London: 05 October, 2020 -
Carbon Underwriting Founder and CEO Stephen Card talked strategies, plans and all things data in his recent interview for the Voice of Insurance Podcast with Mark Geoghegan
For Carbon Underwriting Founder and CEO Stephen Card, starting Syndicate 4747 during lockdown wasn’t exactly what he had planned, but with the legwork done and the plans for the inaugural ‘from scratch’ Syndicate in a Box
approved by the Lloyd’s franchise board, it seemed like a virtual launch was perhaps fitting for such a pioneering new business venture.
Stephen caught up with Mark Geoghegan, Founder of the influential Voice of Insurance
podcast, to explain how Syndicate 4747 aims to digitally transform the delegated authority (DA) corner of our market.
As Mark pointed out, DA is one of the most traditional elements of underwriting at Lloyd’s and accounts for more than 40% of its premiums, and any plan to revolutionise this method of distribution will have repercussions that reverberate across the London market and beyond.
Stephen explained that whether the perception was traditional or not, data is the key ingredient of DA business, and the way it is currently presented simply doesn’t provide coverholders with enough opportunity.
“No matter how we consume data, it is what we do with it that is important,” Stephen said. “Data is reviewed at the end of the year, which makes it historical, and there is very little you can do with it. So, we decided to turn this on its head.”
Exploring Carbon’s solution to this problem – the bespoke technology ecosystem Graphene – Mark enquired how the platform fitted into Carbon’s USPs.
“Graphene is all about data,” Stephen said. “By cleansing data and representing it down to individual risk levels, we can segment it and see what is affecting the performance of a portfolio in as live a reality as possible. Not only do we share that data with coverholders so they can see their performance, but we show them our underwriting analysis and suggest improvements.
“We believe that to write DA business better you must devote time and attention to it, so our underwriters have no more than five coverholder relationships,” Stephen continued. “This means we can have weekly conversations with coverholders, making the partnerships in-depth and personal.”
Combining these attributes with the experienced team’s authority to drive ratings and write lead lines – plus the future capacity as a syndicate to run its own capital – is key to Carbon’s strategy.
“Although we are different in what we do, we believe we can add something of real value to this market,” Stephen said. “We want to drive this conversation around DA, and although we don’t have all the answers yet, we think we are making a pretty good start.”
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