London November 8th 2012
|To :||Members of the Insuralex Group|
|From :||David Brackenbury|
|Date :||8th November 2012|
|Subject :||London Marketing meetings 25 th – 27 th April 2012|
As we move into the Mid Year meeting, I think it will be useful to issue a written Report, which will add a little detail to the verbal Report and PP Presentation that I intend to give during our meeting. There have been some notable successes, as well as other areas which can give us pause for thought and reflection.
I will touch on the external work that I have done for the Group and will then give some detail of work that has been carried in general terms and for the individual firms. I want to discuss how we can target the Lloyd’s and London Markets and also how we can best be of assistance to you in your own jurisdictions to increase the footprint that your firm receives with the local Media and with the Insurance and Reinsurance communities in your areas.
I hope that you will find this document to be of interest. It is important that this is not a “dry” document that is read once and discarded! I want it to be a basis for discussion from all of you. I know that you come from differing areas and differing jurisdictions and that business is done differently in these areas. What the President, the Board and I are seeking to do is to help you work together in our Group to extract the maximum advantage for your own firms. I have said it before, but it is crucial that we recognise that Insuralex is only as good as its Members. We have an excellent product here and I am confident that we can continue the very encouraging progress that we are making in penetrating Markets that are difficult and where, to date, we have had less traction.
Marketing work since Chicago AGM
Soon after the AGM, the Board and I sat down and set out some ideas for Marketing the Group externally, as well as in the Lloyd’s and London Markets. Members will remember the success of the Rotterdam and Dublin meetings earlier in the year and we planned to keep the momentum up by attending various overseas events and flying the flag of Insuralex, in conjunction with attendance of individual firms in the Group. It was very important, however, to keep up the momentum in the Market of new contacts that we had made earlier in the year (and before..) and I worked quite hard in the London Market to follow up on meetings and to build relationships gradually, from the initial cold call to a more positive relationship.
On behalf of the Group, I have attended a number of overseas events and will give a brief description of each visit.
The Reinsurance Rendezvous – Monte Carlo 9-12th September
I was accompanied by Bill Perry and all the Partners from Carter Perry Bailey and it was a very interesting introduction to the Rendezvous. I had not attended the event before and the way that business was done and the strong Reinsurance focus was of great interest. CPB looked after me very well and we had a number of excellent discussions, where Insuralex was promoted as a Group that has the capability to work in single or multiple jurisdictions and can offer a deep insight and knowledge of Reinsurance issues and claims.
Colleagues from CPB met a wider range of people during the visit, but I had meetings with a number of contacts which will stand me in good stead in this area. Some of the principal meetings were with:-
Amlin Re Europe – Urs Wust – Responsible for Germany, Austria, Nordic Countries CEE and Israel.
AAA Risk Solutions – Robin Spencer Arscott – Based in Bermuda and extremely well connected in that Market
Randall & Quilter – John Dewen – An old friend from the 1980s and very knowledgeable. We have met since the Rendezvous and he is certainly a very useful contact.
Citadel Risk – Andrea Viera – Based in London Citadel offer a range of Reinsurance products and they were very interested to know about the Group.
GRS – Georges Zeineh – Reinsurance consultants based in Lebanon and old friends of CPB. Again, a very knowledgeable gentleman
Scor – Doris Egli Schaufelberger – Most hospitable (as were Scor themselves) and it was good to get a European perspective as she is based in Zurich.
Riverstone – A run off company in the Fairfax Group, that was seen by Bill, who asked me to mention it. They were very interested in Insuralex, which they described as being like Harmonie, to which we added “but harmonious!!”
I also acted as co-host at the AIRSP (Association of Insurance and Reinsurance Service Providers) dinner, which was a great success. This event attracted a good gathering of Reinsurance professionals from the Lloyd’s and London and International Markets.
All in all, it was a very useful introduction to the Rendezvous and a worthwhile exercise.
