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Prendergast and Layzell lead the 2019 Cyber Rankings

CFC Underwriting’s Andrew Prendergast has retained the lead position in the 2019 edition of the Cyber Rankings survey albeit with 55 percent fewer nominations compared with the 2018 Rankings.

Indeed, the competition between first and second place was much closer this year with just a 14-point difference in overall scores between the top two positions, as opposed to a substantial 53-point difference in 2018.

Corporate cyber practice leader Prendergast has consistently ranked highly in the Cyber Rankings league table, jumping from third place in 2017 up to the top position in 2018 and 2019.

Even though Prendergast lost a considerable number of nominations this year, the demographic of his support base was similar to what it was in 2018.

Last year, exactly 50 percent of Prendergast’s votes were from brokers outside of London such as the US or Australia. For 2019, the proportions remained the same, as Prendergast received nine votes from brokers located in London and nine from brokers based elsewhere.

Despite the Cyber Rankings survey having a focus exclusively on London market talent, nominations by brokers located elsewhere (particularly in the US) who directly place business into the London market are permitted.

Individuals from Aon and Marsh-JLT Specialty continue to be Prendergast’s biggest supporters. This year, 39 percent of his votes were given by brokers from Marsh-JLT Specialty while 22 percent were by Aon individuals.

However, barring top-ranked Prendergast, the leadin


g positions of the underwriter ranking for 2019 were taken up by professionals who had not previously ranked in the top five or even the top 10.

One of the biggest risers this year, coming in behind Prendergast by 14 points, was Hiscox’s Andrew Lewis.

He secured the runner-up position this year with an overall score of 35, jumping from 20th in 2018.

Lewis has been the lead cyber underwriter at Hiscox since mid-2018 and prior to that he was at QBE.

The transition from QBE to Hiscox in 2018 perhaps explains his drop in the 2018 Rankings to 20th place as, while he was working at QBE, Lewis had ranked 11th and 13th in the 2017 and 2016 editions of the Cyber Rankings, respectively.

Third-ranked Adam Taylor of Brit Insurance was in 12th last year while fourth-ranked Andrew Maher of Axis Capital came 19th in 2018.

This year, Taylor and Maher were equal for nominations but Taylor managed to climb ahead on overall scores as he clinched more nominations from brokers placing him as their first-choice underwriter.

Seventh-placed Matt Sumpter, who shared the position with Michael Shen of AmTrust at Lloyd’s this year, was also one of the most significant risers. Sumpter received just one nomination in 2018 but this year seven brokers voted for him, meaning he got an overall score of 16.

As for the fallers, CFC Underwriting’s Matthew Lewis – who secured the runner-up spot in 2018 – fell to 18th as his nominations reduced from 18 to five.

Elsewhere, Ben Maidment of Brit Insurance fell to 12th place from third place in 2018 and James Burns of CFC Underwriting fell to position 14 from fourth place in 2018. 


Similar to the underwriter’s league table this year, the top three positions on the broking side were made up of professionals who had previously ranked much lower down in previous years.

The change was also a departure from the otherwise stable talent picture for distribution in the three first rounds of the Cyber Rankings survey.

Paragon International’s Rob Layzell was voted as the best cyber broker this year having previously come 15th in 2018.

The senior vice president was previously a broker at Marsh for more than 14 years until November 2017 when he moved to Paragon.


The move from Marsh to Paragon seems to have furthered Layzell’s performance in the Cyber Rankings, having only ranked in positions 25 and 39 in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

The market veteran went top of the league table with a relatively diverse voter base as underwriters from all experience cohorts – except those with over 20 years’ experience – voted for him. Layzell’s 13 nominations emanated from underwriters affiliated to nine different companies.

His move to the top spot displaced two-time winner Jack Lyons of Marsh-JLT Specialty who fell down the ranking to sixth place after topping the Rankings in 2018 and 2016.

Two Stackhouse Poland brokers, Christopher Lennon and Freddy Knight, shared the runner-up spot on the broking side this year as they both scored 23 points.

Like Layzell, neither finished in the top 10 during the three previous years of the Cyber Rankings survey.

Lennon, who has since moved into a wider role within Stackhouse Poland’s recent acquirer AJ Gallagher, came 17th last year.

Meanwhile, Knight, who has been a London market cyber broker for less than three years, ranked 56th last year with just one nomination.

Elsewhere, Lockton’s Lucy Scott and Aon’s Shannan Fort shared fourth position this year as they both achieved an overall score of 19.

Fort has consistently featured as a top-five broker in the Cyber Rankings during the last few years – in 2017 she was the overall runner-up and in 2018 took fourth place.

One of the biggest fallers in the broker ranking this year was Max Perkins of Lockton who had topped the broker ranking in 2017 and was the runner-up in 2018.

Perkins – who remains a broker at Lockton – was relocated to the US which made him ineligible for our London-focused Cyber Rankings survey in 2019.

To view the full survey results, click here.

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