Oman Insurance gained approval to launch Syndicate 2880 last year on the Lloyd’s DIFC platform

The Lloyd’s Syndicate-in-a-Box (SIAB) is a compelling vehicle for the region, explained participants at a discussion on Day One of the Dubai World Insurance Forum 2022.

But it should not be considered as an easy way into the market.

To gain approval and access to Lloyd’s licenses, solid ’A+’ rating, the market ecosystem and “a really great members’ club”, potential candidates for SIAB must be prepared to offer the market something new.

It has to be more than just “me too” capacity, explained Andy Woodward, regional head of the Middle East and Turkey for Lloyd’s.

“It isn’t for everyone and it’s not a vehicle to do something you have no experience in,” he said. “Oman Insurance has a strong business case. They are doing more of what they have been doing for 20 years.”

OIC and Asta, its managing agent, gained approval to launch Syndicate 2880 last year. The new syndicate is operating on the Lloyd’s platform within the DIFC.

It had been a rigorous and robust process to gain approval, with the Corporation challenging every aspect of the company’s business plan, explained Louise O’Donnell, executive vice president, International Operations, Risk, Strategy, Legal and Compliance for Oman Insurance Group (OIC).

“[SIAB] is a very slow and steady game and there are no ridiculous targets,” she said.

While SIAB is not for everyone, it is no surprise the first syndicate of its kind outside of the London market was set up in the DIFC, thought Woodward.

SIAB offers an opportunity for established MENA-based re/insurers looking to spread their wings and/or for regional candidates seeking to offer new and innovative ways of doing business.

Lloyd’s developed the concept of SIAB to lower some of the barriers to entry for innovative capital to enter the market, with set up times typically in under three months.

While SIABs can be approved quickly, it is a thorough process and there are certain restrictions, including which lines of business can be underwritten and how much capacity can initially be deployed.

After three years, successful SIABs can migrate to become traditional syndicates at Lloyd’s.

ROUNDTABLE | Syndicate in a Box and the DIFC
Gracita Aoa-de Gracia Senior Manager - Insurance and Reinsurance, DIFC
Andy Woodward Regional Head Middle East & Turkey, Lloyd’s
Louise O’Donnell Executive Vice President- International Operations, Risk, Strategy, Legal & Compliance, Oman Insurance Company
Johnson John Principal, Callidus Consulting