Lill tops underwriters in inaugural D&O rankings survey

Hiscox’s Gary Lill has been voted the best directors’ and officers’ (D&O) underwriter in the London market, according to a study conducted by The Insurance Insider’s standalone research team.

The D&O rankings survey is the first of its kind and is part of The Insurance Insider rankings series, which provides an annual view of the talent picture in cyber, political risk, political violence and US property cat lines.

D&O line underwriter Lill, who joined Hiscox almost five years ago, managed to secure the top slot in the underwriter league table with 10 brokers from nine different companies voting for him.

In second place came AIG’s Stephanie Manson, who narrowly beat third-place Jeremy Isaacs of Sompo International. There was just one point difference in the overall scores between those two underwriters.

The survey, which gathered opinions about the best professionals in London’s D&O liability insurance market, ran from October to November. The final results were based on a total of 503 validated nominations, generating a ranking of 114 top underwriters and 107 leading brokers in the D&O space.

Individuals from 40 underwriting companies and 26 broking houses featured on the league tables.

Similar to other surveys in the rankings series, the study asked brokers to list who they believed were the best London market D&O underwriters. Meanwhile, underwriters listed their three preferred brokers.

Survey respondents also rated the underwriters or brokers they voted for on a set of defined attributes, along with an opportunity to leave some feedback about what makes them so good at what they do.

Lill’s best attributes, according to his supporters, was his knowledge of the D&O market and his communication skills, scoring an average of 4.5 out of 5 for both these key skills.

In total, 60 percent of his votes came from brokers who have been working in the market for more than 20 years. Lill, a market veteran himself, has also been serving the D&O market for over two decades.

Lill was also preferred by brokers who have placed policies worth more than £15mn ($18.9mn) in gross written premiums in the last 12 months.

One leading broker described him as “a very well-respected underwriter with a strong following in London and the US”.

“Gary goes the extra mile to provide a fantastic level of service”, they added.

Parry leads the brokers

On the broking side, Mike Parry of JLT Specialty claimed victory as he soared to the top of the D&O broker ranking.

He took the votes of 12 underwriters from six different companies. Overall, 67 percent of these nominations were from underwriters who had placed Parry as their top choice broker.

Underwriters praised Parry on his knowledge across all financial lines.

The broker ranking was slightly more competitive as the overall score gap between first and second place was just five points, but it was more than double this on the underwriting side.

Second position on the broker table was shared between Ian Nichol of Lockton and Jason Rose of RKH Specialty.

Parry, an experienced D&O broker, claimed votes from a relatively broad underwriter base. A quarter of his votes came from underwriters with experience between three and five years. Another 38 percent came from underwriters with 10 to 20 years’ experience, and 31 percent from those who had worked in the industry for more than two decades.

Meanwhile, Nichol was more favoured by underwriters with 10 to 20 years’ experience. However, it was Rose that was preferred by the market veterans – those with over 20 years’ experience – with 50 percent of his votes coming from this group.

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 editorial director Mark Geoghegan.

However, just as The Insurance Insider jealously protects its editorial independence, so does the standalone research team, which operates 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 Oliver Nevill at