The London Market TOM Change and Placing Platform Ltd (PPL) team interviewed Adam Rushin, Director of Operations for London Market business, Hiscox, Caroline Langridge, Head of Underwriting Centre and Distribution, Hiscox, and Harry Jenkins, Underwriter, Hiscox, to find out the firm’s approach to adopting PPL.

Driving the market

Adam explains that Hiscox, as one of the largest Lloyd’s syndicates, is a champion of modernisation – a fundamental reason as to why he joined the PPL Board when it was set up in 2013. Adam says: “Hiscox recognised that the market needed to go electronic sooner, rather than later, and saw value in an electronic placement platform.”

Hiscox Group CEO, Bronek Masojada, the recently appointed PPL Chair, adds: “The market has been playing the modernisation game for a long time. Successful implementation will mean that we are getting the right data at the front-end of the placement process and then the critical structured data at the end. It is this data – and the removal of slow, expensive paper-based processes – that will support on-going face-to-face negotiations where it matters, and help to ensure the future competitiveness of the London Market.”

An incremental approach to change

Hiscox adopted an incremental approach to the implementation of PPL:

  • Initially, Adam joined the PPL Board to help define the PPL market requirements with other participating brokers and managing agents;
  • Within Hiscox, Adam and his team worked with underwriters to identify the process and technology changes required for successful adoption; and
  • Hiscox is fully supportive of the recent Lloyd’s electronic placement mandate and will continue to be an advocate of the PPL system and the benefits it brings.

When the first lines of business went live in July 2016, Bronek spent time at the box watching PPL in action to ensure that the system works for both underwriters and brokers. When sitting in on a number of risks being traded on the platform, it was clear to Bronek how PPL will help replace paper in the placement process, minimise administrative work, and support, rather than replace, face-to-face negotiations.

Tracking and measuring is a base for adoption

Bronek comments: “My ambition is to drive PPL adoption from 15% to 80% of London risks and I will be working with the broking and underwriting communities to achieve this target.”

Hiscox measured its adoption numbers from when it first started using PPL to benchmark performance and expedite the change process. On a weekly basis, it tracks the number of risks in scope; how many could be on PPL versus how many are put through the platform. This information is then shared with the underwriters every month to discuss how to increase PPL usage.

Adam comments: “Publishing the numbers really helps drive usage. All firms should identify the areas they are struggling with and speak to firms who can provide peer-to-peer support and advice. This is a market-wide initiative and we can all work as one to make things easier for one another.”

Caroline comments: “The use of PPL is a key part of our broker servicing proposition, therefore it is intrinsically linked to the performance goals for our staff. We are serious about modernisation and therefore track it closely.”

Training is critical  

Hiscox undertook a ‘train-the-trainer’ approach for underwriters. Harry, a Cargo Underwriter, took on the responsibility of ‘lead trainer’ and learned the system first-hand. Harry is also a part of the Change & Design Committee and participates in the Market Acceptance Testing (MAT) which gives him a thorough understanding of the system.

He trains ‘expert users’ identified in each line of business at Hiscox, who, in turn, train the wider set of users. This approach creates multiple subject matter experts to provide system support when a line of business goes live on PPL.

Adam comments: “The system was very clunky in the beginning and a lot of effort and time was spent upfront to get people to use it. However, the entire organisation has been, and is still, committed to supporting the market’s modernisation. Hiscox is trained and ready, and is looking to brokers to submit risks via PPL so they can get a response via the same route.”

A common goal

In the later stages of PPL implementation, integration between the various systems will bring considerable benefits. Currently, PPL collates all data electronically in one location which is not only extremely useful but can greatly improve process efficiency.

Hiscox urges other firms to prioritise the modernisation of the London Market. Bronek explains: “This is not a spectator sport; all of us have a vested interest in the long-term success of London and so we all have an active role to play.”

To facilitate the evolution of the market, Hiscox will work collaboratively with other firms to share best practice and useful tips for the successful adoption of PPL.

The LM TOM team and PPL thank Adam, Caroline, Harry and Hiscox for their support in providing this case study.