Sitting in his corner office looking across to Lloyd’s of London on one side and the Shard dominating the skyline on the other, Christopher Spratt, Tysers’ Chairman and interim Chief Executive, mused on the state of the market and shared his insight on how the firm is staying ahead of the competition, allowing it to thrive in an increasingly competitive environment.

“The London market is very good at dealing with difficult, awkward risks,” explained Christopher, but he’s worried we’re reaching an inflection point. After the 2005 Katrina, Wilma and Rita hurricanes, people wondered what the definition of a market change loss was but, as Christopher reflected, “this was in a period when there was slack in the market, reserves were good, and we then entered a period of benign catastrophe losses. But now margins are so tight the threshold for the definition of market changing event has in fact fallen. In other words, it won’t take much to break the surface tension holding everything together. When this happens, underwriters become more selective and I can see some broker facilities unravelling. ”

He believes this will be followed by a flight to quality correction in the market. Christopher doesn’t want Tysers to suffer from what he sees as the deskilling and commoditisation of certain areas of the market and has taken steps to introduce a strategic initiative to drive successful client relationships.

Delivering excellent service and clear, regular communication has always been a focus for Tysers but as Christopher looks to the future he wants to ensure Tysers remains fully skilled, with expertise across the market and the agility to adapt to change. “Above all, the guiding principles of this project are fundamentally ‘excellence’ and ‘communication’. We believe these are imperative if we’re going to add value to our offering for clients but it works in two directions.

Firstly, between us and our clients, it’s about providing excellence in service, performance both in the direct interface with clients, and the essential support services standing behind our brokers. In the other direction, it’s about relationships between us and the market. By having a strong reputation, a good culture, a reputation for quality and clear communications, when we speak to underwriters, and communicate well, people sit up and listen to the risk we are offering. True broking advocacy will come back into its own.”

The question on how has Tysers been able to stay relevant in today’s market elicits a swift response from Christopher. “We provide clients with a high standard of service, and have developed a successful global business from our office in London. We travel the world communicating with clients and the market to ensure we deliver specialist solutions, not generic solutions.”

The project has had tremendous support internally as all parts of the business understand their important role in servicing clients. “It isn’t just about the broker and the client; internally, we support each other. Our claims people manage client relationships globally and our support services teams understand their important role as part of the excellence and communication offered to the clients,” Christopher enthused.

In conclusion, he is very clear. “Tysers’ reputation is terribly precious. We’re still primarily a people focused business operating face-to-face. Our business is complex and you need a high degree of trust between parties, clients and ourselves, as well as the underwriter. Our ability to service the market well relies on us knowing what we’re talking about and behaving properly. This engenders trust to deliver the product and service our clients expect.”