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London is “insurance sector equivalent of Silicon Valley”, says Aon’s Hennessy

26th October 2018 - Author: Staff Writer

London’s insurance market has survived multiple challenges over the past 300 years and will not be derailed by issues such as brexit, according to Chief Executive Officer of Carrier Solutions at Aon, Karl Hennessy, who went on to describe London as the “insurance sector equivalent of Silicon Valley.”

Karl HennessySpeaking at the Guernsey Insurance Forum in London, Hennessy called brexit an unwelcome distraction but, “not the only challenge we face. And there are real opportunities still out there.”

“We have been here before. We have faced major dislocation in our market place and the ability and opportunity to trade have come through it,” he added.

Hennessy said that Aon’s global research had revealed that insurance could only provide solutions, or part-solutions, for 50% of the top 50 business risks identified by risk managers from firms across the globe.

“There is a huge opportunity for innovation in fields such as risk identification, litigation, management, retention, transfer, and cyber,” said Hennessy.

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“Clearly a proportion of these risks are retained on balance sheets, and this is a huge opportunity for the specialist risk market to innovate meaningful solutions to help entities to manage the transfer of that risk.”

He called on the London industry to “galvanise itself” to help clients navigate these risks, potentially through partnering, including with jurisdictions such as Guernsey.

“London is ideally placed to capitalise,” continued Hennessy. “Modernisation is key – not just doing what we currently do better, but challenging why do it that way, or why do it at all? Every aspect of what we do and how we do it must be challenged. This is not business as usual. We can’t leave our fate to chance.”

Dominic Wheatley, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, commented, “Insurance today is all about responding to continual challenge and change with innovation, and having the ability to spot and seize an opportunity.”

Wheatley believes that this ability to respond to challenges is something Guernsey has been, and still is, “pretty good at.”

“We are the number one captive insurance domicile in Europe for a reason. We have been doing this for a long time,” Wheatley added.

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