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Welcome to the December 2023 issue of Credit Insurance News Digest. Tinubu sponsors this month's issue.

 

Index

Credit Insurance News

New Appointments

Job Vacancies

Events & Professional Development

Credit Management News Digest

About this month's sponsor: Tinubu

PLUS: Evaluating Credit Risk in the Face of Climate Challenges, by Weiling Lin, Risk Underwriting Manager - APAC, Tinubu and Martin Sheppard, Tinubu Risk Director.

Credit Insurance News

13.2% of shipments worldwide were protected by trade credit insurance in 2022. The International Credit Insurance & Surety Association (ICISA) has published a report that explores the impact of trade credit insurance on world trade. ICISA's analysis suggests that the global trade credit insurance market reached a premium volume of USD 13.89 billion in 2022. This covers insured shipments valued at just over USD 7 trillion, with a penetration rate of 13.16% of world trade as measured by the World Bank. Private market participants, particularly ICISA members, contributed 69% of this protection. ICISA suggests that, although these statistics highlight the significant value the trade credit insurance industry brings to the real economy, they also underscore a substantial protection gap, likely affecting smaller businesses, especially outside of Europe where the product is less established. To read ICISA's news release go to https://icisa.org/news/press-release-impact-of-tci-on-world-trade/.

 

Trade credit insurance demand remains strong ahead of an uncertain 2024. Marsh's latest Credit Specialties market update reports that, while trade credit insurance claims volumes have returned to pre-pandemic levels, there has yet to be a corresponding increase in the severity of loss trend. Marsh also notes that it has seen a 20% increase in new inquiries in 2023 versus 2022, with demand for trade credit insurance by businesses and banks being driven by increasing recognition of the growing risk of credit default. Marsh adds that across its trade credit portfolio, the total potential exposure being borne by insurers has continued to grow compared to pre-pandemic levels, with an additional US$77.4 billion in exposure added via new or expanded credit limit requests to date in 2023. To download Marsh's report go to https://www.marsh.com/uk/services/political-risk/insights/credit-specialties-market-update-q3-2023.html.

Aon anticipates that trade credit insurers' top-line growth will continue decelerating into 2024. Aon has published its latest Q4 2023 Market Insights report, which considers the evolution of the credit insurance market this year and highlights some of the key trends for 2024. The report notes that Q3 2023 revenue growth from the largest trade credit carriers (Allianz Trade, Atradius, Coface) was varied but overall below 10% and has slowed compared to recent quarters. As anticipated in Aon's Q3 report, this reflects the deceleration in premium volume linked to a slowdown in trade volumes. Looking ahead, Aon expects top-line growth to continue decelerating into 2024 as the overall premium rate change on renewals remains flat/soft, driven by new and renewal business competition. To read Aon's report go to https://insights.aon.com/aons-credit-solutions-q4-2023-insights/.

 

Common misconceptions about trade credit insurance debunked. Terry Kingston, Account Manager at Xenia Broking, has published an article that examines the myths and misunderstandings about trade credit insurance. The misconceptions he addresses include: "All my customers are strong, and I know them well" (misconception 1); "We've never had a bad debt" (misconception 3); "Insurers cancel cover or reduce limits when the going gets tough" (misconception 6); "Credit insurance restricts sales" (misconception 8); "I don't need credit insurance (misconception 9). Terry comments: "Many companies say 'we've never had a bad debt, so we're not going to buy credit insurance'. But you wouldn't say: 'we've never had a fire, so we're not going to get buildings cover'." To read Xenia Broking's article go to https://xeniabroking.com/news-and-insights/common-misconceptions-about-trade-credit-insurance-debunked.

