to our December newsletter; again, any comments, suggested topics or
ideas on how to improve this would be gratefully received.
~The Editorial Board~
The Humble Beginnings –
Reg Brown, Chairman of MGAA continues his story of our formation.
In the October
Newsletter I described the humble beginnings of the MGAA. I concluded
the article at the second meeting of the inaugural Steering Committee on
21 July 2009 when I “expressed some scepticism as to the value of
forming another new association in an already overcrowded arena, where
the market is unsure of whom to take note.”
I was determined
after that meeting to cast the net as wide as possible to find out
whether there was support for the idea. Lloyd’s was making some very
positive noises about it, not surprising since 30% of Lloyd’s entire
business comes from Delegated Underwriting. Not surprising also, bearing
in mind the strong relationship Lloyd’s has with the AAMGA in the US.
I was intrigued by
the fact that there were MGA associations in the US, Australia, Canada
and South Africa. So why wasn’t there one in the UK? Perhaps, there
simply was no need for one.
But who should I consult to find out? The broking trade bodies BIBA and LIIBA were obvious starting points but would they see us as competitors? Possibly, but they were both very helpful when I spoke to them. Francis de Zulueta was quite keen we should talk to BIPAR, but I felt we should crack the UK first before extending our range to Europe. The ABI, Lloyd’s, LMA and IUA were also obvious people to consult and were equally helpful.
At this stage we
had only a vague idea how to define an MGA and could only guess how many
there were in the UK. Lloyd’s has a list of Coverholders on its
website, but most of them are brokers with Binding Authorities. We
decided early on that brokers were not our target, they were already
well looked after. The FSA were no help in this regard either, because
MGAs were simply intermediaries, deserving of no special consideration.
So the Steering
Committee drew up a list of prospective members from the Committee’s own
knowledge. We guessed there might be + or – 200 “pure” MGAs in the UK,
writing around £5bn of the £40bn of general premium income.
Over the next few
months the six individual members of the Committee divided up
responsibilities for the drafting of a Constitution, a Prospectus, a
budget, a PR plan and a website. At this point we had no members, no
money and no home. Everything was being done by the Committee members in
their own time and at their own cost. Their enthusiasm and drive
impressed me greatly, and whilst there were times when we wondered
whether it was all worthwhile, we carried on. Progress was not as fast
as we might wish but I was determined to do everything correctly rather
than in a rush.
October 2010 we were ready to go public with our plans. By then our
Steering Committee had expanded to eight. David Coupe (then of Clyde
& Co) joined as our legal advisor and Keith Stern joined as Lloyd’s
representative. Keith’s arrival cemented Lloyd’s support for the
initiative and helped to accelerate our progress.
By then we had
developed a list of prospective members and had a budget based on a
membership of 80. But we needed some “seedcorn” capital of about £65,000
and were not sure where that was coming from. I did not fancy the idea
of simply doing the rounds with cap in hand asking for donations.
Fortunately, the Press had got wind of our plans and with the assistance
of Ian Barrett of Concise PR we were getting some notoriety and a great
deal of interest.
I still needed
more certainty that the idea had wings and sufficient support among the
MGA community, and was unsure whether we should extend membership to
others such as the insurers providing capacity to MGAs and providers of
services to MGAs.
The only way to
find out was to consult those concerned. So with the help of Lloyd’s we
called an open meeting for MGAs at Lloyd’s Old Library at 3pm on 23rd November 2010. We asked:
- Is your business that of a UK based underwriting agency?
- If so, do you agree that there is a need for a new trade association to represent the MGA sector?
- If yes, would you be prepared to consider joining such a trade association?
- Would you or a company representative like an invitation to attend the meeting at Lloyd’s?
- Please indicate the name and email address of the meeting attendee.
Reg will explain the outcome of that meeting and subsequent meetings in our next Newsletter.
Managing Director’s Report
find it strange to think that as we approach the end of 2014 I realise
that I have been at the Association for over 12 months - where has the
time gone? Before we look back at our achievements I wish to thank my
Board, all Committee and Forum members of the Association for all their
hard work and support over the past 12 months.
