Electronic placing is a vitally important step in driving market modernisation, says Justin Emrich, Chief information Officer at Atrium Underwriters.

Justin Emrich is a visionary when it comes to insurance modernisation, but a practical one. He and Atrium are deeply committed to driving innovation in the London Market and are staunch supporters of the LM TOM programme with its commitment to making it easier to do business in London through one-touch data capture and shared central services.

Adopt Solutions

Atrium is putting its weight behind the LM TOM’s push to encourage the market to adopt its business solutions and reap the rewards of its investment through reduced costs, increased efficiency and better customer service. Atrium is showing its support for LM TOM’s Placing Platform Limited (PPL), an electronic placing platform, by displaying posters on its underwriting boxes in Lloyd’s. PPL supports face-to-face negotiation, promotes market efficiency, reduces back-office costs and improves customer service and is just one of the LM TOM’s modernisation efforts. Atrium is advertising its support on its website and email signatures. Other underwriters inspired by this move are following suit, including Navigators and XL Catlin.

Vital step

“The market is moving towards a digital future and a placing platform is a vital step towards this,” explains Justin. “It allows documents to be traded but ensures that verbal communication between traders remains where it is needed,” he explains.

“But we must not stop there – the next steps should be:

  • improving the online negotiation functionality;
  • focussing on joining up systems;
  • automatically turn documents into data and ultimately move away from documents altogether;
  • we also need to move to real-time information from producer to insurer, especially for delegated authority business thus removing the need for bordereaux;
  • we must improve our claims process making it faster and more transparent for the client;
  • and finally take the frictional costs out of our accounting and settlement process.

“There is still a great deal to do.”

Atrium recently showcased the LM TOM Solutions, alongside its own internal innovation work. “Atrium Innovate hosted the event. It is a working group set up by Atrium to look at new ways of working and is top-down sponsored but bottom-up led,” explains Justin. “As a firm Atrium is very supportive of the market modernisation agenda and our first showcase allowed us to demonstrate the potential and possibilities of new ways of working. We also want to empower the younger generation at Atrium through Atrium Innovate and create a culture that fosters innovation. It’s important not to be a bystander in today’s market.”

But while an advocate of radical transformation in the market and the possibilities that this will bring, Justin is very aware that technical proficiency doesn’t necessarily translate into market expertise. “The market needs senior players to impart their knowledge to the younger generation and the younger generation must share their technical capabilities. That way we can get the very best of both worlds. And that’s what we are striving for at Atrium.”