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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Wickshire becomes first Australian-based Lloyd’s broker

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A Sydney brokerage has become the first Australian-based registered Lloyd’s broker as technological uptake at the London market makes it easier to transact business from global locations.

Director Dane Wickens says the firm had been placing business with local companies and through Lloyd’s syndicates in Sydney and Singapore, but will now have the ability to transact directly with syndicates in London.

“We think it is a great opportunity for our clients and any potential new clients,” he told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

Wickshire’s business areas include reinsurance and working with underwriting agencies on binders and line-slips.

Lloyd’s has been increasing electronic handling of business since Placing Platform Ltd (PPL) launched in 2016. More than half of deals in the market were completed using the system during the second quarter. Accounting and settlement has also been modernised through Xchanging systems.

“We have full access to the PPL and if you look at the statistics that are coming out, PPL usage around the market is rapidly increasing,” Mr Wickens said.

At the end of last year there were about 300 Lloyd’s brokers, the market’s website says.

Lloyd’s Australia GM Chris Mackinnon told insuranceNEWS.com.au a number of Lloyd’s registered brokers operate outside the UK, but Wickshire is the first Australian-based brokerage to be approved.

“This status will allow them to transact business directly with the Lloyd’s market in London and to process transactions through the Lloyd's technology platforms, including the PPL initiative and through Xchanging,” he said.

The Lloyd’s broker registration process includes a pre-application meeting and providing formal and supporting documentation and can take some time to be completed.

The London and International Insurance Brokers' Association says there are now well over 100 broking businesses signed up to make electronic placements in the market, representing the vast majority of premiums placed in London.

Australian avenues for accessing the intermediated London market can include a client going through both a local broker and a registered Lloyd’s broker.

Wickshire was started by owner/director Neale Wickens in 2013. Previously he worked at Gallagher Re, Berkshire Hathaway’s General Reinsurance Corp and Mercantile Mutual.