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Canopius CEO eyes opportunities in Europe

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Inga Beale

Thu 08 Nov 2012 -Lloyd’s has a good reputation in Europe, but managing agents need to become more client focused to be successful on the continent, says Inga Beale, Group Chief Executive at Canopius Group Ltd.

Good timing

There are great opportunities right now for Lloyd’s to write business in Europe, says Beale, who has extensive experience of both European and US markets at the highest level. “Clients see that Lloyd’s is in full control with the Franchise Board and the market has an excellent reputation, ” she says.

However, European markets require a different approach to that typically taken in London, which tends to be reliant on brokers and focussed on lines of business, says Beale. Reinsurers in Continental European markets are much more client focussed and able to offer a more complete solution, she says.   “Lloyd’s is able to fulfil the needs of European clients and offer what other reinsurers in Europe can offer, but it needs to bridge the gap and marry that client view with the market’s traditional line of business focussed view, ” says Beale.

Informed view  

Beale’s experience of working in the US and Europe has given her a fresh perspective on London.

Having started her career as a treaty reinsurance underwriter in the London market in 1982, Beale has considerable achievements, including 14 years spent at US insurer and reinsurer GE Capital, where she headed the European reinsurance and insurance arms. She also took centre stage when she joined Converium in 2006, then a struggling Swiss reinsurer, which she helped turnaround before moving on to senior roles at Zurich Financial Services. Beale joined Lloyd’s insurer Canopius as CEO in January 2012.   “When I started working in London I thought it was the centre of the insurance universe, ” says Beale, who divides her time between London and her home in Zurich. “Spending time working in the US and Europe exposed me to different approaches and gave me a more global perspective. So I am able to return to London and challenge it with new eyes, ” she says.

Lloyd’s advantage  

The Lloyd’s market offers some unique benefits, including the ability to use a diverse range of capital, access market support services, and licensing that allows an insurer to write business around the world, says Beale.

“It is a very flexible way of running a business, ” she says. “But we need to get the market working efficiently and keep the expense ratio low if Lloyd’s is to remain an attractive place for business. It would be a huge advantage if Lloyd’s were able to get all the players in the market to work together and share services.”   Despite overseas expansion, Lloyd’s is where Canopius first opened its doors and remains the insurer’s strategic focus, says Beale. “Canopius has a different identity and outlook, and is fizzing with ambition, ” says Beale.

(source: Lloyd’s of London site news)

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