Trade bodies warn that EU reforms tackling late payments could limit access to trade credit insurance. Global Trade Review (GTR) has reported that trade bodies are warning that EU reforms tackling late payments could (among other concerns) limit access to trade credit insurance. In September, the European Commission proposed to limit all payment terms to a maximum of 30 days as part of revisions to the EU-wide Late Payment Directive, finalised in 2011. If a payment is missed, interest of 8% is added to the amount due, as well as a flat fee of €50. In response, the German Insurance Association (GDV) commented that the proposed rule would "limit the insurability of accounts receivable in trade credit insurance." Insurers may no longer be legally allowed to extend insurance cover for the future supply of goods – common practice in the German market – meaning cover would not apply if the buyer fell into financial difficulty. To read GTR's article go to https://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/brussels-late-payment-crackdown-threatens-survival-of-scf-industry-warns/.

Marsh calculates a 6-point rise in acceptance rates for large client trade credit insurance limit requests to an average of 81% in H1 2023. Intelligent Insurer has reported that Marsh's research has found a 6-point year-on-year rise in acceptance rates for large client trade credit insurance limit requests to an average of 81% in H1 2023, the highest level since March 2021. Marsh data also suggests a 25% year-on-year increase in 2023 in aggregate gross limit per $1 of premium, a 36% increase over the prior 3Y average. In terms of rates, the market has continued to soften, Marsh brokers noted, citing the average premium rate for 2023 at 0.159% of value, a level authors call "slightly below" the 2020-2023 average. To read Intelligent Insurer's article go to https://www.intelligentinsurer.com/insurance/trade-credit-insurance-demand-up-well-ahead-of-claim-trend-34314.

The EU's new tightrope walk on the Late Payments Regulation. Trade Finance Global (TFG) has published an article in which Deepesh Patel discusses the new, more stringent regulations proposed by the European Commission's suggested changes to the Late Payments Directive (LPD). This includes a non-derogable 30-day maximum payment term for business-to-business transactions, mandatory interest on late payments and a flat-fee compensation for recovery costs. The Commission's data suggests that these measures could save European businesses up to €2.5 billion annually in financial costs. However, the regulation's strict terms, while beneficial on paper, raise questions about their practicality and the potential unintended consequences for the European business landscape. For example, Richard Wulff, Executive Director, ICISA, told TFG, "One size (30 days payment terms) cannot fit all; there must be a possibility to differentiate on the basis of sectoral and country practices and needs." To read TFG's article go to https://www.tradefinanceglobal.com/posts/the-eus-new-tightrope-walk-on-the-late-payments-regulation/.

The trade credit insurance claims environment is continuing to normalise. Aon's latest Q4 2023 Market Insights report has noted the claims environment continues to normalise slowly relative to pre-COVID business cycles, with key trade credit insurance carriers (Allianz Trade, Atradius, Coface) reporting gross loss ratios cumulatively year to date between 37% to 47%. Loss ratios are similar to 12 months ago but benefit from higher premium volumes reported over the past year. Combined Ratios are currently stable at 69% to 75% cumulatively year to date, though they also benefit from higher premium volumes reported over the past year. Aon also notes that the premium pricing environment remains "somewhat stable", with premium rate decreases during Q3 2023 in the low single digits. Looking ahead, Aon anticipates that this pricing trend will continue in the short term. To read Aon's report go to https://insights.aon.com/aons-credit-solutions-q4-2023-insights/.

 

Opportunities in the trade credit insurance market in Asia. Global Trade Review (GTR) has published an article in which a panel of experts discuss the trade credit insurance market in Asia and "the myriad pressures set to test industry resilience." Regarding India, Shan Aboo, Allianz Trade's Asia Pacific Chief Commercial Officer, commented: "The opportunities there are just tremendous. Over the last few months, the amount of enquiries that have been coming in from customers who have never had credit insurance before, both from a domestic and an export point of view, has been very significant." Better debt recovery mechanisms stemming from the country's 2016 bankruptcy code reform are also boosting underwriting appetite for Indian risks, with Sam Ladbury, Head of Asia Political Risk and Credit at Chubb Global Markets, calling the new regime a "game changer". To read GTR's article go to https://www.gtreview.com/supplements/gtr-insurance-2023/bracing-for-turbulence-asias-insurance-sector-gears-up-for-tougher-times.
 

