Setup of a cost review programme

We designed a programme of improvement initiatives to turn around falling profitability in a leading London Markets syndicate

The challenge

In the last three years the client's financial performance suffered a severe deterioration resulting in a loss of over £500M in 2017. The business accounted for a significant proportion of this loss. Whilst several extraordinary factors combined simultaneously to create this financial result, the performance uncovered fundamental weaknesses in the business requiring significant and urgent remediation. As a result, the client's senior management initiated a programme of work to identify and resolve key weaknesses.

The client was encouraged to add external expertise into the design of this programme and PEN were selected to provide insight, experience and challenge.

Our approach

PEN assisted in the most material aspect of this programme; the design of a plan to improve the syndicate’s underwriting performance via:

  • Improvements in underwriting strategy;
    • Developing a standard approach for a class level underwriting strategy
    • Documenting a class-level strategy to include acceptable risk taking, business features and a re-insurance strategy
    • Developing supporting KPIs to track underwritten business and alignment with the class strategy
    • Develop a framework to periodically monitor strategic risk execution for new lines of business 
  • Underwriting controls and oversight;
    • Identifying underwriting Areas of Concern and taking appropriate action;
    • Reviewing current Technical Pricing standards and mandating enhanced Technical Pricing;
    • Completing Current Underwriting Controls mapping exercise

The outcome

Through our involvement, the planning work previously undertaken at a Syndicate Business Unit level was brought together into a cohesive programme of delivery to ensure that these commitments were met in a co-ordinated manner and that their delivery could be measured and evidenced.

This included a programme structure, a high-level roadmap for delivery of the identified activities and a programme and a method by which its delivery will be controlled and managed.

It was also a requirement of our engagement that the plan was able to be presented and approved by the client and key stakeholder groups.