Syndicate results 2020 #14 Ascot Syndicate 1414

Active Underwriter Mark L Pepper Appointed 03 September 2020 with effect from 01 January 2021

Andrew L Brooks Resigned 03 September 2020 with effect from 01 January 2021

CEO Andrew L Brooks

Mr Pepper began his career in insurance in 1987 and joined Ascot at its inception in 2001 to lead the Treaty team. He was promoted to the role of Chief Underwriting Officer in 2009 and is a member of the Board.

Ascot has increased its capacity for 2021 to £900m, following an increase to £650m from £600m last year.

The managing agent of Syndicate 1414 is Ascot Underwriting Limited (AUL), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ascot Underwriting Holdings Limited (AUHL).

On January 31st 2019 the Company sold Ascot Underwriting Inc to Ascot US Holding Corporation

KPI £’000s 2020 2019
GWP 824.3 689,431
NWP 493.4 390,268
Net Claims 194,468 (218,397)
Bal Tech A/C 66,512 31,163
Non-tech A/C 3,454 4,154
Total comp income 64,211 35,840
Combined Ratio 89.4% 96.4%

Gross written premium increased from £689.4m in 2019 to £824.3m in 2020, an increase of 20%. Ascot said that this was driven by a combination of rate increases and the attraction of new business lines and teams during the period; notably Professional Indemnity and Excess Casualty.

Post the poor market results of the 2017, 2018 and 2019 years, rate increases had accelerated in many classes during 2020.

Syndicate 1414 achieved an average rate increase of 12.8% against a plan of 5%, and prior year of 5.9%. nevertheless, Ascot said that the market needed to continue this momentum “as many classes are still below a healthy level of rating due to years of rate decreases since around 2012”.

It had been observed that new business to Ascot was attracting much higher rate increases than on the renewal book, but that the adequacies were at similar levels. Ascot said that this strongly indicated that there was still a significant volume of under-priced business out in the wider market that needed re-underwriting for it to be a profitable proposition to put on the books of Ascot.

Net written premium increased from £390.3m in 2019 to £493.4m in 2020, an increase of 26% and a resultant premium retention ratio of 60% for 2020, compared to 57% for 2019. Ascot said that this was being driven by the above mentioned increases in gross premiums written, while continuing to protect the exposure of the syndicate with the use of an extensive reinsurance program. This includes a 20% whole account quota-share reinsurance agreement with Ascot Bermuda Ltd.

Ascot said that Covid-19 was a “live Cat” and predicted that further market impact and disruption from this loss would be felt into 2021 and beyond.

The 2020 year had again been a difficult year for profitable returns in the insurance and reinsurance market, and this reinforced the need to achieve further rate increases.

Ascot said that it was pleased with the progress made in terms of improvements in the underwriting profile of most lines of business in 2020, although two particular classes, Terrorism and Personal Accident, were proving difficult to improve: Ascot said that it was “very optimistic for a profitable year, with some lines of business now in the third year of rate improvement”.

Sector analysis

Year ended 31 December 2020 Gross premiums written Gross premiums earned Gross claims incurred Gross operating expenses Reinsurance balance Net technical result
MAT 184,398 170,184 (68,747) (47,596) (19,031) 34,810
Total Direct 549,931 492,902 (258,433) (145,767) (50,093) 38,609
Reinsurance Inward 274,364 268,122 (87,282) (50,815) (121,047) 8,978
Total 824,295 761,024 (345,715) (196,582) (171,140) 47,587
Year ended 31 December 2019 Gross premiums written Gross premiums earned Gross claims incurred Gross operating expenses Reinsurance balance Net technical result
MAT 137,483 139,772 (68,637) (43,862) (13,920) 13,353
Total Direct 448,645 445,432 (179,462) (146,363) (93,789) 25,818
Reinsurance Inward 240,786 234,428 (65,996) (56,208) (124,241) (12,017)
Total 689,431 679,860 (245,458) (202,571) (218,030) 13,801

The active underwriter and the highest paid director received the following remuneration:

£’000 2020 2019
Active underwriter 179 472
Highest paid director 247 472

https://www.lloyds.com/about-lloyds/investor-relations/financial-performance/syndicate-reports-and-accounts/2006-1414