James Willison, Managing Director at WCL, explains how the Future at Lloyd’s Blueprint Two initiative embraces the themes of data, integration, connectivity and multiple placing platforms – all key elements within WCL’s toolkit.
Blueprint Two feels like a decisive moment in Lloyd’s history and different from other attempts to modernise the London Market. For the first time, participants are ready and willing to embrace digital trading. COVID-19 was an inflection point that acted as a catalyst for the London market, illustrating an urgency to modernise its processes and systems. The enforced lockdowns and subsequent remote working provided the ideal petri-dish to test the digital market infrastructure. Low and behold, the market significantly increased the volume of business it traded electronically.
A year after Lloyd’s of London first laid out its ambitious plans to modernise the insurance and reinsurance market, Blueprint Two was released and had a more targeted approach to transformation. The updated Future at Lloyd’s initiative said it wants to create a “data-led digital market” and will focus on the key themes of data, integration, connectivity and multiple placing platforms.
WCL was built to provide exactly these services to the global insurance and reinsurance market, and we have been at the forefront of insurance and reinsurance change, and a willing partner in the reform ecosystem. Our mission as a company has always been to speed up the adoption of new technology to support improved business processes and effect permanent positive change in the industry in order to fully embrace digital trading.
The specialist nature of the Lloyd’s market has historically led to specially-developed insurance software, but Blueprint Two has smartly recognised the need for modern technology and multiple placing platforms. Through the use of application programming interfaces (API) and an interconnected ecosystem of insurance technology partners, the market can truly embrace future innovation.
Importantly, Blueprint Two has moved into the realms of financial certainty, which provides significant opportunities for the market. In December 2004 FSA Chief Executive John Tiner challenged the insurance industry to end the “deal now, deal later” culture in the UK, giving it two years to find an industry solution or face regulatory intervention. The industry met that challenge and now Lloyd’s want the market to achieve both contract and financial certainty at the point of bind. This would be a powerful position to be in for market participants as at the point of bind, the exact premium and tax breakdowns across all territories will be known up front.
The Blueprint also sets out ambitions to re-engineer the placement and claims processes, to adopt industry standards for data and to create seamless straight-through processing within Lloyd’s from placement to claims.
Last year in Blueprint 1, Lloyd’s of London proposed the creation of a Risk Exchange to provide the infrastructure to automate business solutions, using algorithms to automatically underwrite business. Since then, Lloyd’s stated in Blueprint Two that it recognised that there is a significant opportunity to support this placing method by “providing connectivity from multiple markets to multiple retail brokers and wholesalers through a Lloyd’s Risk Exchange”.
You may have heard the recent news that WCL has been acquired by US technology company Zywave, which has a significant stronghold in the US broker market. A key focus of any transformational acquisition is to bring in new capabilities– and our partnership with Zywave has done just that, all while embracing the principles of digital modernisation in Blueprint Two. Together, we will continue to transform the insurance industry.
Ultimately, the end goal is to build a truly interconnected insurance network and now the market can find its way using the Blueprint Two map.