Gabriel’s 2 Worlds: Solid Relationships 6th October 2017It’s important to us that our LatAm relationships are built on solid ground, which you simply can’t do with the Atlantic Ocean between us. Meeting face to face cannot be replicated, and with our belief that transparency is a cornerstone of any good partnership, I packed my diary full of meetings and headed off for another mini tour.Our main objective for this trip was to update our contacts in relation to our new corporate structure, new business partners and our future plans for the region.“As we enter the next phase of our business, we are focused on further strengthening our distribution in LatAm and making our mark as a local player.”To do this, we will be opening up a regional hub in Mexico City early next year, predominately servicing Mexico and Central America, but also the wider region with a particular focus on the countries of the Pacific Alliance, plus Ecuador and Argentina. So, another part of our visit was to spend time with the people that will be making up our team.It’s really encouraging for me to see the great reception we receive when we visit. It reaffirms our partnerships and crucially reinforces our belief that Probitas can offer a great local service.Future plansOur future plans are focused on developing the property and casualty reinsurance business (facultative) that stays in the region, which complements what our London based team is already seeing – such as large property cat, infrastructure, mining and government accounts from Mexico, Peru and Chile.In addition, we will also look to start writing treaty business next year, with a focus on proportional treaty, and not just become a market chasing cat XL premium. Our view is to offer treaty, even in modest shares, as an additional service, and on the back of this closer relationship to provide support to cedents with a bespoke level of service and proximity with facultative reinsurance. This combination will also allow us to help our partners in the region develop new products, capabilities and portfolios with a mix of treaty and facultative, particularly in the more specialist casualty classes.Whilst our plans will ensure we take a step at a time, we have certainly identified Colombia as a key area for us. We believe it is necessary for us to have a presence there to be able to access the local market, which is increasingly taken up by local players in the first instance, then regional markets and less and less business making its way to London. The benefit to the local market, particularly having access to the Lloyd’s market, will help to ensure local reinsurers do not become too complacent.A sign of resilienceDuring our stay in Mexico City, we experienced an earthquake – a first for Ash. It was a very strong quake and obviously very damaging and distressing for the people of Mexico, but at the same time it was so encouraging to see first hand just how resilient the city is and the amazing response from the authorities and residents alike.The response was overwhelming with local and international support providing for the immediate needs of those affected. The challenge now is reconstruction and, I am sure, lessons will be learnt that will help make the city, and the country as a whole, even more resilient.It’s this kind of solidarity and resilience that reinforces our belief that Latin America is the right place for us to open our first international hub. I am very excited about what the future holds for us on the other side of the Atlantic.