AU Group warns that business failures are making a "serious comeback". AU Group's latest G-Grade for Q4 2023 warns that the shadow of a global recession may be receding, but business failures are making a "serious comeback". Most countries are experiencing an acceleration in insolvencies, with some – such as the US, South Korea and the Netherlands – seeing rises of over 40%. Overall, by the end of the year, insolvencies are expected to be up 6% compared to 2022. A further rise (+10%) is expected in 2024 (compared to 2023). The AU 'G-Grade' is based on the individual assessment of a country by each of the four largest credit insurers (Atradius, Coface, Credendo and Allianz Trade) and is calculated according to the real risk taken by these major insurers collectively. This issue's most notable downgrade is for Colombia. To download AU Group's report go to https://www.au-group.com/etudes/ggrade-q4-2023/.

Bondaval gears up for a planned expansion across Europe and the Americas. Bondaval has advised that it is gearing up for a planned expansion across Europe and the Americas and looking forward to working with brokers to develop new applications for Bondaval's products. As part of this expansion, Ewa Rose (see 'New Appointment' below), who previously launched the trade credit underwriting platforms at Markel and Chubb, will join Bondaval as Chief Underwriting Officer in February 2024. She will join former Markel Underwriter David Stevens. Bondaval was founded in 2020 and provides technology-based trade credit insurance solutions. It serves companies in the UK, EU, USA and Canada. To read Bondaval's news release go to https://www.bondaval.com/news/ewa-rose-to-join-bondaval-as-group-cuo.

Inflation and insolvencies cloud the UK's outlook. Allianz Trade has advised that the UK economy looks likely to avoid recession this year, but inflation, higher financing costs, and a sharp rise in insolvencies continue to weigh heavily on UK businesses. The UK is heading towards two years of almost zero growth (+0.3% in 2023 and +0.6% in 2024). In addition, the weakening resilience of some large firms threatens to create a domino effect, boosting the number of insolvencies amongst smaller firms. Allianz Trade notes that the UK is already seeing a sharp acceleration of business insolvencies and warns that it expects business insolvencies to increase by 16% this year and 5% next – staying around 30% above pre-pandemic levels until 2025. All sectors have now significantly surpassed 2019 insolvency levels. To read Allianz Trade's news release go to https://www.allianz-trade.com/en_GB/insights/economic-research/inflation-and-insolvencies-cloud-uk-outlook.html.

The US and UK economies are set to stagnate in H1 2024. Atradius Collections' Economic Update November 2023 reports that the US economy far exceeded expectations in Q3 (with 4.9% annual growth). However, growth is likely stagnate in H1 of 2024 before picking back up in H2, bringing full-year growth to 1.0% down from 2.4% in 2023.
The UK's economy flat-lined in Q3 2023 compared to Q2, continuing the trend of sluggish economic growth over the past two years. GDP will likely remain weak in 2024 amid sustained high interest rates and little policy support ahead of the next general election. Consequently, Atradius expects only 0.4% growth next year, following "a meagre" 0.6% in 2023. Global growth will stay restrained at 2.0% in 2024, depressed by the slowdown in the US economy amid tight fiscal and monetary policies. To read Atradius' Update go to https://atradiuscollections.com/global/reports/economic-update-november-2023.html.

France: Longer and more frequent payment delays, with small companies in the firing line. A new report by Coface on corporate payment behaviour in France reveals that more prolonged and frequent payment delays are impacting small companies. Coface notes that, in 2023, 82% of companies have recorded payment delays by their clients over the past 12 months, with the majority stating that late payments were occurring more frequently and for longer periods than last year. In addition, the deterioration in corporate payment habits is echoed in insolvency numbers, with an undisputed increase since the start of the year, which has has even overshot pre-COVID levels. 39,098 insolvencies were recorded over the year's first nine months, up 34% compared to 2022 and 4.5% higher than in 2019. Furthermore, 90% of companies surveyed by Coface expect economic conditions to worsen or, at best, for activity to remain stable in France and worldwide. To read Coface's news release with a link to the full report go to https://www.coface.com/news-economy-and-insights/france-longer-and-more-frequent-payment-delays-with-small-companies-in-the-firing-line.

