Barbican marks 10th anniversary with launch of Imperial College London collaboration

22 November 2017

London, 23 November 2017 – Barbican Insurance Group has today announced the establishment of a new partnership with Imperial College London. Marking the firm’s 10th anniversary, the collaboration will form the basis of a year-long programme exploring the multiple drivers that will potentially shape the London insurance market over the next decade.

Barbican aims to conduct deep-dive assessments, working closely with the Imperial Business Partners (IBP) team, into some of the most significant disruptors for the insurance sector. These include: the impact of new capabilities such as machine learning and AI, the evolution of digital trading platforms, and market disruption by external players; as well as examining some of the potential limiting factors to market modernisation.

To gauge current opinion and identify key research areas, Barbican and Gracechurch Consulting recently conducted a London Market survey focusing on innovation and modernisation.

The findings reveal that 76 percent of respondents believe market-changing disruption in the London Market was either ‘very likely’ or ‘inevitable’ over the next ten years. Further, 60 percent expect the market to be either ‘greatly’ or ‘very’ disrupted by external companies such as Amazon, Google and Tesla over the same period.

The study also found that operational efficiency is considered the most likely area to benefit from innovation (65 percent), followed by risk selection and modelling, and customer experience. Rating the most exciting forms of innovation, machine learning topped the list with 46 percent, with blockchain securing 39 percent and predictive modelling 25 percent.

In terms of the greatest obstacles to innovation and modernisation, 61 percent believe that organisational culture was the most likely stumbling block; with lack of collaboration, and regulation and compliance ranked second and third. Cost as a major hindering factor was only highlighted by 30 percent of respondents.

Barbican will release a more detailed report on the findings of this study in the coming weeks.

Austyn Tusler, head of group strategy, Barbican, said: “It is clear from these findings that the London Market is set to undergo a period of unparalleled change over the next decade. Since our launch in 2007, Barbican has witnessed and been part of substantial market evolution, but the next decade will undoubtedly ramp up the speed of change significantly. We are excited to be working with IBP as we undertake this research into the drivers for change in the London Market and how these will shape our industry. This partnership will enable us to capitalise on the huge amount of information and depth of expertise that Imperial College offers.”

Julia Zanghieri, Programme Manager, IBP, added: “Imperial is delighted to be partnering with Barbican to explore what is a critical subject for the London insurance sector as it seeks to evolve and adapt to a rapidly developing market environment. Through working closely with Imperial’s multi-disciplinary experts, taking advantage of the wealth of research we have compiled, and accessing the full breadth of our network, we will fully support Barbican’s efforts to generate greater insight into how this evolution will occur over the next ten years, and to share these findings with the wider market.”

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