The first fully digital Lloyd’s syndicate is to begin underwriting at the end of the year and has been described as redefining the commercial insurance market.
Brit Insurance has combined with Google Cloud to launch Ki, a standalone business and the first fully digital and algorithmically-driven Lloyd’s syndicate that will be accessible anywhere, at any time. Under the plans it will be ‘follow-only’ syndicate launching in 2021.
The underwriter said the syndicate marks “a step change for an industry that is yet to face the disruption seen across the rest of financial services and other industries”.
It added Ki will aim to significantly reduce the amount of time and effort taken for brokers to place their follow capacity, creating greater efficiency, responsiveness and competitiveness. Google Cloud will bring to Ki enterprise-grade cloud solutions powered by innovative technologies that enable rapid transformation at scale.
Ki’s algorithm will be able to evaluate Lloyd’s policies and will automatically quote for business through a digital platform which brokers can access directly. The selection process is performed using a proprietary algorithm developed with support from University College London and its Computer Science department. Ki will follow several ‘nominated’ lead syndicates across the Lloyd’s market, including Brit. Ki will offer brokers a line on every risk in the selected classes led by these markets.
Ki will be run by a dedicated team reporting to Mark Allan, Group CFO at Brit, who will act as Executive Chair. The business will be backed by Brit, Fairfax and other private capital investors.
John Neal, Lloyd’s of London CEO (pic) said: “Ki truly embraces all that is represented in “The Future at Lloyd’s” by bringing data, technology, innovation and artificial intelligence to the fore in the complex world of corporate and specialty underwriting. It is an exciting first for Lloyd’s and paves the way for others to follow.”
Matthew Wilson, CEO, Brit, added: “Ki is a significant milestone for our market, combining Brit’s heritage of underwriting outperformance and Google Cloud’s technology expertise. Over time, Ki will look to play a central role in the transformation of the specialist insurance market in London, creating a whole new and fully digital segment which operates seamlessly alongside the traditional marketplace.
Recent events have demonstrated the importance of electronic trading and I expect Ki to be at the forefront of the accelerated transition in how the Lloyd’s market transacts business. Through building a truly quantitative-based approach to insurance, Ki aims to do what quantitative hedge funds did to Capital Markets in the 1990s.”
Adrian Poole, Head of Financial Services, Google Cloud said: “We are proud to be the cloud provider for Ki, and to collaborate with Brit to transform the London insurance market. As the first algorithmic syndicate, we see this as an exciting first step by Brit to support the Future at Lloyd’s vision and are delighted to bring our market-leading technologies to support this innovative venture.”