Last week our Chairman, Bronek Masojada, took part in the Insurance Day Digital Futures webinar – an event planned some time ago but whose subject had become infinitely more timely with the lockdown. Obviously, there was a certain amount of focus on how the market has embraced electronic placement through this period, but more interestingly was the focus on what more we can do. As Bronek put it very succinctly “it is critical that we don’t settle in for a round of self-congratulation and think that our job is done”.

There are three critical steps we need to take: connectivity, starting the process at the beginning and improving the overall experience. Everyone agreed that the key to successful implementation of e-placement was the ability to move the data around. As David Croome-Johnson, CEO of AEGIS put it, “if you’re not building your technology so it can connect, you’re going to find problems down the line”. So, the upcoming launch of the Quote API will be a significant step forward for PPL.

The next step is getting the process used from submission. As with all things on PPL, it is the support of the market that makes this happen. The 150 plus broking firms, and Liiba, have been critical in getting us to where we are today. But it is also true that submissions on the platform remain stubbornly low so it is worth asking the question as to what other levers might work. The FCA intervened in the contract certainty debate and Lloyd’s in mandating placement – both of which made change happen.

The webinar also focussed on the future. Will electronic placement make London accessible globally? Will it reduce operating costs? Will there be less face to face trading? Our contribution to this debate is to work on making the platform better – not just with day to day improvements but by looking at the next generation of the platform – more of a giant leap that a small step (testament to this weekend’s space news!). We are actively working with our Board and the market on what that will be. With more months of remote working ahead of us, our key focus is supporting the market as it helps its clients and business partners – while always looking forward to what comes next.