The inside track on AEGIS London’s ‘secret sauce’

Alex Powell, Active Underwriter — AEGIS London.

This month, writing about the fortunes of Lloyd’s property market in 2018, Insurance Day singled out AEGIS London for its strong performance in recording a £21.3m underwriting profit while most other syndicates tipped into an underwriting loss. Praise, indeed. But perhaps more telling was the newspaper’s comment on our longer-term results: “Impressively, the syndicate posted its 13th consecutive year of overall underwriting profit in 2018, with an average profit of £32.3m over the past five years.”

‘13th consecutive year of overall underwriting profit’: that’s not a phrase one hears often in the context of the Lloyd’s market today. And that fact alone is enough to make people ask what is in the ‘secret sauce’ at AEGIS London? One key is underwriting discipline – something that is coming sharply back into focus, particularly as Lloyd’s takes a more detailed look at the Decile 10 of all syndicates. At AEGIS London, underwriting discipline has always mattered – a lot. In fact, it sits at the very core of our thinking and is a big part of the reason why we’ve been successful in achieving profit consistently over the last decade.

The other key factor is thinking about the world differently. For a while now, we have taken steps to make sure that the right business comes to us through the right channels. For us, that manifests itself in OPAL, our award-winning online quote-and-bind system. The world is full of insurance business that finds Lloyd’s either too slow or too expensive. By taking AEGIS London’s products and automating them, OPAL brings business to AEGIS London and Lloyd’s that would not otherwise come here. It enlarges London’s premium pool and makes an increasingly significant contribution to our underwriting result.

And this week John Neal, the CEO at Lloyd’s, has been talking about reimagining Lloyd’s and making it future-focussed by “…supercharging innovation… next gen claims processes and reducing costs by automating low complexity risks”. 

Our numbers speak for themselves. 2018 saw our profits rise by 32% as we achieved a combined ratio of 94%. Lloyd’s as a whole, by contrast, clocked up 104.5%. Clearly, the combination of underwriting discipline combined with managed innovation continues to deliver strong performance. And there are more opportunities out there to be taken by the right businesses: rates are rising and capacity is withdrawing, so there are clients actively looking for new underwriting partners. So, as the future unfolds, you can be sure that AEGIS London will continue to dance to its own winning tune.