Apples and oranges
Arguably the trade press’ favourite managing director, John O’Roarke of LV= has come out with some tub-thumping financial statements from its admittedly still young broker-based business.
Obviously such figures from a mutual insurer cannot easily be compared with their publicly listed counterparts and the first line of this article reports how the ‘value of LV=’s broker business has soared to £400m’.
It’s not entirely clear what this statement implies; one would assume gross written premium on business sold through brokers but I for one demand real clarity in a story like this. The following statement that LV=’s market share in motor now stands at 7% with a total GWP expected in 2009 of £810m provides a little more meat on the bone, but nothing like the kind of exacting analysis that is needed from a corporate report.
LV= and its mutual rival Co-operative are interesting case studies to pitch against the rest of the industry from a financial perspective. They admit to having less onerous return on capital requirements than other more profit-driven institutions. Should their performance be more critically analysed as a result?
Deep pockets at Lloyd’s and the wrong Rolfe
I once wrote an entire essay for my undergraduate course on the nature of a confrontational TV News interview. For my case study, I chose Jeremy Paxman, whose style is well known to all. For some unknown reason, I referred to Jeremy as ‘Mr Clarkson’ throughout the whole diatribe so I know how Insurance Times feels today as they appear to have mixed up the names of PBS holdings/UKIG boss Tim Rolfe and Rolf Tolle. Needless to say Tim has been on our minds.
One can’t help picking another small nit in this piece, where a stray zero has allowed Lloyd’s to collectively underwrite £230bn of premium this year.
Quick, get out the tip-ex!
Seriously though, I don’t envy anyone having to interview executives from the corporation of Lloyd’s. Generally individuals in this position have rarely been one forward in their dealings with the press resulting in some genuinely turgid copy over the years from all sides of the insurance trade press.