Two winners share top slot in PV underwriters’ rankings

Hiscox’s Richard Halstead soared up The Insurance Insider’s rankings of London political violence (PV) underwriters to take third place, while Chaucer’s Andrew Bauckham and CNA Hardy’s Jonathan Powell advanced within the top three to take joint first position.

This year’s survey generated a ranking of 56 underwriters and 55 brokers collated from 129 submissions and narrowed down from 381 valid nominations. 

For the underwriting component, brokers were asked to list their three favourite underwriters with which to do business.

Halstead, who joined Hiscox almost 10 years ago, was ranked 15 in last year’s inaugural survey.

The two joint winners, Bauckham and Powell, had come in third and second, respectively, last year.

Last year’s winner, StarStone’s James Hannan, fell to 15th place.

Bauckham and Powell’s identical overall score of 30 compared with 25 for Halstead.

Bauckham, who drew 67 percent of the votes cast for the top choice, was credited with a “client-first mentality” and being “willing to consider, develop and pioneer new products”.

Powell was described as “likeable, knowledgeable and understanding in tough market conditions”. In the survey, he drew 47 percent of votes cast for first choice.

Bauckham was the preferred choice of brokers who placed policies with gross premiums of between £5mn and £10mn ($6.8mn and $13.6mn) in the past 12 months. That was a position he shared with Hiscox’s Michael Jordan, who was ranked sixth overall.

Bauckham was also the favourite among brokers with more than 20 years’ experience in the London PV market, while Powell was preferred by those with 10-20 years’ experience.

Halstead was the favourite among brokers who have placed gross premiums of more than £10mn in the past 12 months.

One broker said Halstead is “generally on point when dealing with complex or detailed requests”.

“He has already made a mark but I believe he will get better,” the broker added.

Broker rankings

For the broker component of the survey, underwriters were asked to pick and rank the three brokers they rated most highly.

In a significant win for the independent broking sector, Tysers’ Freddie Tyler took the top slot, scoring 28 overall and moving from the fourth position last year.

One underwriter said of Tyler: “Whilst producing new business opportunities and revenue streams, Freddie’s attention to detail remains paramount.”

Tyler, who has been in the market for less than five years, was unusually most popular with both underwriters in that same cohort and those with more than 20 years’ experience. Tyler previously worked in analysis and business intelligence before becoming an insurance broker, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Willis Towers Watson’s Lyall Horner came in at number two, with a score of 26, rising from sixth place last year. However, Horner commanded the greatest proportion of votes cast for the first choice – 64 percent, compared with 38 percent for Tyler.

Horner was also credited with “superb attention to detail” as well as “technical curiosity in his analysis of wordings combined with a good appreciation of underwriting motivating factors”.

JLT Specialty’s James Lloyd, who was number two last year, slipped to number three, with 33 percent of votes cast nominating him as the first choice.

Lloyd is an associate within the PV and terrorism team at JLT Specialty, but one underwriter predicted that he “will join management inevitably soon”.

Last year’s winner, Raj Rana, who is head of war and terrorism at JLT Specialty, fell to fourth place.

The importance of independence

The rankings work is undertaken by experienced research staff who share the ethos and values of The Insurance Insider, under the ultimate oversight of managing director Mark Geoghegan.

However, just as The Insurance Insider jealously protects its editorial independence, so does the standalone research team, operating autonomously from editor-in-chief Adam McNestrie and his team of journalists.

As such, the rankings and editorial businesses respect the necessary distance between the very different work that they do.

To gain full access to the survey data, please contact The Insurance Insider's commercial director, Spencer Halladey, at: spencer@insuranceinsider.com