week commencing 29/04/18:

Is there no stopping Taylor Swift? She’s risen from the depths of the country music scene to reign supreme in the global charts, and now she’s setting our interest rates. Needless to say, the Bank of England’s new idea has received mixed reviews in Luther Towers. Read on for our highlights of this week’s market news.

$4 billion IPO plans unveiled at Axa
Details of a $4 billion IPO of French insurer Axa’s US arm, Axa Equitable, were revealed this week following last year’s announcement by Chief Executive Thomas Buberl. External-link [Financial Times]

Insurers could have huge influence on automatic vehicles
Insurers could have huge input into shaping the autonomous vehicles of the future, and their help now could prove invaluable to speeding up progress and getting more test vehicles on the roads. External-link [Insurance Business Magazine]

Insurance against chemical attack up for debate
Julian Enoizi, CEO of Pool Re, has called for the insurance industry to consider whether commercial policies could provide coverage in the event of chemical attacks such as the one carried out in Salisbury. External-link [Insurance Day]

Global (re)insurance and speciality industry is “trader’s market”
The global (re)insurance and speciality industry is still a “trader’s market” according to broker JLT. It says the huge cat losses of 2017 are still making themselves felt in the inconsistent rate renewal shifts. External-link [Reinsurance]

Lancashire enjoys 61% profit increase
Lancashire is enjoying a forecast-busting profit of $40.5 million after its loss ratio improved by almost 26 points. External-link [Insurance Insider]

Problems in Lloyd’s liability account lead to lower performance
Aegis and TMK syndicates took the lead over Lloyd’s liability underwriters last year as underlying issues in the account left Lloyd’s liability underwriting in deficit. The lion’s share of the market’s premium growth came from demand for cyber cover. External-link [Insurance Day]

Industry CEOs nervous about huge M&A prices
Several high-profile deals were agreed in Q1 this year but the high price tags attached are making CEOs tentative and slowing down further market consolidation. External-link [Reinsurance]

New FCA plans threaten professional indemnity market
Industry professionals have raised concerns about new FCA plans concerning the use of professional indemnity cover by personal investment firms, saying they could kill the market. External-link [Insurance Post]

Lloyd’s CFO to step down next year
John Parry, Lloyd’s CFO, has announced plans to step down after 17 years in the role, saying it’s the “right time to leave and look for new challenges”. External-link [Financial Times]

All change at Zurich’s UK underwriting arm
A major restructure is underway as the Swiss insurer sets about establishing its new SME underwriting centre in Leeds. External-link [Insurance Insider]

Spotify takes over (no, not the music industry – the economy)
The Bank of England’s Chief Economist has signalled a new approach to market research and it involves your taste in Spotify playlists. Traditional market research has always been fraught with issues so central bankers are turning to new methods to gauge the nation’s appetite for spending, including analysing the music you stream and the online games you play. External-link [The Times]


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