FEBRUARY 2015
Colleagues,

Welcome to our February newsletter.  Any comments, suggested topics or ideas on how to improve this newsletter would be gratefully received.

~The Editorial Board~

 Follow@UKMGAA

The Humble Beginnings – The Moment of Truth
Reg Brown, Chairman of MGAA, continues his story of our formation.

The Steering Committee had put in a great deal of work over the previous 18 months by the time we called an open meeting in the Old Library at Lloyd’s on 23rd November 2010. We needed to know whether there was enough support among the MGA community for a new trade association to represent their interests. We asked 5 questions as explained in the last Newsletter. Our proposals were outlined in the press and on a website we had created.

Over 100 people turned up for the meeting representing some 70 MGAs firms. The meeting discussed a number of issues including:

  • How should we define an MGA?
  • How many MGAs were there in the UK?

  • What should the association be called?

  • Should membership be limited to MGAs or should it be widened to include insurers and service providers?

Our proposal was that the association would be directed by an Executive Committee comprising: 
  • 2 members representing the largest members by Gross Written Premium

  • 6 members elected on a regional basis

  • Up to 3 co-opted members and

  • One CEO.

The Executive Committee would elect a Chairman.

The feedback from the meeting was very positive and the majority of those attending said that they were in favour of having their own trade association and that they would join. Quite a brave commitment considering they had no idea of the likely membership fee required. Nor did the Steering Committee! Perhaps the bad publicity MGAs were getting in the insurance press at the time, fuelled by some insurers who had suffered from poor choice of MGA partners, led some to believe that the cost was secondary to having a voice to respond.

We estimated that the costs of running the association in its first year would be £65,000, but were unsure how we could raise that sum. Would we be able to persuade a sufficient number of insurers who, after all, would benefit if we were able to raise standards in the MGA community as planned? Or were there other sources of seedcorn capital we could tap?

The lessons learned from the meeting were discussed at the next Steering Committee meeting on 29th November 2010. The Steering Committee by then had been strengthened by the addition of Keith Stern to represent Lloyd’s and David Coupe of Clyde & Co who provided valuable legal advice.

We were satisfied that we had the support of a sufficient number of MGAs to proceed to draft a constitution, register a company and open a bank account (with nothing in it!).

From the very beginning we thought it was important that we had the support of the insurers upon whose capacity MGAs depend. I had already done the rounds of the ABI, the IUA and Lloyd’s Market Association. I also paid a visit to the DUMS and the DUCS at Lloyd’s. The DUMS is a committee of Delegated Underwriting Managers and the DUCS is a Delegated Underwriting Committee. They each have different members. They all knew our plans. So we decided to call a meeting of interested insurers.

The insurer meeting took place at the offices of Clyde & Co on 18th January 2011. By now, our constant revision of the budget led us to revise our cost forecast from £65,000 to £175,000 - £250,000. We had also decided that our seedcorn capital could be raised by charging insurers and service provider members a one-off joining fee. The fee scale we decided upon was:

  • MGAs - £1,250

  • Insurers - £2,500 plus a joining fee of £1,000

  • Suppliers (service providers) - £3,500 plus a joining fee of £1,500.

Whether the insurers and suppliers would be happy with the fee scale we were about to find out. 46 people turned up to the meeting. Whilst the attendance was a little disappointing, the mood was positive and we got the go-ahead.

Finally, we consulted the suppliers a week later on 26th January 2011 at Lloyd’s. Whilst there were some objections to the suggested fee levels, most were supportive. The Steering Committee was concerned to limit the number of supplier members as a ratio of full members. The interest among suppliers was growing and we did not want suppliers to outnumber MGAs.

Having received positive feedback from all three potential member meetings all we had to do now was to get them to sign up! That, of course, was not quite as easy as expected.

Reg will explain the outcome of that meeting and subsequent meetings in our next Newsletter.



UK General Insurance Group voted MGA of the year at the Insurance Times Awards 2014

The general insurance industry came together on the evening of Tuesday 2nd December 2014 to celebrate the high achievers of the previous 12 months at the Insurance Times awards 2014.

In a year of intense competition following a record number of entries, it was the UK General Group that walked away with the award for ‘MGA of the year’ at a glittering awards ceremony at Battersea Evolution in London.

Coming 12 months after the triumph of the Group’s agricultural specialists, Rural Insurance, in the ‘Brand Campaign of the Year’ category, the judges attributed this latest award success to UK General Insurance Group’s ongoing focus on being a customer-centric business.

With the MGAA recently announcing its membership rising to over 100 members, Insurance Times were delighted that UK General was leading the way at a time of intense competition and growth in the MGA market.

Peter Hubbard, Group CEO, commented “Having come so close to winning in previous years makes it all the more significant that we’ve now been awarded this accolade – and shows the business continues to make significant progress. The fact that the judges picked out our customer focus is enormously pleasing as it shows the hard work being put into this area, each and every day, is bearing fruit.” 

MGAA Market Briefing

On the 9th January 2015 members attended a market briefing at the Old Library, Lloyd’s to hear Ethics specialist Duncan Minty. Members can listen to the Pod Cast which is available on the MGAA website.

The briefing attracted approximately 130 registrations and was chaired by our Conduct & Ethics Committee Chairman, Charles Earle.

Copies of Ethics for Small Firms e-book can be downloaded free of charge here.

FATCA - Update

Members involved in the FATCA submission can find out the current up to date information from the Grant Thornton website or by emailing their FATCA email address FATCA@uk.gt.com. Alternatively if you wish to discuss the matter please contact Ian Woodruff who authored our previous notation.

