Keith Thompson, CEO and co-founder of Pardus Underwriting explains the firm’s ethos. “Since we started in 2014, we’ve stayed true to our initial values; to achieve growth by offering a fast, responsive, cost-effective service, across specialty lines of business.”
While this could describe a number of MGAs, the fact is for Pardus, four years on, its strategy is working. It is achieving growth through building worthwhile, trusting relationships with insurance carriers and brokers alike. Uptake figures are proof that its approach is working.
Here are the reasons why. It’s a Lloyds’ cover holder but it remains independent. These two factors set it apart from a whole host of other MGAs. Even where a number were independent companies to begin with, many of these are now owned by broker networks.
Not keen to rest on their laurels, the management team is agile, responsive and possesses deep market knowledge. These factors are what will help it to stay on track. It will continue with this strategy, as it sets it sights on sizeable growth in the next few years. Innovation via new products and in niche areas, is key to meet changing market demands.
Keep it simple, yet professional
Pardus is a member of the Managing General Agents’ Association (MGAA). It launched in 2011 to represent 40 MGA members writing a gross written premium (GWP) of £1.25 bn. Today it presides over more than 130 members that write £4 bn in GWP.
In order to improve its transparency and meet compliance, Pardus operates a straightforward corporate structure. Pardus Holdings Limited is 100 percent owned by Pardus Underwriting Limited (Pardus). Pardus Underwriting operates as the MGA and is an Appointed Representative of Capita Commercial Insurance Services Limited.
Some commentators argue that MGA growth will be hit hard by soft market conditions. Pardus’ however, believes its ability to transact business with over 100 insurance brokers worldwide and provide value and efficiency to the insurance community, places it in good stead to withstand such challenges. It remains focused on attracting new business and to continue to retain and nurture its current portfolio. A central part of this approach, is its commitment to observe regulation and compliance, to maintain high levels of professionalism.
Specialist skills, on demand
Another key differentiator is the firm’s nous for building seasoned teams of underwriters, to keep pace with market demand. Five specialist lines – forestry, transportation, accident and health, contingency and property – see it transact business throughout the globe.
Pardus is attracting senior level expertise, coupled with individuals that share the same commitment to Pardus’ business growth objectives. This approach has certainly paid off. So far, all of the senior hires enjoy being backed up by a focused and enthusiastic support team.
As Darren Stockman, Pardus Chief Underwriting Officer points out, “Knowing the market as well as we do, we knew that there would be ambitious specialist underwriters keen to make a break from big companies. For some it’s quite a departure from the norm but also, a worthwhile challenge.”
“This has certainly paid off for us. Our clients get the benefit of access to highly specialist skills in niche areas, with a fast turnaround.”
The path to growth
With its specialty lines of business providing the perfect introduction to global markets, Pardus fully intends to capitalise on its expanding global footprint. It will be interesting to see, where the firm turns its attention to, next. Whichever route it chooses, it’s very clear that there’s an appetite to go where value and efficiency can be delivered.
As growth and profitability in more mainstream business lines are tough to come by, insurers increasing value MGAs. A lot, by their very nature, focus on more specialist lines.
Peter Staddon, the MGAA CEO believes that MGAs, despite increased market competition, will continue to hold their own. His view concurs with others that most remain optimistic and many are looking to increase their distribution partnerships. He says, “This strategic priority reflects the sector’s product knowledge and understanding of clients’ needs as well as its innovation and entrepreneurial skills.”
Team Pardus is not daunted at the challenges ahead. It remains committed to achieving growth and to expand its product offering in the foreseeable future. And, to do this, in order to provide value to the insurance market. As Keith Thompson, CEO, Pardus sums up, “It’s an attractive proposition, to find specialist underwriters that can deliver top security, high quality solutions to meet today’s extremely competitive cost-conscious insurance environment.”