Gabriel’s 2 Worlds
From our inception we’ve had a particular focus on the opportunities that high growth markets present. It’s been a driving force for us, and in less than 2 years we have laid strong foundations in terms of property facultative business from Latin America.
The next phase is to make similar inroads into the casualty market, which is largely catered for by the local market. It was, therefore, high on the agenda for most our recent trip to Mexico, Peru and Colombia.
Currently, casualty insurance has low penetration across the region and, therefore, there is adequate local capacity to cover the demand. However, changes to legislation, an increased uptake of banking services and financing for SMEs, and a growing middle class will gradually lead to a higher demand for liability cover as consumers become more aware of their rights.
The knock-on effect will see SME’s start to purchase cover – in some cases made mandatory by either legislation or banks as these enterprises increase the use of financing - for the first time and larger businesses looking to increase their limits. The opportunity is clear.
And, so are our plans.
We don’t want to detract from the large and complex accounts we are already servicing. But, we see the benefit of partnering with smaller insurance companies, as it’s here that we can help to add value to their proposition, and top up their capacity which, given their smaller size, may otherwise be harder for them to place.
Although I am Mexican, I still need to immerse myself in the culture of the wider region to soak up the nuances of the different countries. It’s insight that you can’t substitute sat in an office in London.
Without the time spent on the ground we can’t expect to be considered for the risks that arise. Strengthening our relationships now is a vital component, as it confirms we are ready and willing to write business – our pen is poised!
Our plans for Latin America also include being open to emerging markets. We know that it is not enough to simply service the obvious larger economies. The smaller countries excite just as much, as there is greater potential. Going back to the objectives we set out from day one, it is the opportunities high growth markets present that drives us!
We have always behaved as if we have a physical presence in Latin America, because it is such a clear focus for our business. So, it’s uplifting to hear the positive feedback from insurers and cedents who see that we not only understand the LatAm market, but more importantly, their business too.
Whilst we were in Peru, one of our partners commented how refreshing it was to see our CEO, Ash, taking the time to visit and build relationships face to face. They couldn’t remember the last time a CEO of a Lloyd’s syndicate did this. It’s this dedicated focus from the top down that sets us apart, enabling us to open new opportunities in LatAm and demonstrates our commitment to the region.