RISKbitz June 2017

RISKbitz June 2017

Mega Broker employees a chip off the old blockchain

Mega Broker has set a precedent in the London market by ‘chipping’ all of its employees in the same way as pet owners can embed a microchip into their pets’ fur, Riskbitz can reveal.

Part of an efficiency drive dubbed Chips With Everything, the programme is intended to help Mega Broker boost efficiency savings in the face of rising costs and soft market conditions.

Using a syringe, a microchip the size of a grain of rice has been implanted into every employees’ hand, with new employees being chipped on their first day in the office. 

The company has rolled out an office network that allows the chips to function as swipe cards: to open doors, operate printers, or buy coffees in the staff canteen with a wave of their hand.

The technology itself is not new and is already used as a way of identifying dogs, for instance, or to track deliveries. But it is believed to be the first time that broking firms have used them to monitor all of their employees.

Biologically safe, the data on the chip can tell the firm’s human resources department what time the broker came into work and what time they left; or how many miles they covered while traipsing around the London insurance market.

The chip can even identify the length and frequency of broker’s toilet breaks.

“We think our Chips With Everything initiative will pay dividends in terms of improving Mega Broker’s EBITDA,” said Mega Broker CEO Ian Bigge-Bowness. “But it will also give our employees an enhanced sense of belonging to Mega Re,” he laughed.

Mr Bigge-Bowness added that he expected other large brokers and underwriting firms in London to follow suit, enhancing the competitiveness of the market as a whole. 

“I envisage a market where all our human capital is joined up into one blockchain, streamlining premium payments, risk data and claims settlement, cementing London’s position as the global insurance hub of the 21st century and forever into the future, amen,” Big-Bowness said.

STOP PRESS: Reports are just coming in that hackers have broken into the Chips With Everything network operated by London’s Mega Broker. A distributed denial of service attack has effectively grounded all of Mega Broker’s staff and locked down all its business systems. “We can’t even get into the lavatory,” said Steve Grabber.

News in tight briefs

Graduates are being put off applying for jobs in the risk business because of the jargon, according to a new survey by ServAdataHub Partners. The survey found that the words “reinsurance” and “insurance” were the biggest obstacles to attracting talent. The specific jargon term voted as the most off-putting was “legacy solution” followed by “non-fac”.

Russian insurtech start-up WannaCry Risk Partners is looking for funding among big insurance and reinsurance groups. A presentation circulated around industry CEOs and CFOs invites them to participate in the funding round by the end of the week or risk losing all their data.

Barron Trump has been made chief underwriting officer at Trump Re, the Mar-a-Lago based reinsurer in no way associated with Donald Trump. The 11 year old, who has no reinsurance experience, will run the firm at arms’ length from the president although people have pointed out he has very short arms and that might be the point of the arrangement.

Luxembourg explained – a RISKbitz FAQ

With so many London market companies now rushing to establish an EU base in Luxembourg, a number of RISKbitz readers – especially those in the US – have contacted us to ask for a primer on the secretive principality.

 

Where is Luxembourg?

Luxemburg (also Luksem Borg in Swedish) is a landlocked country in Western Europe that is a lot bigger than it looks. Bordered by Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland as well as Italy it is about the same size as Radnorshire.

Where is Radnorshire?

Radnorshire is a landlocked county between England and Wales that is bigger than Rutland but smaller than Middlesex.

Is it just a city or does it have some landscape as well?

It has mountains of money and rivers flowing with securities.

Is there anything to do there?

Shopping. The clue is in the country’s name – Lux (latin for luxury) and Bourg (greek for place).

Sounds nice: is it easy to get too?

Luxemberg is a 10-minute walk from Brussels via a tunnel. A number 15C bus goes there from outside the Gherkin hourly. What do you think?

Why are insurers moving there, does it have good restaurants?

Insurers are moving there because unlike the UK, Luxembourg is going to remain part of Europe for the foreseeable future. In fact, it is one of the three capitals of the European Union and home to the European Court of Justice. 

But I thought we were against all that EU stuff?

Look… It has an established financial services sector. Companies such as Amazon are based there due to its business friendly tax structures.

But it must have good restaurants for insurers to want to go there?

Yes, it does have very good restaurants. The national dish, Welthensuppe, is famous for its rich ingredients, which are a secret.

What else has it got going for it?

Er, it’s not in the UK.

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June 2017

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