London-based broker Tysers, for whom marine is the largest sector, has welcomed the merger of North of England Club with Standard Club. In its always well-informed, incisive, entertaining and occasionally controversial annual review, Tysers said that it had long-argued the merits of consolidation within the International Group, and so therefore welcomed the announcement, which it said would “result in a more stable Group still providing more than enough competition with twelve Clubs”.
Tysers said that Standard had been “going through a torrid time over the last five years, due to a large extent to its failed initiative to diversify via the establishment of its Lloyd’s Syndicate”.
North, said Tysers, had shown “far more commercial acumen in taking over Sunderland Marine and developing its own hull facility, and has shown good discipline in working through the recent difficult P&I years”.
Tysers felt that, merged into a single unit, NorthStandard would be “a stronger, more efficient and attractive Club”.
Based on February 2022 figures, the largest four Clubs would look as follows, with NorthStandard and Gard figures covering all lines of business.
Tysers said that it would expect NorthStandard to be able to increase its free reserves over a short period of time as a result of savings on administration and compliance costs, higher investment returns and a disciplined approach to underwriting, which might see some members not offered renewal.
|Accounting year premium $000
|Free reserves $000
|Free reserves per GT $
Tysers concluded by asking rhetorically if there would be further mergers.
“We would like to think so, as the IG would be far more stable if the Clubs at the lower end of our ranking were merged with stronger Clubs, but pride and the conservatism of Club Boards and Managers have proved to be a serious stumbling block in the past”, Tysers said.