Can Black Friday alone relieve the ailing retail sector? Atradius has published an article that considers if Black Friday can revive falling sales (forecast to fall in 2023 by -2.6% in France, -2.3% in Italy, -2.8% in Germany, and -2.1% in the UK) in various European and the US market. For the UK, Ruby Hartery, Senior Underwriter for Retail at Atradius UK, notes that the categories Atradius is most concerned about are electronics and home goods, on which consumers tend to spend less in challenging economic times. She also suggests that smaller retail players will suffer most in the current shrinking market, as they are unable to access more favourable pricing and payment terms. However, on the upside, the supply chain issues that forced retailers to retain high inventory levels during and after the pandemic have been largely solved. In addition, discount retailers and retailers with a robust omnichannel offering are thriving. To read Atradius' news release go to https://group.atradius.com/press/atradius-news/will-black-friday-and-beyond-bring-relief-for-retail.html.

Insolvency analysis suggests that, despite some green shoots, uncertainties remain. Xenia's Broking's latest UK Insolvency Analysis reports that, while some economic indicators are encouraging, such as falling inflation and a hold on the interest rate, insolvencies remain relatively high, and overall business confidence remains subdued. The report notes that 2023 has certainly been a more problematic year for many SMEs than many of the industry leaders would have expected and suggests that corporate insolvencies this year have continued from the 2022 springboard, which exemplifies the effect of the lethal combination of high interest rates, high inflation, rising energy costs, pressures on supply chains and the aftermath of Covid and Brexit. "If 2022 was the period of great change (the cause) following years of challenge and chaos, then 2023 might be seen as the effect. Whilst we are seeing several green shoots . . . uncertainty still hovers in the air." To download a copy of the report go to https://xeniabroking.com/news-and-insights/uk-insolvency-analysis-november-2023.

Insolvencies in the UK retail sector have surged by 56% in the past year. QBE's latest Trade credit report on the UK retail sector for Winter 2023 suggests that, after the impact of COVID-19, the spotlight is now shifting towards the increasing challenge of rising living costs, while inflationary pressures, high energy prices and ongoing disruptions in supply chains also challenge sales in the sector. The report notes that GlobalData's projections indicate that total retail sales for Q4 2023 are expected to grow 3.3%, notably lower than the robust 6.2% increase observed in the preceding quarter. In addition, according to figures from RPC, insolvencies in the sector have surged by 56% in the past year – the highest level in nearly a decade. Around 1,942 retailers went into administration in 2022-23, up from 1,243 in 2021-22. To read QBE's report go to https://qbeeurope.com/document-library/products/trade-credit/trade-credit-report-retail-winter-2023/?token=542349.

The outlook for the global chemicals sector looks set to brighten in the second half of next year. Atradius' latest Global Chemicals Industry Outlook notes that 2023 has been a disappointing year for the global chemicals market, with output growth predicted at just 0.1% for the whole year. Asia-Pacific has been the main source of the growth that has been generated. Meanwhile, the Americas, Europe and Africa have all seen year-on-year contractions during 2023. However, looking ahead, Atradius forecasts that the outlook for the sector looks set to brighten in the second half of next year, with a rebound of 3.2% predicted for the industry on a global level in 2024, driven by growing demand from sectors such as construction. However, recovery will initially be gradual, and growth momentum is unlikely to pick up pace until at least the second half of 2024. To read Atradius' news release, with a link to the full report, go to https://atradius.co.uk/reports/industry-trends-global-chemicals-outlook-2023.html.

