Sompo Int. targets London & Euro growth, but exits Lloyd’s for efficiency

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Sompo International, the Bermuda headquartered specialty property and casualty insurance and reinsurance provider, is exiting the Lloyd’s market, saying that while it aims for significant growth in London and Europe it feels a consolidated company market platform is the way to go.

sompo-international-logoThe move will see Sompo International halt all underwriting within the Lloyd’s of London marketplace and shutter its syndicates there.

From January 2021, Sompo Int. said that it will no longer underwrite any insurance or reinsurance business through Endurance at Lloyd’s (EAL) or its Lloyd’s Syndicate 5151.

It’s seen as part of the ongoing transformation of Sompo International, which has been underway ever since the acquisition of Endurance over three years ago.

By consolidating its London presence into one company market platform, Sompo International sees an opportunity to add efficiency to its London operations, clearly feeling that the syndicate platform does not enable it to operate with the streamlined approach it is looking for at this time.

All renewals and new insurance or reinsurance business will be now underwritten from Endurance Worldwide Insurance Limited, the company said.

John Charman, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, Sompo International Holdings Ltd. and CEO Overseas Insurance and Reinsurance Business, Sompo Holdings, Inc. commented, “Our decision to focus our activities in London on a single company platform reflects the unique strength of Sompo’s global reach, brand, ratings and financial stability. Having one single platform will allow us to continue to profitably grow our business and deliver superior value and solutions to our clients and distribution partners.

“With Sompo International’s rating equivalent to Lloyd’s, we can utilize that rating and our existing operation to be an even more streamlined and efficient provider of risk solutions whilst maintaining a meaningful and diversified trading relationship with Lloyd’s in the years to come.”

Julian James, CEO International Insurance added, “Our ambition is to grow our London Market and European business significantly in the near term. Sompo International is now recognized by our brokers and clients as a global leader with significant capability and excellent talent. With one platform, we will be able to provide them with efficient access to the very best products and services, underpinned by highly rated security.”

It’s perhaps a sign of the times, as insurance and reinsurance capital providers need to find the most efficient ways to make their capacity available to their global client base.

For some players, the use of a Lloyd’s syndicate is perhaps no longer the efficient way to access business from that market that it used to be, especially when a good deal of insurance and reinsurance business is just as easily accessible from outside of Lloyd’s as from within.

The current pandemic crisis is sure to put a greater focus on efficiency of insurance and reinsurance operations as well, while technology is also making the world smaller and making physical presences in marketplace locations less important as well.

Sompo International is clearly adjusting to the times, consolidating its operations in London and Europe under the company market banner and likely saving some expense in the process, while presenting a clear and united brand presence to its clients.

Could Sompo Int. be the first of many to rethink a presence at Lloyd’s? It’s likely this move has been coming for a while, but it’s certain to get others thinking about the necessity for locating a physical presence in that market (and other markets as well).

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