Heading for a soft market


Carl Boulton, head of insurance from the Non-Bank Financial Institutions team at Barclays, gives his views on what he sees as the big talking points at this year’s Rendez-Vous.

carl-boulton-head-of-insurance-non-bank-financial-institutions-team-at-barclays.jpgIn the UK, our insurance business continues to perform strongly, consisting of a well-established portfolio of clients and activity. As such, to support our growth ambitions, our international strategy is paramount. We’ve seen a lot of our North American clients express concern about bank counterparty risk exposure, so we’ve developed what you could describe as a ‘hub and spoke’ model, providing those North American clients with a European cash management proposition, particularly focused on counterparty liquidity and in-country payments.

Core to this is the interconnectivity of our international teams and we’ve been spending the last year building out our proposition in France, Spain and Portugal. Looking forward, our next markets of focus will be Italy and Germany.

Africa continues to be a key priority for Barclays and many organisations are looking at the continent with interest. The infrastructure projects being undertaken in Africa require a huge amount of insurance, and the reinsurance market is expected to grow significantly. If you start to think about the macroeconomics around Africa itself—the IMF forecasts that seven out of the 10 fastest-growing economies over the next five years are going to be in Africa—then we would expect a significant rise in demand for insurance products, certainly at a retail level, which will then need to be risk transferred into other markets, such as reinsurance. With on-the-ground operations across Africa, we believe that we are well placed to serve corporates who are looking to invest or expand in the region.

Barclays, Carl Boulton, Monte Carlo, Insurance

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