 

Trade Credit Risks rise as the Australian economy slows. NCI has advised that the moderate slowing of the Australian economy continues to impact its Trade Credit Risk Index (TCRI). The TCRI, which rose by 1% in the September quarter, has now reached its highest level in three years and is now 54% above its level in December 2021. A rise in the TCRI signals an increase in credit insurance claims and indicates downside risks to the Australian economy. In addition, as an indicator of greater trade credit risk in the near term, the number of claims lodged with NCI rose by 37%. Both the largest number and highest values of claims came from the ‘building and hardware’ sector. This reflects the pressures in construction, which were driven by a sharp increase in costs and a slowing in demand. To read NCI's news release go to https://www.nci.com.au/news/trade-credit-risks-rise-as-the-economy-slows/.

What lessons can we learn from the COVID crisis and the government support for credit insurance that it sparked? At the end of November, Xavier Durand, CEO of Coface, gave a comprehensive interview to the newspaper L'Agefi. On the subject of the lessons we can learn from the COVID crisis and the government support for credit insurance that it sparked, he suggests there was no choice except the "do what it takes, no matter the cost" approach so that we could avoid the same shock as in 2007-2008. However, in this instance, the trade credit insurers involved ended up paying out to the government because the loss ratio was very low. For any future crises he warns that, although states and private trade credit insurers can't insure stakeholders against a recession, "the intangible logic of credit insurance is grounded in our ability to adjust risks to the specific conditions of the risk facing us." To read the interview go to https://www.coface.com/news-economy-and-insights/xavier-durand-we-re-plotting-a-course-through-a-world-that-is-harder-to-predict-part-1#What-lessons-can-we-learn-from-the-Covid-crisis-and-the-government-support-for-credit-insurance-that-it-sparked-off.

Tech City Labs acquires Connell Data Ltd. Following the sad passing of Greg Connell in October, Tech City Labs announced that it has acquired Connell Data Ltd. Tech City Labs has worked closely with Greg Connell over many years; the acquisition provides Connell Data clients with continuity of day-to-day operational delivery and management of products and services and the opportunity for exciting new development. Benjamin Sims, Managing Director of Tech City Labs, said: "Greg was a legend in the industry, and I have been proud to have him as my mentor. We have been fortunate to work with him over many years and have developed many data products together." Tech City Labs has advised that it will maintain all current subscriptions and deliveries in alignment with their agreed schedules. Click here to read Tech City Lab's news release, or for FAQs regarding the acquisition go to https://www.techcitylabs.com/resources/connell-data-acquired-by-tech-city-labs-faqs.

Video: NCI has launched a new tool in Australia designed to help clients get paid faster. Easy AR is automated accounts receivable software that aims to facilitate and improve the visibility of customer payments, reconcile incoming payments, track customer payment history, and automate follow-up reminders; in addition, clients can send invoices, automate payment reminders and send details of overdue customers straight to NCI collections. Clients with a trade credit insurance policy can also generate reports to support the facilitation of their policy. NCI advises that, on average, businesses see a 43% reduction in outstandings in the first 12 months with the product. For more information and an explanatory video go to https://www.nci.com.au/news/easyar-video/.

November's ICISA Insurance Insider is now available. The International Credit Insurance & Surety Association (ICISA) has published the latest issue of Insurance Insider. This month, articles include:

  • Regional Focus: Economic impact of war in the Middle East, By Robert Besseling, Pangea-Risk.

  • An interview with Sarah Murrow, Chair of Women in Credit Insurance working group.

  • Direct surety bonds are coming of age, By Jeffrey York, Bond-Pro.

  • Active Re joins ICISA. An interview with Erik Feigelson Johansson, Head of Global Credit & Surety Underwriting

To download a copy go to https://icisa.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/0_The-ICISA-Insider_November_2023_spreads-1.pdf.

