To celebrate the 20th edition of the British Insurance Awards, three years ago, I sat down and went through all the previous events to find out who had been the most successful company in its history.
For those of you who want a reminder, the tables can be found here. But in short, RSA was the most successful insurance group, Aon the winningest broker and Cunningham Lindsey top of the service providers using a scoring system of three points for a win and one for a nomination.
The talk - denied - of Allianz looking at QBE as a takeover target last month got me thinking about the deals that have been completed since the 20th BIA, including Sterling by Covea, Catlin by XL, Amlin by Mitsui, Jelf/Bluefin by Marsh and GAB Robins by Crawford, and whether these coupled with three more years of ceremonies had changed the rankings in any way.
Well, I can report that RSA, now with 138 points [up from 130] is still top of the tree, but below, there has been some significant movement.
Aviva remains second with 88 [2014: 75], but leaping up from seventh to third equal in the standings with 85 points [2014: 47] is Allianz.
Moving up two slots to third equal is Ageas on 85 [2014: 65], Zurich slips from third to fifth with 81 [2014: 71]; and Axa also drops two to sixth with 79 [2014: 68].
What is noticeable is that the gap between second and sixth [then Legal and General] in 2014 was 25 points; now it is only nine.
Other performers worth noting are LV, which jumps to 12th [from 16th] with 39 points [2014: 21 points]; and breaking into the top 10 we have AIG [10th] and Hiscox [ninth] with 44 and 48 respectively, up from 29 and 31 points respectively.
While there is no change at the top of the insurance group charts, we do have a new number one in both the broking and service provider rankings, as Marsh and Crawford benefit from both recent shortlist appearances/wins and takeovers. If you remember, all legacy companies are included in the new parent business' score.
So for Marsh, its 37 points are now supplemented by Bluefin's 19 and Jelf's eleven, giving it 67 [2014: 32 points] compared to Aon's 54; Crawford now tops up 69 points with the addition of GAB Robins [2014: 30 points] above previous leader Cunningham's 62.
Elsewhere, it is worth noting that regional brokers Bollington and Wilby have cemented their positions in the list of most successful broking firms at the BIA with recent wins and nominations giving them 31 [2014: 23 points] and 26 [2014: 15 points] respectively. While Howden enters the top ten through acquisitions [RK Harrison and Perkins Slade notably] and recent award successes on 31 points.
As to the firms I mentioned above that have done sizeable deals since the 20th BIA, Covea has made the most headway - including winning transformational deal of the year in 2016 - and now has 26 points, putting it in 15th position, one place and one point ahead of now defunct Independent Insurance.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the BIA in 2019, I am sure we will draw up more detailed charts to illustrate the differences between the first 19 and 24 awards. And remember the best way to change your score between now and then is to get entering.
With a deadline of 15 March, you still have plenty of time, whether you are an insurer, broker or service provider, and I look forward to tracking the changes as we get closer to the silver anniversary awards event in two year's time.
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