London insurance market rebounds with record-breaking staff numbers

"Brokers tell us they are seeing more business coming to London"

London insurance market rebounds with record-breaking staff numbers

Business Resilience

By Terry Gangcuangco

The London insurance market, staffing-wise, has seen a significant rebound from its pandemic lows, achieving the sector’s highest employment numbers in a decade.

Citing data from the London Market Group (LMG), the Financial Times reported that the workforce at commercial insurance and reinsurance firms in London reached 59,000 in 2023.

The abovementioned total marks a substantial increase from the 41,000 recorded in 2021 (when we were still in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic) and is the highest level since 2013.

LMG chief executive Caroline Wagstaff (pictured) emphasized London’s status as a hub for complex policy negotiations. “The brokers tell us they are seeing more business coming to London,” the publication quoted her as saying. “They are busier. It’s where people bring the difficult stuff.”

According to LMG estimates, the London market achieved approximately US$180 billion in gross written premium last year, a figure that has doubled over the past decade due to heightened concerns about climate change and other risks driving demand for coverage.

In 2022, London increased its share of the commercial insurance and reinsurance market to 8.3%, the highest in no less than 12 years, despite Brexit and pandemic-related disruptions.

Meanwhile Wagstaff reiterated the call for reforms to foster innovation in London, stating: “People have choices [about where to buy insurance], and everyone needs to be alive to that, and think about how we can make [London] a positive choice.”

The CEO also pointed out a demographic challenge in the industry, which is the fact that about half (a higher proportion than a decade ago) of the roster is over the age of 40.

Wagstaff went on to say: “That’s why we do the outreach – we are trying to make specialty insurance a destination career.”

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