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Innovate to stay relevant, Lloyd's of London's Beale warns UK insurance market

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Innovate to stay relevant, Lloyd's of London's Beale warns UK insurance market

's CEO haswarned that the London market must capitalize on its reputation for innovationin order to maintain its leading position in a changing insurance landscape.

Speakingat the City Week conference in the U.K. capital on May 9, Inga Beale said thatnearly 50% of global commercial insurance growth is happening in developing oremerging markets, but that only 0.5% of that growth is captured by London. Inthe past, she said, it would have captured far more.

Bealenoted that other insurance centers such as Singapore and Dubai are beginning toemerge, adding to the competition from established centers such as Bermuda.

"Wehave this unique position of leading the insurance world [but] we don't want tobe complacent," she said. "We want to make sure that the U.K. andLondon remains very much a global center."

Oneway London could maintain its position is by building on its reputation as aninnovator in the world of insurance.

"Weare known as being pioneers, as being innovators, and we want to continue todevelop that," Beale said. "We are leading the way in cyberinsurance, which is one of those new threats. So we want to really capitalizeon those strengths with [our] enormous cluster effect [and the] fantasticexpertise that's attracted to London."

Lloyd'sof London has also made big efforts to expand its footprint around the world.It has filed anapplication to open branches in India, and Chairman John Nelsonsaid in March that heexpects the firm's Chinese arm to grow its premiums there to 2.5 billion yuanin 2016 from 900 million yuan in 2015.

Beale'scomments come as the U.K. gears up for a June 23 referendum on whether itshould leave or remain within the EU. The CEO and other senior Lloyd's ofLondon staff have warned that leaving the union would hurt London'sability to write insurance business in Europe.

Othertop insurance executives such as Gerry Grimstone, the chairman of , andRSA Insurance GroupPlc CEO Stephen Hester have also warned that a so-called Brexitwould hurt business.

As of May 9, US$1 wasequivalent to 6.51 Chinese yuan.