SEMA Dinner – Athens – 26th September
This event was a precursor to the Hydra Conference held over the following few days. This event was sponsored by Insuralex and I was accompanied by Amelia Brault and William Sturge from CPB. They have both taken a lively interest in the Hydra event and it is important, as a great deal of business comes from Greece and Mediterranean countries, as well as countries in Eastern Europe. Our sponsorship was very clear and attracted real interest, as we explained the Group and its Membership.
There was a big international presence at the dinner and I was able to speak to more that 20 people during the evening. It is worth pointing out that other legal firms were present, including Goldberg Segalla, DAC Beachcroft, Rokas and Holman Fenwick Willan.
On the Underwriting side, I was able to have useful discussions with Chartis, QBE and WR Berkley I was also able to speak to a number of Brokers including Gras Savoye, Willis, Aon and Britannia.
This was a well organised event and was well worthwhile sponsoring. It raised our profile substantially and gave Amelia and William a good send off for the Hydra conference to follow.
I did not accompany colleagues to Hydra, as the next morning I flew to Milan to join Alex Giorgetti at the
Lloyd’s Event in Milan – 27th September
This event was billed as another event where Lloyd’s Brokers, Underwriters could network with other professionals. Initially we had some difficulty in getting access to the event and it seemed that we might have to cancel, or sponsor the event at a considerable cost. However, we were able to register at the last minute and Alex and I had a very interesting afternoon in the Market event. We had meetings with Lloyd’s Underwriters from Alterra, Catlin, Torus and XL We also had some more detailed discussions with local Experts such as Contec Lecari, Crawford, Van Ameyde and Lloyd’s Italia
One particularly interesting meeting was with Dieter Goebbels at Catlin in Koln. He was very interested in Insuralex and appreciated some of the pan-European coverage we can offer. It will be worth visiting him in the near future.
Again it was clear that we were attracting a considerable amount of interest. Studio Legale Giorgetti has a very good reputation in the London Insurance market and is very well known in the Italian market as well. However the interest that we were getting was more than any single country’s. Insuralex is clearly getting traction as a Group with capabilities far outside any single jurisdiction. The European market is crowded and as is widely known, the Insuralex Group and its predecessors has been at its best when working together across multiple jurisdictions and this is a lesson that can apply right across the Group, whether in Europe or elsewhere.
The next major Marketing event was in October:
IFASIC – Lisbon 17-19th October
This event has grown from a comparatively small event for Specie Claims people, to a major international conference attracting some 270 delegates from around the world interested in all aspects of Fine Art, Jewellery, Cash, Banking and crime related Underwriting and Claims. Bill Perry, Alex Giorgetti, and Enrique Belzuz attended the Conference with our Candidate Members for California, Murchison and Cuming, who were being voted upon during the Conference! It was a pleasure to see Jean Lawler and Valarie Jonas at the event.
As Members will know, I have a Specie background and am very familiar with many of the Delegates, Speakers and members of the Organising Committee. It would be invidious to detail the specific meetings that I had (although I will be delighted to discuss with Members, if they would like) Bill Perry and Alex are also very well used to this Market and with Enrique’s local knowledge; we made a very strong team.
Although we were asked not to hand out brochures as such, we were able to discuss the abilities that our Group could offer to a very wide range of Market colleagues. As Members will be aware, Specie is a particularly useful area of Property business, as it transcends the Marine and Non-Marine divide.
It is worth pointing out the international nature of this event. There were many delegates from the USA, South America, Europe, the Far East and the diamond worlds of Israel and India.
All in all, it was a very good event indeed, and our presence was appreciated by many of the delegates.
To sum up, the external events were very successful. I noticed a difference in the structure of events – Lloyd’s events tended to be more informal and the major events such as Monte Carlo and Hydra were more formal and structured. In these cases, it is an important matter to have arranged structured meetings with those we seek to meet with. This is a point that I have taken on board and will make sure happens in the future, where necessary.
Before leaving the topic of external marketing, it is important to point out that we will be considering activities for the next six months or so and will be very interesting to hear from you and your firms’ events that you believe Insuralex should be represented at. The world is a very big place and we do rely on your own local knowledge to enable us to help you!