I find it
encouraging to look back at 2014 and evaluate what we have achieved and
identify some of our successes and highlights. The most significant is
achieving that Holy Grail, 100 members. This was achieved in
mid-November and spookily our 100th member was Century
Underwriting Limited - we couldn’t have planned that better. It now
means that our membership base has grown from 71 in September 2013 to
101 in November 2014. Moreover the accumulative Gross Written Premium of
those 101 members is knocking at the door of £3.5 billion, a truly
staggering amount. And there are more potential members in the pipeline.
What is also encouraging is that 3 members out of the last 6 are
operating from Leeds, Essex and Hampshire so our regional footprint is
Our relationship with the regulator goes from strength to strength and apart from the number of private meetings we have held yet another successful “open door” meeting with FCA on the 1st October. With over 90 members registered the FCA entertained us at Canary Wharf where members were encouraged to forward their questions to be tabled at the seminar. The event was chaired by our own LRC Chairman, James Gerry, and the two hour discussion aired important issues which affect our sector of the Insurance community.
In September we
ran our third highly successful Capacity Exchange with over 160
attendees. Insurers and suppliers were present which allowed member MGAs
to discuss existing relationships and to forge new contacts, and the
feedback has been excellent. However with a view to enhancing this event
we will be holding a half day conference in 2015 which will include key
note addresses from Jonathan Evans MP [Chairman of the All Party
Parliamentary Group on General Insurance & Financial Services] and
Peter Montanaro, Head of Lloyd’s Delegated Authority. We are also
planning a network lunch where members can speak to insurers and
suppliers without a time limitation as in the “speed dating” capacity
exchange. So watch this space for further announcements.
In July we held
our first social function at the House of Commons attended by in excess
of 190 members and guests. This function was preceded by a tour of the
Palace of Westminster which was enjoyed by approximately 140 of our
guests. Jonathan Evans MP hosted the evening and for that we offer him
our thanks. During the evening the Association bestowed the following
Reg Brown - Honorary Life Member
Ian Barrett - Honorary Member
David Coupe - Honorary Member
Francis du Zulueta - Honorary Member
Charles Earle - Honorary Member
Sian Fisher - Honorary Member
Brian Russell - Honorary Member
Keith Stern - Honorary Member
Over the past 12 months we have also engaged with:
and the list goes on…….
However none of
this could have been achieved without your support which shows you have
not just joined but are Joining In and helping us shape the future of
On a sad note,
many of you will know that Jane and I are ably assisted by Angela Lacey,
but what you may not know is that Angela is retiring on the 3rd December 2014 and I am sure you will all join Jane and me in wishing Angela and her husband, Nigel, a happy retirement. But on a positive
note we are joined by Teresa de Atouguia, and I am sure you will all
wish her every success working with the Association.
Finally may Jane and I wish you a Happy Christmas and a prosperous 2015.
Meeting with FCA
On the 1st
October 2014 members of the MGAA attend an “open door” meeting with
FCA. James Gerry, Chairman of our Legal, Regulatory and Compliance
Committee did a sterling job of chairing the meeting and raising
members’ previously advised questions. FCA attended with representatives
from their Supervision team and also specialists in their Technical and
Thematic Review divisions. All questions were addressed, which included
a number from the floor. We would like to express our thanks to Alison
Walters and her colleagues for this frank and informative discussion.
COVER Excellence Awards
to members Pulse Insurance who enjoyed a very successful evening at the
COVER Excellence Awards held at the beginning of October. Pulse were
thrilled and honoured to win the Small Intermediary of the Year 2014
The winning firm
had to continually demonstrate over the year that it is at the forefront
of the intermediary protection / health insurance markets. The judges
chose their winner based on core competence, offering clients a bespoke
service with clear objectives and improving the reputation of the
Lungarella at PKF Littlejohn has issued a newsletter with regard to VAT
and the Court of Justice of the European Union. Their Monthly VAT
Newsletter can be found here. Luigi also issued a VAT Alert further to the recent CJEU’s decision in Skandia America Corporation, which can be viewed here.
