This week, the UK retail insurance sector and the London Market went through a roller-coaster experience. All were strongly in favour of staying in the EU at the beginning of the week and the Remain camp were expected to win the vote over Leave by bookmakers. By Friday morning, the Brexit result had happened, and Lloyd's, insurance associations, and regulators all speedily issued "don't panic" statements.
Insurance stocks were badly hit on Friday, with life insurers suffering the most, and worries concerning the London Market's future were headlined. Saturday saw the speedy resignation of the EU Commissioner for Financial Services, Lord Hill, who had been a calming influence, and leading EU foreign ministers pushed for quick negotiations.
"Globalisation" is the future for the insurance industry, particularly the London Market, and much will have to done to ensure continued close liaison with government and regulators. As a country and as a worldwide insurance leader, we cannot be perceived to be inward-facing "Little Englanders", as portrayed by some of the Continental press this weekend.
Meanwhile, EIOPA published its June report on financial stability, and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) reported on its ninth annual Global Seminar. The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) called on future leaders to apply for its 2016/7 New Generation Groups programme, and The Geneva Association announced research award winners. AXA IM reviewed the new direction of strategic asset allocation in the insurance market, and a challenging joint survey from the US indicated why cyber insurance is "broken".
AXA launched its Ambition 2020 strategic plan, the two pillars being Focus and Transformation -presented by CEO designate Thomas Buberl. Zurich continued its cut-backs by agreeing the sale of its P&C book in Taiwan to major auto dealership Hotai, and Generali is to introduce its Vitality-branded health and wellness programme, initially in Germany. In India, HDFC Standard Life are in merger talks with Max Life, and Dai-ichi Life is to acquire a further 18% in its Mumbai-based joint venture (up to 44%).
Lloyd's opened its first office in Columbia. XL Group announced that its ordinary shareholders had agreed its scheme of arrangement to change its incorporation from Ireland to Bermuda. Aquila opened an MGA in Paris, Antares launched its casualty treaty offering with the announcement of a new hire, the Channel Syndicate introduced an Innovation Division, and AXA IM announced a head of Insurance Solutions UK.
Full articles on the above topics may be found on the Insurance Newslink and Financial Newslink global trends database services at www.onlystrategic.com.