Insuralex Group Marketing
This concludes the Marketing Report for the external events that I attended. I would now like to turn our gaze on the Group as a whole and what we can do to keep focus and pro-activity within the Group. It is clear that there are some things that I, and we, do very well and some things that will need a bit more work, if we are going to allow Insuralex to reach its full potential. Since I joined Insuralex, the Group has grown from 21 to 29 Members, an expansion of a third in 18 months and the Board are very conscious that we need to maintain a marketing and promotional service that offers Members the chance to profit by your involvement.
You will recall that at the London Mid Year Meeting last year, it was agreed that members could claim 5 hours of my time at Insuralex cost, before the costs are passed on. It is interesting that only five firms have utilised this to any extent – CPB, Grooterhorst, Studio Legale Giorgetti, Soulie & Coste-Floret and PD Law Offices. I appreciate that it is not an exact science, but when I am working specifically for a practice, that is recorded separately.
I fully appreciate that I need to improve my own communication skills and it is also important to note that I do other things besides working for the Group.
What we should be doing over this next period is paying consideration to how we can assist in your local areas. One thing that will be very useful is to have a list of your own local media outlets that you would contact with news from your own practices. The Insuralex Board have established good relations with the Insurance Media in London and we are sure that other practices have a similar relationship. I am very happy to assist any Member, who wants any help in working with Media in your own jurisdictions. (You may have to do the language, though!!)
It should go without saying that if any of your firms have a successful case, professional award or piece of recognition, article or any other piece of positive publicity, we are eager to hear about it and give it publicity. You will observe from our Website that we have uploaded quite a few good pieces of material such as CPB Partners being named as “Outstanding Individuals”, dangerous visits into the heads of Bill Perry and myself and other articles. We know that many of you are up to other and better things. Tell us abut it! This will help to keep our website dynamic and interesting, as well as garnering useful publicity for your firm and Insuralex.
We really do feel that membership of the Group is a mechanism for every firm to promote its activities and expertise. You would not be Members of Insuralex if your peers did not want you to be in the Group and we should use the excellence of all your practices. We need your assistance to promote the status, casework and achievements of all the firms that are in Insuralex. As our brand becomes stronger, you might like to give consideration to using our Logo and details in your own firm’s publicity. Some practices already do and it has the effect of showing that your firm is a part of this wider international Group.
At the Chicago meeting, we touched on regional meetings. The Group is a significant body in Europe, Canada, through the Arc Group and the United States and I believe we have achieved the mass that we need to put on smaller meetings, outside the General Meetings that we hold twice a year. It would be excellent to see a US and a European event each year outside these times and I know that we can generate interest and publicity for the hosting members and the Group as a whole.
Another very significant activity that the Group takes part in is referrals from one practice to another. Here again, there is some considerable activity, but the records that I keep indicate a quite small number of cases. We need to have this information available to the Group so that we can keep an eye on what is one of our most important reasons for existence. I attach a record for your information of what I have been informed about. I hear anecdotally that other cases may be out there!
In conclusion, I want to say that we have something really good here wherever in the world you come from and whatever your current role in the structure of Insuralex. It is abundantly clear to me that Insuralex is beginning to attract real interest as the pre-eminent Group of independent firms working in Insurance and Reinsurance coverage, defence and litigation work. We are beginning to get the ear of important figures in the Market, who are not ones to tolerate, or even see, all comers in the Market. It will be very important that we keep up this momentum. In this regard, I cannot emphasise the importance of following up the contacts that we all make and ensuring that a good first impression is built upon. As an example, a visit in Rotterdam earlier in the year, which seemed very unencouraging, is yielding good results (and business)!
It is very important that when we have instructions from Underwriters that these are handled in your usual excellent and professional manner. It is vital that we are seen to be working together, playing together where we can and promoting what is becoming an increasingly strong brand in the international insurance marketplace.
I guess that the key to these matters is that we are all on the same side. The President and the Board (not to mention myself!) want to help you all. We are very keen to make the Group and the teamwork that all of us have established work for the benefit of all the firms in Insuralex and for the Insurance and Reinsurance communities that we seek to serve.
With best regards,