Coface reports that the risk prevention measures it took at the beginning of the year have, so far, led to limited claims. Coface has reported that its results for the first nine months of 2023 show that its turnover has risen by +7.1% year to date due to "an excellent performance" at the start of the year, while its client retention remains at a "record high". Trade credit insurance rose by +6.6% at constant fx, and client retention stood at (93.9%); while there was double-digit growth in business information (+14.7% at constant fx) and debt collection. Coface also advises that despite rising business insolvencies, the risk prevention measures it took at the beginning of the year have, so far, enabled limited claims. To read Coface's news release go to https://www.coface.com/news-economy-and-insights/coface-records-excellent-income-of-189.7m-in-the-first-nine-months.

Nearly 20% of all live UK companies are at high risk of distress. Company Watch has reported that nearly 20% (1,053,238) of all live UK companies currently sit in its Warning Area (and are therefore at high risk of distress), and there are 251,919 zombie companies (i.e. companies that earn just enough money to continue operating and re-pay the interest on their debt). With recent high interest rates, Company Watch warns that it is likely that many of these zombie companies will now be forced into liquidation in the early part of 2024. Overall, the real estate sector has seen the biggest increase in distress since October, with 3,660 companies entering Company Watch's Warning Area over the last two months. To see Company Watch's latest data go to https://www.companywatch.net/uk-financial-risk-indicators/.

A sustainable revolution: Tinubu describes India's ESG landscape. Tinubu reports that, although it is early days, India's ESG ecosystem is multiplying, with organisations proactively embracing internationally recognised reporting frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative, the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and Integrated Reporting. In addition, the banking sector has joined the Network for Greening the Financial System - actively contributing to advancing green finance and playing a vital role in shaping policies to address climate-related risks. Tinubu examines the key catalysts propelling India's ESG evolution: sustainable agriculture, renewable energy solutions, logistics transformation, and green finance. To read Tinubu's news release go to https://www.tinubu.com/blog/indias-esg-landscape-a-sustainable-revolution.

Expert Comments: Reviewing 2022 and looking forward to 2023

Now that we are nearly at the end of 2023, Credit Insurance News asked some of the experts from our community of advertisers for their thoughts on this tumultuous year (yet again) and their hopes for 2024.
Here are their comments:

"2023 unfolded in two distinct phases. The first half maintained a status quo with a lower-than-usual claims environment, sustaining competitive premium rates. However, the latter half brought a palpable 'return of risk,' marked by significant insolvencies across the market.
As we turn our gaze to 2024, economic unease prevails, shaped by global uncertainties, elevated interest rates, supply chain disruptions, and geopolitical tensions. Amid these challenges, the importance of trade credit insurance endures, standing as a crucial tool to aid our clients in navigating these uncertainties, as it always has.”
Peter Evola, Commercial Director for the UK & Ireland at Allianz Trade

"In 2023, the industry underwent a transitional year. the combination of high inflation and high interest rates contributed to an acceleration in corporate insolvencies amid shrinking cash positions, deteriorating margins and rising interest charges. Ultimately, this trend is contributing to the acceleration of corporate insolvencies and consequently, a rise in claims.

 Having relocated to the UK midway through 2023, I witnessed the pivotal role of trade credit insurance. This volatile business environment, intensified by the geo-political situation, presents an opportunity for our industry to showcase the value of our products and services. By collaborating with brokers, we can expand our reach to help businesses navigate current challenges."

Tom Bancroft. Marketing Manager, Coface.

"Krisis, in Greek acception, means this singular time of opportunity that bifurcates into victory or defeat, life, or defeat. Crisis after crisis, we are experiencing this decisive and disruptive time and what is remarkable to see is how much companies are adapting and withstanding this uncertain environment to seize new opportunities. The trade credit insurance market continues to grow, offering more capacity and engineering new type of products, like in surety business line to support their clients in their growing needs. Probably, the financing will remain the sticking point to support the energy shift and global reshuffling companies are facing with."
Kerlijne Van Steen, Head of Single Risk. Credendo

"In 2023, company credit risks unfolded against the backdrop of evolving insolvency levels. The year witnessed a delicate balance as economic revival and persistent uncertainties influenced business solvency. Sectors like construction, retail and hospitality faced heightened challenges, reflected in the increased insolvency rates. Robust risk management strategies became paramount, with businesses leveraging data analytics for proactive insights. Amidst these dynamics, resilient companies embraced innovative and robust financial practices, fortifying themselves against insolvency threats, using all the latest tooling available. Navigating the insolvency landscape in 2024 will require vigilance and strategic foresight for businesses to thrive in an ever-shifting economic environment."
Craig Evans, CEO. Company Watch.

