week commencing 05/05/19:

While a combination of baby photos and football triumphs momentarily turned the nation’s head from more pressing matters, business leaders got on with what they do best: making headlines.

AIG shares rise on strong underwriting performance

First quarter earnings by AIG surpassed Wall Street expectations and led to a 6% rise in the company’s share price. Its combined ratio for the quarter was 96.1, a marked improvement on the previous year’s 99.7. CEO Brian Duperreault stated he was expecting to make an underwriting profit for the full year. External-link. [Reuters]

London market’s leader-follower model too expensive

A lower-cost alternative to the subscription market’s traditional leader-follower model is vital if Lloyd’s is to halve its expenses. This was the view of an expert panel at Wednesday’s Insurance Day London Market Forum. Beazley’s smart tracker ‘beta’ syndicate may hold some of the answers. External-link. [Insurance Day]

60,000 US drivers file arbitration demands against Uber

For a business that admits it depends heavily on insurance, the news that over 60,000 US motorists have filed arbitration demands has rattled potential investors. Uber is preparing to float at a valuation of around $84bn. Experts say Uber’s plan to favour arbitration to deal with driver disputes has backfired badly. External-link. [Insurance Journal]

Marsh expected to file ‘swathe’ of lawsuits over defecting ex-JLT staff

Marsh’s newly filed lawsuit against competitor NFP over the loss of 13 staff could be the first of many such actions. The move heralds a strong reaction by Marsh to a wave of executive exits that threaten its interests. External-link. [Insurance Insider]

Hiscox publishes Q1 2019 figures

Hiscox Asia saw a 37.9% jump in gross written premium in the first quarter of this year, according to the latest financial numbers from the insurer. Hiscox Europe also grew premiums by 7.9%. CEO Bronek Masojada said the company has ‘done what we said we’d do in the first quarter’. External-link. [Insurance Insider]

Global primary insurance premiums to reach €7.5trn by 2030

Munich Re’s latest Insurance Market Outlook, published this week, predicts that growth in Asian markets, particularly China, will drive a €3trn increase in global primary insurance premiums over the next 12 years, taking the global total to €7.5trn. External-link. [Commercial Risk Europe]

Korean insurer buys stake in Canopius

Korea’s Samsung Fire & Marine, part of the Samsung Group, is set to become a significant minority investor in Canopius. The transaction, due to close in Q3 2019, is subject to regulatory approvals. Samsung’s CEO said the move was part of the company’s plan to become ‘a competitive, world-class P&C insurance business’. External-link. [Reactions]

Broad support for Lloyd’s proposals yet doubts niggle

While plans hatched by new Lloyd’s of London CEO John Neal to reform the insurance market have met with approval, questions linger over his ability to deliver while keeping all constituencies on-side. External-link. [Financial Times]

Banks on the verge of a nervous breakdown

This special report in The Economist examines how innovations such as new ways to use mobile phones are compelling banks to reinvent themselves if they want to survive the dramatic restructuring taking place in their industry. External-link. [The Economist]

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