Live from LMC 2023: James Pring, Ebix Europe
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Live from LMC 2023: James Pring, Ebix Europe

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The sales director of Ebix Europe talks about electronic placing in the London Market.

Multiplying digital placement options creating duplication: LMC panel

Digital trading in the London market is starting to become more frustrating, with duplication of efforts and operational inefficiencies due to a multiplication of varying initiatives, according to a panel of experts speaking on a Chatham House rules basis at Insurance Insider’s London Market Conference.

This comes as the move from the former Ebix trading platform has opened up various avenues that are being pursued by different players: with PPL being the largest, but Whitespace also picking up large clients including Marsh, and a new Ebix trading platform on the way in 2024. In addition, there are multiple different broker initiatives on digital data.

The result is that underwriters are being asked to operate across multiple platforms, creating inefficiencies and reducing their ability to triage submissions, with information being left in multiple inboxes.

The panel said that competition of various platform providers was not a problem in itself, though they expected there to be consolidation over time, but that the fact that none of the systems were interoperable was a problem.

The panel agreed that greater use of API messaging systems and setting out a common basic set of data points that could be digitally communicated across different systems were key to creating more interoperable systems and reducing the need to rekey data or use multiple different interfaces.

They suggested that it should be easily achievable to supply a common set of 10-15 core data fields at submission time to greatly assist underwriter workflow and triage – fields that are already available from the template set by the new Core Data Record that forms part of Blueprint Two modernisation plans.

API based platforms could also be adapted to the needs of underwriters or brokers that prefer to use a document-first approach as well as those that have invested in data systems to use that data directly. In this way, the market would not need to move at the pace of the slowest actor.

However, currently for those platforms that are offering data in API format, the challenge that is slowing uptake is that there is not enough volume of business coming through those APIs for underwriters to make it worthwhile using them.

The panel was hosted in partnership with Ebix Europe.

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