"2023 was the year of rising inflation and interest rates. Some OECD economies representing approximately 40% of the world economy showed stark increases in insolvencies. Despite this uncertainty, the capitalization and the professionalism of the TCI industry give us confidence, that our industry will continue to function well to the benefit of our clients and the economy as a whole. Additionally, 2023 was a year of recognition of diversity: Women in Credit Insurance was founded and knowledge of credit insurance in Africa increased.
Not ignoring dark clouds on the horizon, we see a bright future for TCI and ICISA’s members."

Richard Wulff, Exective Director. ICISA


"Data produced by InfolinkGazette suggested that huge increases in court filings and petitions seen in 2022 (vs 2021) would continue into the current year and the upward trend has continued as expected. HMRC are still the biggest contributor to the number of petitions being filed. The number of companies warning on profits has steadily increased through the year alongside a large increase in companies citing a material uncertainty. Going into 2024, the increasing number of petitions and filings shows signs of levelling off, but there are few indicators that suggest things will return to the significantly lower numbers we saw in 2021."
S Kaler, Head of Data & Operations. Connell Data Ltd t/a InfolinkGazette

"2023 was more turbulent than 2022 but not as bad as anticipated. While insolvencies and delayed payments were up, particularly in the UK construction sector, we remained supportive of our clients with our non-cancellable product offering. Commodity related enquiries remained high, albeit energy enquiries reduced slightly as prices receded from Q4 2022 high.

Outlook for 2024 is similar to 2023 with increases in delayed payments as the high interest rate environment continues, this will have ramifications on banking covenants, and we expect a lot of refinancing’s with highly leveraged businesses. We expect enhancements to our offering in 2024, new additions to our team and hopefully a new location!"

Simon Philpin, Head of Trade Credit. Markel

“The economic environment locally and across the globe, has provided an excellent opportunity for the Trade Credit Insurance industry to invest and grow. More and more companies face uncertainty, which gives us the chance to work with more businesses to protect and support their growth with our products. Yes, TCI claims have grown this year, but after such a lull 2020-2022, 2023 has proven to many businesses why they need and continue to use our products and services. Onwards and upwards for our industry in 2024!”
Kirk Cheesman, Group Managing Director. NCI.

"As 2023 draws to a close, the trade credit insurance industry is preparing for a potential increase in insolvencies by 2024. There have been mixed trends in insolvencies this year, reflecting the economic impact of global challenges. The outlook for 2024 is cautiously optimistic but remains uncertain, especially as government support is waning. Insurers are focussing on robust risk assessments and proactive strategies to manage this potential increase. The sector's ability to adapt quickly will be key to protecting companies against the rising risk of insolvency in a still unpredictable economic landscape."
 Robert Meters, Director Global Business at SCHUMANN.

For the past two years, at this period of the year, everyone was hoping for rosier time for the next year. Unfortunately, 2023 again brought us bad surprises.
“COVID has not fully disappeared, as periodic alerts spring around. The Ukrainian war is lasting with its economical side effects not yet fully digested by the World economy.”The Middle East situation since October 7th has added angst and tension worldwide. And everybody is witnessing daily more and more the effects of climate change."
But let’s be optimistic and resilient for 2024! Merry Xmas and Happy New Year"

Marc Meyer, SVP Subject Matter Expert at Tinubu

"It seems clear that 2024 will continue to be a difficult environment for credit underwriters, and an opportunity to demonstrate the value of our product and grow our client numbers further. 2023 felt notable for face-to-face meetings resuming in volume, and for a number of new broker colleagues starting their careers taking our product offering forward. We look forward to working with you all at TMHCC and I feel confident our product offering is in good hands.
We wish everyone a wonderful and safe festival season, we thank everyone for their continued support during the year, and we look forward into 2024 positively for the opportunities available."

