A major global broker and some of the largest insurers in the London Insurance Market are piloting a revolutionary electronic trading platform designed and implemented by Atos Origin, an international IT services company.
The move to a digital environment is critical if the London Insurance Market is to cost effectively meet its ongoing regulatory, profitability and cost containment challenges and remain competitive against emerging insurance markets such as Bermuda.
The London Insurance Market - the 300 year old global centre of insurance - currently places approximately 400,000 large scale commercial insurance policies per year generating total gross premiums of £22 billion. Today all the steps in the placement process are carried out through a combination of fax, email and face to face exchanges.
Under the current processes, the annual cost of rework has been estimated to be between £150 and £200 million. While the essence of the London Insurance Market lies in the placing of complex bespoke insurance coverages, which would be difficult to negotiate other than face to face, there are numerous processes in the chain that are low in value and simple to manage electronically. The Atos Origin solution, known as WritePlace, will be capable of handling these exchanges reducing processing costs and freeing up brokers' and underwriters' time.
The Atos Origin solution, WritePlace, is based upon a highly secure electronic trading platform that enables brokers and underwriters to exchange Acord standard XML messages and related documents by connecting their systems via a message hub. WritePlace enables messaging exchange between back-office systems, email, browsers, mobile phones and PDAs, covering the full range of required delivery options. The browser-based interface can be accessed from a desktop, laptop or mobile device. This design enables participants to maximise the returns on their existing investment in systems, expanding upon the existing Peer to Peer implementations to allow connectivity with all market participants. With minor customisation, the platform can also be used for global trading with other Insurance Markets.
Atos Origin will initially configure its exisxisting message hub technology for London Market purposes and connect it with Sequel Business Solutions' class-leading Broking and Underwriting applications. This will demonstrate the one to many, two-way messaging process upon which the pilot will be established. The pilot implementation will connect other broker and insurer applications as required, as well as utilise a browser interface, and will implement electronic endorsement and closing business processes, with other processes in the placing cycle coming on line soon thereafter.
"For Atos Origin, the digitisation of the London Insurance Market represents an exciting challenge, to which the company is totally committed," said Keith Wilman, CEO for Atos Origin in the UK. "Drawing upon the expertise of the entire Group including Atos Consulting, Atos Worldline and Atos Euronext Market Solutions, we are combining technology and tradition to provide a trading platform that will enable the London Market to significantly enhance how it operates."
The Atos Origin solution, WritePlace, leverages the world renowned expertise of Atos Euronext Market Solutions in providing mission critical solutions for stock exchanges, clearing houses, banks, brokers, and intermediaries, together with the proven processing capability of Atos Worldline, which each year processes:
250 million messages;
4 million stock exchange orders;
200 million cheque transactions;
100 million internet payments
20 million credit card transactions.