'Lloyd's announces £500m loss' and 'Richard Ward's surprise that this hasn't been reflected in rates' has been all over the press in recent weeks.
I’ve read with interest commentary on this story, some of it uneducated, implying that Lloyd's is a single entity rather than a club. The (occasionally missed) statistic of a rise in the value of the untouched central fund was an interesting side note, particularly given the worst catastrophe year in living memory.
This is evidence that the insurance marketplace is becoming more sophisticated, leading to a smoothing of the underwriting cycle. The stock market travails also have a substantial impact with capacity available to the marketplace that would ordinarily be pumped into shares.
As a constituent of the market it is clear that analytics is becoming more of a factor. This, in turn, is leading to an increasing sophistication in the assessment of risk and the management of a portfolio.
An old business adage is: 'It's OK to make mistakes, but only a fool makes the same mistake twice.' Analytics is helping companies learn from experience and apply it in a coherent way, helping avoid making the same mistake twice.
On an entirely different and more personal topic, I took some of my Agencyport leadership team to see Sir Clive Woodward recently, at an event organised by the London Business Forum.
I confess to being a rugby fan, so Sir Clive had instant credibility with me. His opening talked about talent and his belief that every team has talent; that to win there needs to be a fierce desire to learn, the ability to perform under pressure and the will to succeed.
For someone from an IT company, Sir Clive's picture of two prop forwards and a hooker on England Rugby-supplied laptops, examining their performance using Pro-Zone, made me chuckle: a technology introduced by Sir Clive after a recommendation from Arsene Wenger.
This was tangible evidence of his strong belief that "whoever wins in IT tends to win". I have to agree with him!
Phil Race is managing director of Agencyport Software Europe
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