Insurance Bill

Members will recall that on the 13th October Terry Renouf, BLM Legal Services, hosted a market briefing with regard to the Insurance Bill which will affect all commercial services.

There are three stages in the Commons to get through but the hard work has all been done by David Hertzell as Law Commissioner.  BLM have an update, BLM on Insurance Billwhich covers the present position save for Commons First Reading. It is expected to go through quickly and without change.

Lloyd’s Bulletin

Lloyd’s have issued a bulletin - Notification of 2015 charges, contributions, subscriptions and payment dates.

Lloyd’s International Sanctions Guidance: Compliance, Delegated Authorities and Claims To provide the Market with guidance on developing appropriate and risk based systems and controls to comply with international sanctions covering the Compliance, Delegated Authorities and Claims Handling business areas.

Insurance Times

Insurance Times have offered MGAA members a discount to their Innovation and Disruption Conference 2015. To receive the special discounted rate of £295+VAT (original price £499+VAT) members need to register here and enter code VIP200. 

Guests will need to pay immediately via credit card to secure a place.  The link to the event website which provides more information on speakers, topics and sponsors can be found here.

David Hertzell

The MGAA were pleased to see that our colleague David Hertzell, the former Law Commissioner for Commercial and Common Law, has joined Associate members BLM.

David has been the leading force on the implementation of commercial insurance contract reform. He will work with BLM to inform, educate and prepare customers in advance of the implementation of the Insurance Act, which is expected to receive Parliamentary approval in Spring 2015.

David is President of the British Insurance Law Association; and Chair of the CII Professional Standards Board.

He also sits as a member of the AIRMIC Board; and on the Audit and Risk Committee of the Judicial Appointments Committee.

For further details about David’s appointment click here.

Fundamentally dishonest law will see dismissal of claims in their entirety

A new law which brings hope to defendants fighting fraudulent claims has been passed in Parliament. The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill contains a provision which requires courts to dismiss the whole of the claimant’s claim if it is satisfied that the claimant has been ‘fundamentally dishonest’. For further detail click here.

MGAA – On the Road

Peter Staddon, Managing Director, and Jane Comerford, General Manager, have been speaking at a number of venues around the country.

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.

Compliance Newsletter

For those of you who missed our October compliance newsletter you can access it here.

Compliance Calendar

Our compliance consultant, CMS, have updated our compliance calendar which can be accessed here.

Financial Ombudsman News

The Ombudsman has issued the following newsletters

Number 122 issued on the 9th December 2014

Number 123 issued on the 27th January 2015

Risk Today

The IUA have issued their December newsletter which looks at a number of influences affecting the London market.

Information Commissioner Newsletters 2014 & 2015

The Information Commissioner has issued the following newsletters

December 2014 

January 2015

 Members Forum

PKF Littlejohn

Associate members PKF Litlejohn are running a breakfast seminar on the changes to UK GAAP, at their offices on Thursday 5 February 2015.  

UK GAAP will be replaced this year and the new set of rules will form a single standard called Financial Reporting Standard 102 (FRS 102). This seminar will focus on helping members to understand the key differences between current UK GAAP and FRS102 and how they could affect your business.

Further details on the event and registration can be found here.

MBC

The MGAA MBC are always looking to enhance member’s knowledge and understanding of the insurance market. Working with a number of interested parties we are proud to offer members the following

MGAA Learning & Development Programme - 18th March 2015

In partnership with Lloyd’s Global Development Centre, the MGAA is pleased to announce a new initiative to recognise young talent in the MGA sector.

We are offering member employees the opportunity to take part in a programme of learning and development to enhance their skills.  This will enable them to better understand the Lloyd’s insurance market and how it operates and functions.

This initiative is entirely funded by the MGAA/Lloyd’s partnership and will be free of charge for a young professional working in your business/ organisation.

For further details please contact Teresa Atouguia.

Lloyd’s Tour

Many of our regional members have expressed a wish to visit Lloyd’s to undertake a tour.  For further details please contact Teresa Atouguia.

Ordnance Survey

Welcome to the New Year; 2015 certainly looks like it will be challenging. For insurers, and MGAs the implementation of Flood Re will change how we underwrite flood risk forever. Location data can help with the unique property identifier being included in Flood Re, insurers using AddressBase will not only be able to accurately locate the properties they are underwriting, but also match addresses in Flood Re faster. For further details click here.


Ordnance Survey also invite you to join their Forum and LinkedIn Groups to receive more up to date information, for example the Forum this month.

To register to attend Ordnance Survey’s Financial Services Forum, 11/02/15, Southampton, please click here.

To hear about future roadmaps, insight into the changes going on at Ordnance Survey and learn about the power of geospatial data, plus catch up with peers and colleagues across the industry, please click here

LinkedIn - Location data within Financial Services

Join Ordnance Survey’s Financial Services LinkedIn Group to network with colleagues and peers across the industry.  Take a first look at whitepapers and receive invites to events and conferences in this group set up for anyone interested in location data within financial services in Great Britain.

Members Training needs

The 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 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.

New Members
We extend a warm welcome to the following new members.

MGAs
Millstream Underwriting Ltd
Pen Underwriting
Opus Underwriting Limited
Modus Underwriting Ltd
Pardus Underwriting Limited

Market Practitioners
Catlin Insurance Company (UK) Ltd
Partner Re- Wholesale