Click to enlarge Dear friend,
The passing of 20 years of The Insurance Insider is a moment to celebrate the achievements of a publication that is now firmly embedded in the global P&C (re)insurance sector.
But it wasn't always like this. We were born from the anti-establishment world of disgruntled and impoverished Names at a time when they were successfully litigating against their incompetent LMX underwriters, and there are still a few nods, winks and throwbacks to our old, dark DNA to greet longstanding readers.
Anyone who has had a Scriven profile written about them will testify to more uncompromising and satirical times, when a copy of The Insurance Insider was more likely to be found in the locked drawer of an executive desk, sandwiched between more exotic pictorial publications, a quart of whisky and a service revolver, than to be seen anywhere near a broker's waiting room coffee table. However, after 20 years we have all grown up. These days Mr Scriven takes his willing "victims" out to lunch (and he pays the bill!).
In the past 20 years we have globalised and so have you. Nowadays you can read an Insider scoop wherever on the planet your iPhone can get a decent signal.
You also get a lot more sophistication for your subscription dollar than you would have done in 1996.
The breadth of coverage and depth of analysis have all increased exponentially in the last 20 years. We now employ the largest dedicated insurance journalism team on the planet.
And what a 20 years of brutal events and gut-wrenching scoops!
In our first decade the world's (re)insurers had to cope with the two largest ever insured losses - the 9/11 terrorist attacks (we ran the full Silverstein slip) and then Hurricane Katrina. And after Katrina, this publication was the first to document the use of sidecars.
Meanwhile, on 4 October 2004 we warned Eliot Spitzer was poised to make public his accusations over contingent commissions. Ten days later the broking landscape was ravaged when he issued his complaint against Marsh.
We said Richard Ward would be the next Lloyd's chief executive after Nick Prettejohn, and then repeated the trick with Inga Beale. Tom Bolt's appointment as a replacement for Rolf Tolle was also followed this year by news of a certain Mr Hancock.
We said that Hank Greenberg would come back with a rival to AIG in the form of the Starr agencies. In the midst of the financial crisis we moved markets as we reported on a possible last-ditch AIG rescue deal involving Warren Buffett, which was confirmed more than a year later by Buffett himself.
Notable M&A exclusives have included Alleghany making off with TransRe under Validus and Allied's noses in 2011; Apollo's explosive tilt for Brit a year earlier; the eternal tussle for Omega Underwriting; the Sompo swoop for Canopius; and Richard Brindle's sensational departure from Lancashire and subsequent founding of $1.5bn Fidelis.
We have just added to our tally with Argo-Ariel and the reconstitution of Cathedral as Blenheim.
On the broker front we unveiled the transatlantic merger of Swett & Crawford and Cooper Gay, Hyperion/Windsor and then RKH and almost every major broker merger or acquisition in between.
We were also the first to focus on the return of off-slip broker remuneration and facilitisation. The Aon Lloyd's Sidecar and Client Treaty were our original stories.
On the loss front we revealed the full Costa Concordia and Deepwater Horizon insurance programmes and everything you ever wanted know about the Thai floods, the New Zealand and Chilean quakes and Superstorm Sandy.
These are just some of our exclusives - and we promise there will be many, many more.
Please click here to view this selection of greatest hits.