Jon Hancock, Performance Management Director at Lloyd’s of London, has asserted that re/insurers in the London market must do more to embrace innovative technology, and has outlined several key areas in which Lloyd’s is supporting tech integration.
Speaking in an interview with Willis Towers Watson in the company’s Energy Market Review, Hancock claimed that Lloyd’s is committed to fully exploiting the benefits of new technologies, saying: “If you look around our industry, we are not renowned for embracing technology, more for having to catch up with it. We want to be renowned for getting ahead of technology.”
Hancock pointed to Lloyd’s integration of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain, which Lloyd’s has already applied to real time risk aggregation and risk location data on marine risks.
Lloyd’s has also collaborated with LIBA and IUA on the London Market Target Operating Model (TOM) and has introduced a mandate for electronic placement through PPL, both of which will increase market efficiencies by supporting better use of data and digital platforms.
Hancock also referred to a new innovation lab that Lloyd’s is due to launch later in 2018, and claimed that there are plans to invest in tech start-ups that are likely to improve the competitiveness of the market, with space already reserved for them on the fourth floor of the Lloyd’s building
He explained: “We need to build our expertise with the help of technical pioneers. The lab will enable new concepts and ideas to be tested in a fast-track, fast-fail environment with the support and active involvement of the Lloyd’s market.”
However, Hancock also stressed that face-to-face interactions remain the most efficient way to conduct many transactions, particularly when they are related to high value complex risks like Energy.
He said: “I can’t see any time soon where there will be no need to hold any face-to-face negotiations whatsoever. Some of it is human nature – you want the security or comfort of looking someone in the eye – but often it’s simply about efficiency where face-to-face discussion, negotiation and decision making is the best way to do business.”
Hancock suggested that technology should be used to enhance, rather than replace, face-to-face negotiations, citing drives like the London market Placing Platform Limited (PPL) initiative15, which are set to support London market re/insurers by providing more reliable, accessible, and secure data.