Jordan and Horner win the 2019 Political Violence Rankings

Hiscox’s Michael Jordan has been voted the best political violence underwriter in the London market, and Willis Towers Watson’s Lyall Horner as best broker, according to The Insurance Insider’s Political Violence Rankings 2019.

Underwriter ranking

Jordan, a London market war, terrorism and political violence underwriter, captured votes from 18 individual brokers from 12 different companies. This is a significant improvement on previous years’ results where he secured a respectable seven votes.

This gave him an overall score of 38, up from 18 last year.

Jordan has been with Hiscox for over 13 years including a decade as an underwriter. He clinched the top spot in the rankings after coming sixth and seventh in 2018 and 2017 respectively.

The annual survey, which is in its third year, studies the top talent in the political violence insurance space where brokers are required to nominate their three preferred underwriters. Underwriters also vote for who they believe to be the best brokers in the market.

The 2019 Political Violence Rankings
  • The annual survey ran from 20 March through 3 May in parallel with the Political Risk Rankings survey
  • This year’s results were based off 461 validated nominations for best underwriter and best broker – a 21 percent year-on-year increase
  • Thanks to these better-than-ever participation levels, 149 political violence professionals featured on the overall league table this year. That’s a 34.2 percent increase compared to 2018
  • The overall ranking consists of 82 underwriters and 67 brokers

Richard Halstead, who heads up war, terrorism and political violence at Hiscox, moved up to second this year, from third in the 2018 ranking. He ranked 15th in 2017.

Meanwhile, last year’s joint winner, Jonathan Powell of CNA Hardy, fell down the league table this year but stayed on the podium at number three.

Chaucer’s Andrew Bauckham, who shared first place with Powell in 2018, fell down to number 11 this year as his vote count dropped by more than 50 percent.

The competition was close this year with just a six-point difference in overall scores between the top two Hiscox underwriters. Furthermore, Halstead and Powell had just three points between them.

Under the Borda count method, a nominee gets three points for being named a respondent’s top choice, two for second place and one for third.

Broker ranking

The members of the top-three brokers podium for the 2019 ranking have remained the same as in 2018.

However, this time, the top two brokers have switched places. Willis Towers Watson’s Lyall Horner was voted as the best political violence broker for 2019 while Tysers' Freddie Tyler took second place, having claimed the top prize last year.

Horner soared into first position by almost doubling the number of votes he received in 2018. He received 21 nominations from underwriters working at 15 different companies.

Horner is a relatively young broker, with almost seven years’ experience in the political violence market. He started out at Marsh and moved to Willis in 2017.

Over 40 percent of the votes that Horner received were from underwriters who placed him as their first-choice political violence broker.

Horner received five more nominations than second-placed Tyler did, but Tyler’s overall score was only two points lower than Horner’s. This was because a larger portion of Tyler’s voters placed him as their first-choice broker.

Horner received more second-place and third-place votes.

Some 75 percent of underwriters that voted for Tyler nominated him as their top-choice broker.

Meanwhile, Marsh-JLT Specialty’s James Lloyd stayed in third place. Lloyd’s nominations have been consistent since the first survey ran; he received 10 votes in 2017, 12 in 2018 and 11 this year.

Rising stars

A new aspect of this year’s survey allowed underwriters and brokers to nominate who they believe to be the rising stars of the political violence market.

This led to 51 young underwriters and brokers making it to the rising star ranking. This consisted of 25 brokers and 26 underwriters.

On the underwriting side, Canopius’ George Connell claimed the top spot with nine brokers voting for him.

Connell has been at Canopius for just under three years. He started out as an assistant underwriter and is now an underwriter within the crisis management team.

Brokers praised his “superb service” and “great knowledge, business acumen and personality”.

There was a clear winner on the broking side. Tysers' Charlie Skipworth-Button soared to the top of the rising star ranking with 19 nominations, taking 30 percent of all nominations given by underwriters.

There were 11 votes between Skipworth-Button and second place.

Both Connell and Skipworth-Button also featured in the overall ranking of underwriters and brokers.

The question regarding rising stars was not mandatory in the survey. Because of this, there are fewer votes overall in the rising star ranking when compared to the overall ranking of underwriters and brokers.

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, 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.