PWC warns brokers: risk managers want better analytics, new solutions

  • PWC Bermuda’s managing director Arthur Wightman

    PWC Bermuda’s managing director Arthur Wightman

Brokers will have to take on a bigger advisory role to keep their clients on board, a financial services firm chief said yesterday.

Arthur Wightman, PWC Bermuda managing director and insurance leader, said that research carried out by the firm had highlighted the need for brokers to take on a wider risk advisory role — or lose business to special risk advisers.

Mr Wightman said: “Brokers’ client expectations are changing faster than ever, with risk managers looking for consultative partners who have the skills to both identify and develop solutions for the changing risk landscape.

“Brokers may be first choice to take on this expanded risk facilitation role, but they are not the only choice in all cases.

“Given the rising demand for risk advice, other speciality advisers are trying to take on this risk partnership role.”

Mr Wightman was speaking after PWC used the Monte Carlo reinsurance conference Rendez-Vous to unveil a report on the future of the industry.

The report — Broking 2020: Leading from the front in a new era of risk — said that organisations reckon the risk environment can no longer be solely managed through traditional approaches and that they are starting to engage a wider set of advisers for speciality advice.

Fewer than half the firms surveyed identified brokers as the providers of solutions — particularly in emerging fields like cybersecurity, data and supply chain risks.

Managers told PwC that they would look first to industry groups and carriers to develop solutions for these risks.

The report said: “This is a worrying trend for the broking industry as they are also the risks that organisations place highest on their risk agenda.”

PwC insurance team managing director Colm Homan added: “If some market players don’t adapt their businesses to provide the services and expertise their clients now want, they could face increased competition for this valuable new business.

“For some brokers this will require a shift in mindset from hindsight to foresight as they evolve from being simply placers of coverage to preventive risk advisers and managers.”

The PWC research also found that nearly three quarters of risk managers wanted analytics to inform their decision making amid concerns over new and emerging risks, but that they felt many brokers were falling short in this area.

And fewer than a third of respondents said they were “very satisfied” with the analytical and modelling services offered by brokers.

The PWC report said that brokers needed to change their business models to support cost-efficient standard risk management and to be seen as “knowledge-intensive” risk consultants.

It added that brokers would also have to expand their information-gathering network to get a better grip on new and emerging risks faced by clients, as well as improve their ability to “collect, integrate and analyse data to create new solutions and become more of an analytical and consultative resource.

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Published Sep 22, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated Sep 22, 2014 at 10:24 am)

PWC warns brokers: risk managers want better analytics, new solutions

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