Further details and links can be obtained by contacting John Needham
On the 13th
October Terry Renouf at BLM Legal Services hosted a market briefing
with regard to the Insurance Bill which will affect all commercial
services. This market briefing was pod cast and can be downloaded from
the MGAA website.
However their guide is accessible on their main website here.
Hard copies have been
widely available and BLM will undertake a second print run should the
need arise. Terry Renouf advises us that they have contacted the CII
with a view to arranging an updated version to be circulated with ‘CII
Journal’ in Q1 2015
Insurance Fraud Bureau
On the 10th
November Nick Benham joined the Claims Forum to explain more about the
Insurance Fraud Bureau, their work and more importantly their successes.
Nick highlighted the work the Bureau has been doing with the Insurance
industry and the police forces across the country. Further details can
be found here.
the meeting with FCA sanctions checking was raised. Whilst FCA
acknowledged that firms within a distribution chain may have been doing
the same or similar checks, this did not absolve MGAs of their
responsibility. We wish to remind members of our facility specifically
negotiated for MGAA members which is detailed on our website.
our October newsletter we mentioned our meeting with Brendan McCafferty
CEO of Flood Re. This new flood market facility is programmed to
commence operating in November 2015. We are pleased to confirm that
Brendan and his colleagues have agreed to host a MGAA market briefing in
July 2015 to explain how this will operate and to take members’
questions. Further details will be issued closer to July.
The Flood Re Weekly Status Update (17 November to 31 November) can be viewed here.
In the interim,
members are reminded that if they are having difficulty in obtaining
flood cover for SME commercial coverage, they should email Peter Staddon with their concerns.
Underwriting Agencies Council
Heath Amber, Chairman of the UAC, visited the offices of the MGAA on the 28th
October 2014. Members of the MGAA Board were here to welcome Heath and
to discuss common issues which affect MGAs in both the UK and Australia.
Heath would welcome contact with any MGAs who have Australian connections.
It was agreed that
Heath and his co-Directors would be visiting the UK in 2015 and he will
meet members of the MGAA Board again for further discussions.
MGAA – On the Road
Staddon, Managing Director, and Jane Comerford, General Manager, have
been speaking at a number of venues around the country. The last two
months included talks for the CII at the following venues:
Manchester 29th October
Cambridge 11th November
Chelmsford 14th November
London 3rd December
Dates for 2015
have been agreed for talks in conjunction with local CII at Exeter,
Cheltenham, Maidstone and Liverpool. For further details or to join
Peter and Jane please contact Peter Staddon.
For those of you who missed our October compliance newsletter, it can be viewed here.
Our compliance consultant, CMS, has updated our compliance calendar which can be accessed here.
Financial Ombudsman News
The Ombudsman newsletter 121 was issued on the 21st October 2014 and can be viewed here.
Council of European Council
The council have issued their proposition with regard to the IMD. Details can be obtained here.
Information Commissioner Newsletter 2014
The Information Commissioner has issued its October newsletter which can be accessed here. The newsletter looks at their new CCTV code.
BLM hosted an evening with Eliza Manningham-Buller who headed Britain's MI5 from 2002 to 2007
is a company with 15+ years of history in insurance broking. Started as
the first pioneer in online insurance broking in the early 90’s, they
have become the biggest broker company in the Baltic States. Among their
customers are major Scandinavian banks insuring their leasing asset
In order to
support the growth and ensure high quality of customer service Insly
needed to develop efficient data management systems. A couple of years
ago they separated IT development from broker business and started to
offer the system to other broker companies and agencies in the Baltics
and surrounding areas. For today, Insly software is used by more than 60
broker companies in 7 different countries, including AON and some
The main value in
Insly software lies in a centralised cloud based data storage and
comprehensive reporting and analysis possibilities. You don’t have to
worry about employees leaving with data in their heads or laptops, you
can have real time management and sales reporting, enabling quick and
efficient decision making. Flexibility of the system allows you to
design your own products or use standardised solutions. You don’t need
any upfront investments and IT staff to use the system. Being a
supporting member of MGAA Insly has also included features specific to
MGA business and is ready to customize the system further if such needs
occur. Please check out the Insly website
and try the demo version of the system, or contact them directly and
set up a demonstration meeting to discuss further cooperation.
