Beazley: Reaping the rewards of investing in Asia

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Beazley is reaping the rewards in the Asia-Pacific region of a new strategy it launched in the fourth quarter of 2019, which saw it expand its product suite and distribution, Lucien Mounier, head of Asia-Pacific, Beazley, told Intelligent Insurer in a video interview.

He said the regional business is anticipating posting a jump in gross written premiums.

The growth is due to a mixture of organic growth and the launch of new lines of business. Since that 2019 launch, it initially expanded its product suite in the region, largely through new hires in local markets, and into the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) business, cyber, and jewellery and fine art.

Mounier said all these businesses are established and have done well. More recently, it has added products to its existing financial lines business and launched some new products targeting the life sciences, as well as a new cyber package.

He stresses that the new business lines, while successful, have been able to grow from the solid and robust base thanks to its established products in the region which include marine, property and political risk. “Our existing teams have done well, giving us a solid base to work from,” he said.

He added that it has invested in expanding its distribution. “The work we are doing is around partnering with cedants and local insurers in their local markets to enhance their own offering. The idea is to help local companies access innovative solutions that they do not necessarily have the capabilities to set up and initiate on their own.”

“Each market is unique and requires specialists working in those local markets.” Lucien Mounier, Beazley

He stresses that, while this sounds straightforward, Beazley’s strategy in the region is very nuanced and caters for the unique cultural and market differences in each country in the region.

“The opportunity in this region is massive,” he said. “Although this is a complex region to navigate, and one that is very diverse, those are the things that make it very attractive to work in. You have to be proactive and willing to take the time to develop products. It is important to understand that each market is unique and requires specialists working in those local markets.”

An overarching topic in the region remains the protection gap, though this differs to in its nature and size by the country and economic maturity of each market. “Education is key to this,” he added. “There are a number of organisations, including Lloyd’s, that do a great job in that space, and we also play our part. It is a question of collaboration.”

He said it is a question of helping clients access education and solutions. “We work with risk managers and brokers across the region to give them the tools they need to allow them to innovate and work with us as valued partners. All our experts are also on the ground, which aids that process.”

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Wider issues

Another burning issue for the region is climate change, Mounier said. He said that, while the company is committed to the metrics of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) in a wider sense, on the underwriting side of the business it is also increasingly using performance metrics to evaluate the ESG characteristics of the clients it works with.

“We look at their performance around ESG and their direction of travel on that but, you have to remember, that context is everything, especially in the Asian markets. There are countries where sustainable technology is still developing, and you have to appreciate that.”

“There are countries where sustainable technology is still developing, and you have to appreciate that.”

Looking forward to the next period of the company’s growth in the region, he said the aim is to expand the product suite and team further, while also targeting its distribution. “We want to build a resilient business capable of performing in the long term,” he said. “We will be looking for further investment from the group to extend that strategy further.”

He notes that he is proud of the launch of a graduate programme in Singapore in June. “We want to play our part in investing in a new generation of talent for Beazley and for the wider industry. We want to be a part of that journey and part of that solution. That is a project we are proud of and excited about.”

To view the full 1.1 Club interview click here

SIRC 2021, Beazley, M&A, Cyber, Fine Art, Marine, P&C, Political Risk, Climate Change, ESG, Insurance, Reinsurance, Lucien Mounier, Asia Pacific