A year to remember 16th January 2019Ash Bathia, CEO and Active Underwriter, looks back at what proved to be another busy year at Probitas 1492.2018 flew past at Probitas. So, as we gear up for 2019, it seems the ideal time to take stock and reflect on another year.When I start to consider all the things we achieved as a business over the past 12 months, it’s quite astonishing. We:Travelled over 400,000 kmVisited 15 countriesIssued over 7,700 policiesUnderwrote $163m of premiumExceeded our pricing and rating benchmarks And, whilst that in itself is a great achievement, we also…Opened a hub in Mexcio City: Serving as a local presence for our Latin American business, setting up our Mexico City hub was a complex project. As pioneers into the market we didn’t expect anything less. After a long and diligent process, we launched in January 2018. Whilst we have always been clear that this is a long-term strategic play, we’re delighted with our first year. Our colleagues in Mexico City are well respected in the region and are an extension to the team in London with strong communication and The support has been really encouraging, and we’re confident that we have a solid foundation on which to build the Latin American business.We moved to the prestigious Lime Street back in May. It certainly feels like we’ve been here for longer than 8 months, which must be a good sign. An office move is a huge project, but in true Probitas style, we added an extra challenge – an 8 week build project condensed down into just 4. The hard work and long hours certainly paid off, as the transition was seamless; we even managed to avoid any IT hiccups! The quality of our new home is a great representation of us as a company, and has made a very positive impression on everyone who has visited us.Advancements in our Technology: Since our inception over 3 years ago, our aspiration has been to have a strong technology offering. However, we didn’t want to rush into the wrong solution. 2018 saw the fruits of our labour start to bud, the hard work and patience certainly was worthwhile. Our pioneering technology solution is ‘Cloud’ based allowing us to access and transact business anywhere in the world, adding real value to us as a business, our brokers and insureds.Launched Market Leading Data Warehouse: giving us the ability to capture all our key underwriting and claims data into a useable, accessible and efficient format. The warehouse is updated on a daily basis giving us the ability to triangulate every single policy and delivering live management information. It is a fully embedded in the business and is extensively used by our underwriting and management teams to deliver enhanced performance monitoring and management.Continued to build a strong relationship with our core equity partner Saudi Re. We are delighted with their support and long term commitment to the syndicate.Growing the team: We’ve continued to build the team with 3 new starters joining us in the last quarter of 2018, which means that we’re now fully staffed. Some key hires in 2018 were:Lindsay McQuillian, our Legal Counsel, has had a whirlwind year. Her impact has been welcomed by the team and our brokers alike. Adding weight to our Financial Lines proposition, our Claims handling and of course all of our legal and compliance work.Mark Smith, who successfully took over the Management Liability reigns, kicked on with force. Mark’s extensive experience and strong reputation in the market has had a major positive impact on our Financial Lines Business. Which brings me nicely on to underwriting. With everything else going on you could be forgiven for thinking we’ve been distracted from our actual day jobs! But, that couldn’t be further from the truth.Probitas has continued to build its business and franchise driven by open lines of internal communication and a clear underwriting and risk selection strategy. Underwriting requires considerable patience and discipline, which is something our team has in abundance.Our absolute focus has been on continuous improvement, strong underwriting discipline supported by extensive analytic capabilities and delivering a bottom line profit.Part of our extensive travel during 2018 was with a view to create and harness new and exciting opportunities. It’s a part of the job that I relish, because it enables us to get closer to our brokers, clients and the origination of business.; plus provides us with far greater insight in what is happening in the local markets. We use the tagline ‘bringing the Lloyd’s market to you’ and we believe that our extensive travels and strong relationships around the world, truly demonstrates this as an integral part of our business.We have achieved a lot in 2018, but my key highlight has to be that we are on track to deliver an above market average profitability in another challenging year for the market.I feel that we’ve made the transition from ‘start-up’ to an established and respected syndicate in the Lloyd’s and international markets.We look forward to 2019 with optimism and determination to continue to build an enduring and scalable business. One that is dedicated to delivering strong underwriting performances across all of our lines of business. I know the team are ready, willing and able, so here’s to a successful and prosperous year!