Adrian Thornycroft blog: May – a rollercoaster of a month

May has been a rollercoaster of a month with some real highs and lows. The highs include the strong start to the year which saw 80% of syndicates meet or exceed the target of 40% of risks placed electronically, a sharp increase in the number of brokers signing up to the platform and an uptick in firms using DA SATS for Lloyd’s Brussels. The low is the delay in the launch of Chorus, the replacement for Atlas and BAR.

Gather in the harvest
Focussing first on PPL, it’s great to see that the market is recognising its benefits – it’s an efficient, digital platform. Over 100 brokers and 130 carriers are signed up to PPL and more than 200,000 risks will soon have been bound on the platform. But we can’t afford to be complacent.  As usual, Bronek nails it in his article in this month’s News Bites: “the low hanging fruit has been picked, and the market must now re-focus on how it can gather in the rest of the harvest.”

Returning to where we are on Chorus, it is extremely disappointing that we have had to postpone its delivery until an estimated date of early 2020. Clearly, this is not the news that I wanted to give to you, but we do need to be clear with you on where we are. Unfortunately, our preparations for testing and early testing on Chorus identified some gaps in our technology partner’s product which need further development to make sure it is secure and fit for purpose. We know we have to deliver solutions that work and they must be delivered when the timing works for the market.  We’ve, therefore, revised the proposed delivery timeline to early 2020 which avoids the peak renewal period and gives the market enough time to prepare and plan for Chorus.

If you have any questions about Chorus and/or its delivery please contact either myself or a member of the Chorus project team.

Improving data quality
Returning to positive news, more firms are using the output of SDC to populate their systems and we are continuing to improve the quality of the data extracted from the documents. In last month’s blog I said we would investigate why some market firms were having problems with SDC and data not always flowing into systems. We have found that these issues are caused by poor data quality on the slips.  We have performed three studies on data quality, looking at different angles and now that we have a good understanding of some of the root causes of poor input quality we are looking at solutions to improve the quality.

Looking at the Future at Lloyd’s stories it is obvious that integration is key and SDC’s ability to connect to PPL, enabling documents to be processed is a great step for the market, bringing us one step closer to straight-through processing.  Equally, without data integration, where we get decent throughput in taking the data from slips and getting it into systems without rekeying, it is hard to see how there can be true modernisation of the London Market.

Market reform
But digitisation is just the start of market reform – we can look forward to AI, robotics and big data which are redefining our businesses and how we work.  A recent report by the London Market Group and KPMG: The future of skills in the London Market is very clear that to be able to leverage, explore, understand and benefit from these developments the market must acquire new skills in terms of technology, innovation, communication, risk partnering and change management. As Matthew Wilson, Board Sponsor of the LMG talent workstream and CEO, Brit Insurance commented, these developments and societal shifts are offering us a once-in-a generation opportunity to reinvent our marketplace.

I envisage a trading floor where our face-to-face conversations can involve really different types of historic and real-time visuals that provide insights to help us: “share risks to create a braver world”.  Apologies for that plug of the updated Lloyd’s purpose, but I do hope you can see that it is a very exciting future. The tricky bit is that we must all take responsibility for changing our businesses and creating an environment in which digital talent can thrive and have the vision to create a breeding ground for innovation where new data science skills work alongside the expertise of seasoned market professionals.

In my next blog I’ll be looking at the focus of the LM TOM for the rest of 2019. But, please be assured, we have set great foundations for a world-leading insurance market and I know that, with your support, the London Market will continue to build a better place to do business.