyers while, also presenting challenges for Latin American brokers.

This is the year when London must focus on correcting some of its service gaps — particularly its slow responses to requests — to ensure that international insurers remain the preferred option. If the local market’s expertise and capacity were to build, and if it received support from the right reinsurers, then the London Market could well find its position is threatened. But if it sorts out its service problems, business will continue to flow to London because the local market can’t offer the same expertise on complex risks.

Rising Prices

In financial lines, the level of increases should not come as a complete shock to most buyers, as rates have been rising 5-10% year-on-year for some time, with some sub-classes increasing at a higher rate depending on perceived risk. Some classes are under more pressure than others, but the preference of some Latin American buyers for combined policies means these price increases are sometime averaged out.

There are lines where London’s capacity and expertise remain essential. Directors & Officers insurance (D&O) cover, required in the region’s more sophisticated economies , is one, and here the pandemic has had a big impact on pricing. The problems in D&O have been building for some time, and one insurer commented that the coronavirus was the final straw . This, of course, means that prices will not simply soften again once the Covid crisis has passed.

Other factors are at play, and these are unlikely to unwind in the short term. London has led in terms of a hardening market, but many others are now catching up. It is not just rates that are affected, but a drastic reduction in deployed capacity, increased retentions and reduced commissions – all making the renewal process that much more challenging. Globally, insureds are seeing their premiums increased by multiples, making it difficult to retain the levels of coverage previously purchased.

Cyber Problems

Cyber is the other market most affected by rising rates, where for renewals increases are reaching 30% and more. Latin American brokers are seeing an increasing focus on international cyber solutions as the threats increase. Companies in the region often do not have the controls required to defend themselves against cyber-attacks, and, as a result, some insurers are not willing to underwrite them.

We hope that 2021 will be the year when London binds larger volumes of Latin American business.

The absence of cyber capacity in Miami also means that London must provide almost all of Latin America’s growing international cyber needs, and this is driving renewal-only decisions among some underwriters. First time buyers from Latin America must brace themselves for a lack of options and potentially some limiting conditions on policies. Ransomware is reportedly experiencing the highest spike in claims, which is contributing to rising premiums and coverage restrictions, and, as a result, policies are now commonly sub-limited or co-insured.

Amidst the high levels of unrest and corruption plaguing almost every Latin American country, new local players have stepped up to offer additional capacity where the London Market won’t. But London remains a stronghold and we hope that 2021 will be the year when London binds larger volumes of Latin American business, delivering improved service and much-needed capacity to the region’s brokers.

5 October 2021

New Dawn Risk Group is delighted to announce the launch of its new European subsidiary, New Dawn Risk (Europe), headquartered in Malta. Like its parent company, New Dawn Risk (Europe) focuses on financial and professional lines. The new business will not only directly serve the growing financial and technology services industries in Malta but will also have the capacity to deliver solutions for New Dawn Risk’s global clients who have European operations with complex financial lines requirements. 

The new European operation will be led by Elizabeth Grima and Tom Malcolm, respectively appointed as Senior Executive Officer and Managing Director, assisted by Joseph Rizzo who has been in the insurance sector for more than 30 years.

Max Carter, CEO of New Dawn Risk Group said: “The market for professional and financial lines is facing challenges on several fronts, as pricing continues to harden, and the complexity of placing risks increases. Our group has seen significant demand for our services internationally, and as a result we are delighted to be able to bring our offering to market in Europe; both in service of our larger global clients and to support the in-market requirements of Malta’s own financial services industry.”

Elizabeth Grima, Senior Executive Officer, New Dawn Risk (Europe), commented: “Our offering in Malta will be exclusively wholesale, working with local brokers to provide them and their clients with additional (and much needed) capacity to service larger and more complex financial lines risks. New Dawn Risk Group is one of the largest independent specialist brokers servicing professional and financial lines business around the world, and it is great to have access to that team on the ground in Malta.”

Notes to Editors Established in 2008, New Dawn Risk is a specialist insurance broker providing dynamic advisory solutions. We focus on complex, international liability and other specialty insurance and reinsurance. Clients large and small profit from our expertise, creativity and responsiveness – from risk assessment through to claims.

02 September 2021

New Dawn Risk Group Limited, the international specialty insurance broker, announced today the appointment of Angus Simpson as a non-executive director.

Max Carter, CEO of New Dawn Risk, said: “We are delighted to welcome Angus Simpson to our board.  He brings with him a rare depth of board-level experience in the independent London market broking sector, and we have no doubt that he will provide valuable insights and support to our management team.  New Dawn Risk is strongly positioned to become an increasingly influential participant in the specialty liability market, and Angus will be a major asset in helping us to achieve this.”

Commenting on his appointment, Angus Simpson, said: “I am hugely excited to be joining the Board of New Dawn Risk at what is, unquestionably, a time of immense opportunity for specialty, privately held, independent brokers in the London market. New Dawn Risk is committed to broadening the range of products and services that it can offer to its clients and is now very well positioned to grow its business over the next few years.”

Angus has a wealth of experience with a career spanning 35 years in the insurance industry. He has set up two businesses, an insurance broker and a Managing General Agency underwriting specialist personal lines business. Earlier in his career, he was a director of a Lloyd’s Broker and ran the Central Broking team at Aon Risk Solutions. Angus has also served as a non-executive director for Kite Warren and Wilson Limited, a Lloyd’s insurance and reinsurance broker.

Notes to Editors

Established in 2008, New Dawn Risk is a specialist insurance broker providing dynamic advisory solutions. We focus on complex, international liability and other specialty insurance and reinsurance. Clients large and small profit from our expertise, creativity and responsiveness – from risk assessment through to claims.