Moving Towards a Hybrid Working Model

author by Graham Sheppard time Feb 07, 2022

The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) recently announced that its members have committed to an “at the box or in the office” availability on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in what could be a key step in maintaining face-to-face trading in the London market.

According to the LMA, the commitment ensures Lloyd’s underwriters will generally be present for in-person trading with brokers on the middle three days of the week, either in the Lloyd’s Underwriting Room or in their own offices. It is all part of a drive by senior executives to return to office working in London following close to two years of working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The commitment reportedly underlines the importance of face-to-face trading in Lloyd’s. Being able to trade in person, to go into specific risks in detail, is all part of the Lloyd’s ecosystem, which includes brokers, underwriters, and insureds. They will all benefit from ensuring that unique way of trading continues.

Statistics from the LMA reveal that roughly 1,200 brokers and underwriters entered the Lloyd’s Underwriting Room on each of Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during the first week in February 2022. The numbers will no doubt rise as LMA members look forward to a return to trading in person in the Room. The return will help to facilitate more efficient negotiation and placement of complex risks, but it seems likely to be part of a hybrid working approach for now, if anecdotal evidence, industry reports and company communications are to be believed.

Anyone who has ever worked in or around the London market will welcome the commitment to trading in person. We are social animals and there really is nowhere else in the world of financial services quite like it. The major arteries of Bishopsgate, Leadenhall Street, Fenchurch Street and all the veins and little lanes that connect the main thoroughfares support the lifeblood of the square mile, its people, and the great companies they work for - it is a great place to work.

At the same time, people like to work from home. The hybrid model looks like it’s here to stay, which is good news for technophiles, IT companies, digital platform providers and market traders who enjoy a lie in on a Monday morning! It also reinforces the power of the market digitisation, Future at Lloyd's, and Blueprint 2 proposition.

The hybrid model and working from home does present its own particular challenges and risks, however. In a recent IUA survey, when asked about the top three challenges facing your company, 27% of respondents identified climate risk and ESG. This was followed by regulatory change (22%) and challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic such as remote working (17%).

In the section of the survey that focused on digital questions, data standards were identified as the most important issue for the digital transformation of London Market central services, followed by claims processing in second place. Also important were electronic placing, accounting and settlement and driving adoption of market solutions.

In our next blog, we will look at latest digital developments at Lloyd’s, which has already made some revealing statements in 2022 along with announcing practical developments and progress in areas such as Syndicate in a Box.

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