Insly are a new
supplier associate of the MGAA and are in the process of preparing to
host a market briefing in relation to our software and back office
To enable them to undertake this important work we would ask you to complete their short survey here - INSLY.COM Survey Link
Kiln and Tokio Marine Europe rebrand
and Tokio Marine Europe sealed their union by formally rebranding as
Tokio Marine Kiln – a leading international provider of specialist and
The newly combined
business, formed in January 2014 is now headquartered at the “Walkie
Talkie” building, 20 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 3BY.
Speaking of the move, Group CEO of Tokio Marine Kiln, Charles Franks, said: “Today is a milestone in the development of Kiln and Tokio Marine as we join under a single brand to deliver continued profitable growth.
Tokio Millennium Re (UK) Ltd, a Tokio Marine Group subsidiary company which has an operation in London, is not affected by this change and will continue to follow its own strategy, reporting to a different management team in Zurich.
Any questions or to find out more please visit Tokio Marine Kiln.
In a recent article
asking if we are losing young talent from the city IDEX Consulting
seeks to answer this thorny question and to offer some sound advice.
IUA provide the MGAA with office space and services. Dave Matcham, IUA
CEO, regularly issues a newsletter regarding European issues which
affect the UK Insurance Market, and by definition MGAs. In Dave’s
newsletter he is looking at Insurance supervisors who are at the
forefront of insurance regulatory regime emanating from Europe. To read
more about this click here.
members are aware our Membership & Benefits Committee reviews
membership applications and looks for ways of providing support to
members in an array of different ways. One of the founding members of
the MBC is Mike Smith of IIGL. Mike has been a stalwart of this
committee and we were sad when Mike tendered his resignation due to
increasing work pressures. The Board of the MGAA would like to express
their gratitude to Mike for his hard work and his total support and to
wish him every success in his business. If any member would like to be
considered to replace Mike please send your CV to Peter Staddon.
We extend a warm welcome to the following new members: -
ReSolution Underwriting Partnership
Applied Claims Consultancy Ltd
Ascent Underwriting Enters Professional Indemnity and D&O Markets
who specialise in emerging and professional risks has entered the UK PI
and D&O markets following the recruitment of Lindsay Noble and
Jonathan Morgan, formerly of Lime Underwriting. These products will enhance Ascent’s current range of cyber, emerging and professional risk policies.
new team will focus on developing Ascent’s UK financial lines portfolio
within the regional and London markets which includes offering renewal
terms to Lime’s previous clients. Other products are being development
and a new range of commercial combined products will be unveiled
shortly. For more details please visit the Ascent website.
MGAA accepts the basis that it is the insurers’ intention to make
transacting business as easy as possible, we have to accept that this
will be with a more intrusive regime from the regulator. This will then
dictate an increased data capture requirement.
But from an MGA
standpoint, all too often, different insurers will require different
data. Moreover, many insurers find it hard to accept data captured
which is in excess of their specific field requirements. I think it is
time that the industry got behind the single idea of what is actually
required to form a standard format of questions. Therefore Associate
members, SSP, has written a white paper which tackles the myth of
integrated commercial lines e-trading”. For further details click here.
Association’s Events & Training Committee are in the process of
building a bespoke MGA skills programme. To ensure that we can keep the
costs to a minimum it would assist us if you would provide details of
your 2015 requirements. These could be in relation to any insurance
technical matters as well as soft skills. We are planning to run these
courses nationally should there be sufficient demand.
To ensure that we
maintain the highest standard of training we are using the services of
an industry specialist associated with the CII. Please send your
comments and requirements to Peter Staddon.