QBE syndicate cuts back in 2014

QBE syndicate cuts back in 2014

Premium at QBE's Lloyd's syndicate 2999 declined by 20.62% year on year in 2014, falling to £887.6m, from £1.12bn in 2013. This meant that it slipped to the eighth-largest syndicate in gross written premiums (GWP), from sixth-largest in 2013, according to SNL Financial's Data Dispatch Europe.

New management at QBE group level has eliminated a number of lines at Lloyd's and elsewhere in the group that no longer generate a required level of return. The syndicate has cut aviation and bloodstock portfolios from its Lloyd's platform.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia analyst Ross Curran said that he did not think this was a harbinger of QBE withdrawing fully from the Lloyd's market, as it had been "fundamental to the group's growth over the past nearly two decades". QBE took control of Limit plc in 2000, with the management of QBE's existing syndicates at Lloyd's transferred to Limit.

The top Lloyd's syndicate in terms  of GWP remained Catlin's syndicate 2003, with GWP of £1.99bn. Second was Amlin's syndicate 2001, with GWP of £1.54bn. The other "£1bn-plus" syndicates in 2014 were Brit's syndicate 2987, Liberty Mutual's syndicate 4472, Tokio Marine Kiln's syndicate 510, and Beazley's syndicate 2623.

The fastest-growing syndicate was Brit's syndicate 2987, with GWP up 10.17% year on year, part of which was due to its taking over of the QBE Lloyd's aviation book. Brit is being acquired by Canada-based Fairfax.

The leading syndicate in Fire and other property damage was TMK's syndicate 510, with GWP of £574.7m and a market share of 10.46%. Catlin's syndicate 2003, Hiscox's syndicate 33, Amlin's syndicate 2001 and Brit's syndicate 2987 made up the 2014 top five in this sector, which generated total Lloyd's GWP of £5.94bn in 2014.

It was closer at the top in Marine, Aviation & Transport (MAT), where Munich Re's syndicate 457 wrote £282.4m (market share of 7.03%). TMK's syndicate 510 had GWP of £258.4m; Catlin's syndicate 2003 had GWP of £240.9m. Beazley's syndicate 2623 and Talbot's syndicate 1183 completed the top five, in a sector with total Lloyd's GWP last year of £4.02bn.

In third-party liability, Beazley syndicate 2623 led the market last year with GWP of £435.6m, equal to an 11.07% market share. QBE's syndicate 386, Brit syndicate 2987, QBE's syndicate 2999 and Catlin's syndicate 2003 completed the top five in a sector that generated Lloyd's total GWP of £3.94bn.

Lloyd's total GWP last year was £25.85bn.

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