The survey found that at least 58 syndicates have received the green light from Lloyd’s to increase their stamp by 15 percent or more in sterling terms for the 2023 year of account (YoA).
Only 17 of these 58 syndicates had been allowed to grow over that mark the year before.
Stamp capacity is a Lloyd’s measure of the maximum amount of business a syndicate can write in any one year, excluding acquisition costs.
The survey results show that, overall, Lloyd’s capacity has grown 20.9 percent to £47.9bn for 2023.
However, this estimate should be seen as the “floor” or lower level for aggregate capacity, as 14 of the 94 syndicates examined for 2023 did not respond to the survey at time of going to press (The Insurer will update results in three weeks’ time).
In the absence of a better proxy, stamp capacity for all these syndicates – except two – has been assumed to remain at the same level as the previous year, although it is likely many of these syndicates will follow their peers in pre-empting for the 2023 YoA.
Pre-emptions for this cohort of non-respondents would effectively result in aggregate stamp capacity growth exceeding 20.9 percent for the 2023 YoA. This compares to a market-wide increase of 7.0 percent in 2022 and 9.8 percent in 2020.
The capacity increase comes amid accelerated rate hardening across many lines of business and geographies. For property lines in particular, hardening conditions are expected to extend well into 2023 following an estimated $50bn industry loss from Hurricane Ian.
However, it is worth noting that the weakening of sterling against the US dollar over 2022 would also have provided a boost to 2023 YoA capacity figures – expressed in GBP – particularly for those syndicates that specifically report in US dollars.
With syndicate business plans approved over the summer and the coming into line date on 30 November, all Lloyd’s syndicates have the capital in place to support their 2023 business plans. This includes two new syndicates that are launching next year: Trium 1322 and Acrisure-sponsored Flux 1985, with initial stamps of £33.7mn and £84.4mn, respectively.
Leading the charge among the syndicates with the largest increases in capacity in relative terms is syndicate in a box (SIAB) MIC Global 5183, with a 183.5 percent expansion on its starting capacity of £9.7mn. The microinsurance-focused SIAB will have a stamp of £27.5mn in 2023. However, it is important to note that it only began underwriting from 1 April this year.
Like MIC Global 5183, many of the syndicates with the largest pre-emptions in percentage terms are recently launched businesses looking to scale up in their early years of operation.
For example, Carbon Syndicate 4747, which launched in 2020, will raise its stamp capacity by 118.8 percent to £105mn in the 2023 YoA. The London-based MGU became the first SIAB to receive in-principle approval from Lloyd’s to transition to a full syndicate, with effect from 1 January next year.
Greenlight Re Innovations Syndicate 3456 will also more than double its stamp capacity next year, with a target of £31.3mn for 2023 YoA. Similar to MIC Global 5183, the insurtech-focused SIAB received approval to commence underwriting from 1 April 2022.
Meanwhile, CFC Underwriting is planning an 80.3 percent pre-emption for Syndicate 1988, in a move that will see its stamp grow to £275mn in its second full year of trading.
In pure sterling terms, Beazley Syndicate 2623 is the biggest mover, growing its stamp capacity by £1.11bn, or 41.3 percent, from £2.68bn in 2022 to £3.79bn for 2023.
The planned expansion of Syndicate 2623 will take Beazley’s aggregate Lloyd’s capacity to more than £5bn for the 2023 underwriting year.
As revealed by this publication in August, Beazley’s Smart Tracker Syndicate 5623 is to increase its stamp capacity by 66.3 percent for 2023. The Smart Tracker is also planning to transition from its current special purpose arrangement model into a full market-facing syndicate ahead of 1 January.
Meanwhile, Brit Syndicate 2987 will retain its spot as Lloyd’s second largest syndicate by stamp capacity after receiving approval to grow by 27.5 percent to £2.35bn.
Together with Brit’s smaller Syndicate 2988, which received the green light for growth of 21.0 percent, and the follow-only Ki Syndicate 1618, which is estimated to be expanding capacity by 54.0 percent, the insurer has cemented its position as the second largest Lloyd’s managing agent.
At the other end of the spectrum, MS Amlin Syndicate 2001 is set to keep its stamp flat at £1.6bn for the fourth consecutive year, having reduced it from £1.85bn in 2019.
Meanwhile, Hiscox is to keep the stamp on its flagship Syndicate 33 flat at £1.7bn for 2023 as its overall capacity across its three Lloyd’s platforms remains stable for the year at £2.13bn.
In a press briefing following the publication of the market’s H1 results, Lloyd’s CEO John Neal said he was anticipating both price increases and organic expansion to act as double-digit growth drivers in 2023.
Chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown has also expressed an optimistic outlook, stating that the market had “earned the right” to grow.
“We’ve got ourselves to a place where for the majority of lines if business rates are adequate, indeed many would argue that underwriting conditions have not been better than they are today for over a generation,” said Carnegie-Brown.
The Insurer comment
As a reliable proxy for 2023 revenues, The Insurer’s stamp capacity survey suggests Lloyd’s may even get close to £60bn GWP next year – an impressive milestone and new record size (we anticipate 2022 FY GWP of ~£50bn).
This reflects well on the Corporation’s management – namely, the fact that most syndicates are in a position to grow into strong/dislocated underwriting conditions. One complication, of course, is scarcity of retro/cat reinsurance capacity and it remains to be seen whether some dependent syndicates will have to reduce gross line exposures and write net. This could yet have a material impact on GWP.
Nonetheless, it is a clear positive that Lloyd’s is growing significantly despite capital shortages elsewhere…
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