Guy Carpenter’s James Nash discusses his firm’s reorganisation, the uptick in reinsurance purchasing and why insurers are playing catch-up

As President of Guy Carpenter’s International Division, James Nash is responsible for defining and executing strategic growth priorities in EMEA, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Still in his first year in the role, Nash draws from his wealth of experience in regions like Asia Pacific – where he was an integral part of the Regional Management team with responsibility for the Specialty Practices and the rollout of Guy Carpenter’s analytical platform in the early 2000s – to help formulate a world view for a truly global role.

Nash speaks to Global Reinsurance about the reasoning behind Guy Carpenter establishing the International Division, key market trends, and striving to stay relevant in tough market conditions.

In December, you were named president of Guy Carpenter’s newly created International Division. What was the rationale for establishing the new organisational structure?

The organisational structure is built upon three core business units: North America, International and Global Specialties. By introducing a more simplified structure, with greater collaboration between the units, we essentially operate as a single entity. This ensures consistency on a global scale, whether that’s on the analytics, advisory or broking front, and enables us to deliver greater efficiency and value to our diverse client base. We’re operating in a much smaller, more connected world which demands this much more collaborative approach.

How is this influenced by the changing demands of the reinsurance buyer?

While the approach of buyers varies by geography, there remains an overarching trend towards continued coordination and consolidation of reinsurance buying to achieve maximum portfolio value. This requires much greater involvement with the client and they are demanding access to the full expanse of our intellectual capital and capabilities. By facilitating group-wide access, we can provide both the localised delivery as well as the global offering to ensure solutions are reflective of specific client and market circumstances.

What are the primary factors influencing current reinsurance buying trends?

There continues to be a focus on centralisation of reinsurance purchasing, yet the drivers for this are shifting. While capital management remains a central theme of buying strategies, the role of reinsurance as a mechanism for reducing volatility, managing earnings and supporting profitability is coming much more to the fore.

At Guy Carpenter, we are certainly seeing an uptick in reinsurance purchasing in virtually all its forms. In our view, the marketplace is currently vibrant, with buyers capitalising on the full range of products, from quota share and XoL, through to complex aggregate covers spanning multiple geographies and business lines.

Buyer demands are also serving to heighten the complexity of the products required to meet them, and we are witnessing much greater innovation in the structures being created. I would also add that this innovative drive has been spurred on by the increasing influence of alternative capital which is pushing reinsurers to step up and to enhance their competitiveness.

The reinsurance industry can no longer simply expect the rate environment to turn – that is a strategy of hope. What we are seeing are reinsurers acknowledging this fact and demonstrating a willingness to adapt to a changed market environment.


Read the full interview in the Global Reinsurance Monte Carlo Daily - Day 2, available at all key RVS locations.