Swinscoe and Wetherell head the 2018 political risk rankings

Jerome Swinscoe has been voted the best political risk underwriter in the London market, according to The Insurance Insiders political risk rankings for 2018.

Swinscoe, who is chief underwriting officer (CUO) at Tokio Marine HCC, secured first place after taking the runner-up position in the 2017 rankings.

The study, compiled by The Insurance Insider’s rankings team, recorded responses from 153 participants, generating a total of 458 nominations for the London market’s best underwriters and brokers.

Respondents were asked to name three of their preferred individuals servicing the political risk class of business. Underwriters were asked to vote for brokers and brokers voted for underwriters.

 The full survey data includes a ranking of 75 underwriters and 84 brokers, with ratings for 36 underwriting companies and 14 broking houses in total.

Swinscoe was identified as the top underwriter in his class by 63 percent of brokers.

Respondents of the survey praised Jerome’s knowledge and experience of the market and awarded him a near-perfect score of 4.9 out of five for these attributes.

One broker noted that his “knowledge and reputation far exceeds his peers”.

Meanwhile, Peter Sprent of Liberty Specialty Markets came second and Patricia Mills of Chaucer landed third place.

The rankings team further sliced the survey data and found Sprent, Liberty Specialty Markets head of global financial risks, was most popular among brokers who have placed policies with gross premiums of over £10mn ($13.5mn) in the past year.

When aggregating the votes received for each individual by company, Sprent was found to have made up 50 percent of all votes received for Liberty Specialty Markets’ underwriters.

Patricia Mills made the most noticeable improvement on last year’s results – the class underwriter for Chaucer soared from position 42 in the 2017 rankings to third place in 2018.

One broker noted her development and her importance at Chaucer: “Patricia is a standout underwriter, who has grown in her role at Chaucer and has proved pivotal to the success of the team.”

Brokers ranked underwriters on a number of attributes, including technical knowledge, negotiating skills, communication, fast responsiveness and creativity.

London market brokers ranked their underwriting counterparts most highly on their knowledge and experience, with an average score of 4.6 out of 5.

However, creativity – which reflects an underwriter’s ability to improvise to meet unusual requests – was the lowest-ranked attribute, at an average of 4.2. This is consistent with rankings results for cyber and US property cat lines of businesses.

Unlike the underwriters’ podium, the results of the top three brokers show that underwriters’ preferences have not significantly shifted from the 2017 results.

 Chris Wetherell, of Lockton, was voted as the best political risk broker in the London market for the second year running.

The political and credit risk broker was most popular among underwriters who have between three and 10 years’ experience in the London political risk market.

A senior underwriter said Wetherell was “utterly devoted to his clients, lives and breathes this class of business. Chris is always working to get the best deal but is not afraid to say hard truths back to his insureds”.

Charles Radcliffe, of BPL Global, took second place from the 2017 runner-up, Simon Bessant, of Texel Finance. Bessant secured third place in the 2018 rankings.

Bessant garnered almost half of votes for Texel Finance brokers.

Wetherell and Radcliffe were joint favourites among underwriters who have written policies with premiums in the £5mn to £10mn range over the past year.

Radcliffe, director at BPL Global, made up 27 percent of all votes received by underwriters for BPL Global brokers.

Some 22 brokers from political risk insurance specialist BPL Global made their way onto this year’s ranking – the biggest team of all broking companies ranked.

The importance of independence

The rankings work is undertaken by experienced research staff who share the ethos and values of The Insurance Insider, under the ultimate oversight of managing director Mark Geoghegan.

However, just as The Insurance Insider jealously protects its editorial independence, so does the standalone research team, operating autonomously from editor-in-chief Adam McNestrie and his team of journalists.

As such, the rankings and editorial businesses respect the necessary distance between the very different work that they do.

To gain full access to the survey data, please contact The Insurance Insider's commercial director, Spencer Halladey, at: spencer@insuranceinsider.com