So several hundred London market brokers and underwriters descended on NAPSLO, in Atlanta for its annual conference which saw a record number of almost 4000 registered delegates in an environment which can only be described as something resembling speed dating on steroids.
A large proportion of Lloyd’s premium income comes from the USA including this segment of the market which deals with Binding Authorities, a title which, simply put, explains how thousands of agents across the United States are granted authority to underwrite business on behalf of Lloyd’s Underwriters under pre-determined conditions. That work is then funneled into Lloyd’s by a number of qualified London market Lloyd’s brokers.
I have attended this conference for almost 15 years. Most delegates had pre-arranged back-to-back meetings over the course of 4 days to discuss program, performance, results and future business forecasts. In this environment, it is easy to understand the benefit of long-term personal relationships. In fact, even though so much more of the business transacted is embedded in complex computer systems, attendance is pretty much key to protecting the personal relationships that drive business activity.
The thirst for information at these gatherings is never more endorsed by the modern tools included for doing business. With so many attendees milling around, finding your next guest or host is always extremely challenging, so the use of the conference App and smartphones used to communicate, record daily schedules, meeting notes, local maps, general convention and world news proved a far cry from my first experience. It is exciting to witness and be a part of the evolution that includes the constant use of digital tools. With competition for new business so fierce, the conference for us this year presented a stark reminder that opportunities for those inclined to wait for business to come to them is limited.