Specialty insurer and reinsurer Brit has collaborated with Google Cloud to launch Ki, a fully digital and algorithmically-driven Lloyd’s of London syndicate designed to redefine the commercial insurance market as a ‘follow-only’ syndicate.
The new standalone business is expected to launch in 2021, and the pair state that its creation marks a step change for an industry yet to face the disruption seen across other financial services and industries.
Ki, the Lloyd’s market’s first fully digital and algorithmically-driven syndicate, will be accessible anywhere, anytime, and aims to dramatically reduce the amount of time and effort it takes for brokers to place their follow capacity. It’s expected that this will help to drive greater efficiency, responsiveness and competitiveness.
Google Cloud will bring to Ki enterprise-grade cloud solutions powered by innovative technologies that enable rapid transformation at scale.
According to an announcement on the launch, Ki’s algorithm will be able to assess Lloyd’s policies and will automatically quote for business via a digital platform, which brokers are able to access directly. The pair explain that the selection process is performed using a proprietary algorithm that has been developed with support from University College London and their Computer Science department.
It’s been revealed that Ki will follow a number of ‘nominated’ lead syndicates across the Lloyd’s of London marketplace, including Brit. Furthermore, the new syndicate offers brokerages a line on every risk in the chosen classes of business led by these markets.
Matthew Wilson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Brit, commented: “Ki is a significant milestone for our market, combining Brit’s heritage of underwriting outperformance and Google Cloud’s technology expertise. Over time, Ki will look to play a central role in the transformation of the specialist insurance market in London, creating a whole new and fully digital segment which operates seamlessly alongside the traditional marketplace.
“Recent events have demonstrated the importance of electronic trading and I expect Ki to be at the forefront of the accelerated transition in how the Lloyd’s market transacts business. Through building a truly quantitative-based approach to insurance, Ki aims to do what quantitative hedge funds did to Capital Markets in the 1990s.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded and lockdown and social distancing measures came into force across the UK, the Lloyd’s and wider London market has gone remote. Prior to the outbreak Lloyd’s had started its modernisation mission, which includes a push for electronic placement to be more widely used across the market.
The incubation of Ki has been led by the Brit Innovation team, which is led by James Birch as Head of Innovation at Brit. Ki will be run by a dedicated team reporting to Mark Allan, Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Brit, who will serve as Executive Chair. Ki will be backed by Brit, Fairfax, and other private capital investors.
Adrian Poole, Head of Financial Services, Google Cloud, said: “We are proud to be the cloud provider for Ki, and to collaborate with Brit to transform the London insurance market. As the first algorithmic syndicate, we see this as an exciting first step by Brit to support the Future at Lloyd’s vision and are delighted to bring our market-leading technologies to support this innovative venture.”
John Neal, CEO at Lloyd’s, added: “Ki truly embraces all that is represented in “The Future at Lloyd’s” by bringing data, technology, innovation and artificial intelligence to the fore in the complex world of corporate and specialty underwriting. It is an exciting first for Lloyd’s and paves the way for others to follow.”