As the year unwinds we’ve noticed that 2 things appear to be driving change in the Insurance sector in Ireland:
1) M&A Continues to be the name of the game:
2019 was a great year for insurers and brokers alike even if the consumer has felt this, with insurers such as Axa, Allianz & FBD posting healthy profits.
From a recent survey of over 200 C-suite insurance executives conducted by Deloitte, 75% agree that M&A will provide over 50% of growth throughout EMEA in the next 5 years.
In the past year we have seen an unprecedented number of mergers and acquisitions within insurance including;
- Marsh acquired JLT.
- Arachas, following a number of acquisitions in recent years, have been themselves acquired by the British intermediary The Ardonagh Group.
- Wright Insurance Brokers, with offices in Wexford and Carlow were acquired by UK-based Aston Lark, which is controlled by Goldman Sachs.
- Belfast-based Willis Insurance and Risk Management (Willis IRM) acquired Leeds firm Hale Kavanagh Insurance Brokers Ltd.
- Innovu, which is backed by MML Growth Capital Partners, moved to acquire Wexford Insurances.
- Innovu acquired Sheridan Insurances last year and plans to be an active player in the consolidation of the insurance broker markets.
- St. James’ Place’s proposed acquisition of Harvest Financial Services Group fell through due to “strategic decisions”.
With M&A being the obvious way to grow in the current market, we are likely to see more of this activity throughout 2020. Unlike the rest of the financial services market, insurance has yet to welcome many new entrants with London remaining the powerhouse for many of the main players.
2) Technology continues to drive the future of the insurance sector:
Insurers continue to embrace technology as underwriting and claims roles become increasingly automated – subsequently, tech and data analytics roles in insurance have increased. This trend is being replicated right across financial services with Insurance being no exception.
According to Deloitte’s recent survey, 95% of their clients expect an increase in the use of advanced analytics over the next 3 years. All of Barden’s insurance clients have mirrored this, indicating that there will be a marked increase in tech and data analytics roles throughout 2020. This should result in better fraud identification, a decrease in claims and an increase in the overall efficiency of the system.
2020 is shaping up to be a year of significant change in the Insurance industry in Ireland. In Barden we’re here to help both people and companies reach their full potential as they navigate this evolving landscape.
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