Ray Massey & Jane Hull, and the Credit team at TMHCC

"During 2023 we have experienced the consequences of the inflation genie escaping from its bottle. The knock-on effects have been increased financial stress, overdue payments, debt rescheduling, and claims. To date, the credit insurance market has been relatively softer than might have been expected. New business pricing and risk appetite have generally remained competitive for the right case although for some sectors it has curtailed markedly. However, the full effects of the elevated cost of borrowing have yet to be felt. This in combination with (at best) marginal GDP growth predicted for 2024 means that we can expect the underwriting market to harden at some point."

 Richard Jacobs, Associate Director at W Denis

New Appointments

Allianz Trade UK & Ireland has announced two new appointments:

  • Peter Evola becomes Allianz Trade's Commercial Director for the UK and Ireland. Peter has been with Allianz Trade for twelve years and has worked within the UK & Ireland, and Northern Europe region, as well as the group's head office in Paris. Before his new role, Peter was the UK Head of Broker Distribution.

  • Dan Kelly becomes Head of Broker Distribution for Allianz Trade in the UK & Ireland. Dan has been a long-standing employee of Allianz Trade, holding various roles in the commercial area of the business for over fifteen years. 


Atradius has appointed Alexis de Sereys as Special Products Underwriter based in London. Alexis joins Atradius from Coface, where he was a Key Account Manager at Coface Global Solutions. 

Bartlett has announced that Josh Gibbons has joined the company as a Business Development Executive. Josh joins from First Ram and has five years of experience in the trade credit insurance industry. He is welcomed by Head of Credit Simon Martin and Associate Director Phill Hall.

Bondaval has announced the appointment of Ewa Rose as Chief Underwriting Officer. Ewa joins Bondeval in February 2024 and will be based in London. Ewa was previously set up and headed the trade credit business at ACE (now Chubb) before launching the trade credit, political risk and surety division at Markel. Most recently, she was a Managing Director at Aon Credit and Financial Risks Reinsurance Solutions. Ewa will join David Stevens, who will head up the Bondaval business development unit. David joins from Markel, where he was Underwriter and Senior Business Developer – Trade Credit.

Coface has announced the appointment of Lars Wallin as Head of Banks and Financial Institutions for the North America Region. Lars moves from LiquidX, where he was Sales Director. He is based in New York.

Howden Broking has appointed Xavier Mallez as Head of Global Credit, Surety, and Political Risk, based in Paris. Xavier was formerly the Insurance Special Risks Director – Africa & Middle East with Groupe ASCOMA.

Nexus Trade Credit has welcomed Robert De Bruyn to Nexus Trade Credit's European team as a Broker Relationship Manager. Robert joins from Coface, where, since 2010, he had worked as an exclusive agent in the Aragon region in Spain.


Thomas Carroll Group has appointed Karen George as an Account Executive in its Trade Credit & Surety Team. Karen joins Thomas Carroll from Atradius, where she was a Business Development Manager.

TL Dallas has appointed four new team members within its trade credit division. Account Executives Lon Shepherd and Martin Garrow have more than twenty-six years of combined industry experience and come from invoice finance and banking backgrounds. Nat Wright and Poppy Whyte join as apprentices from Leeds Sixth Form College. Lon, Nat and Poppy will be based at TL Dallas' headquarters in Bradford.

Tokio Marine HCC has announced the appointment of Rebecca Love as a new Commercial Underwriter within its Trade Credit New Business team. Rebecca previously worked with Marsh in London in a Risk Consultant role. In her new role, Rebecca will work with Tokio Marine's team in London to provide credit solutions to broking colleagues across London and the Southern region.

Bridge Specialty Group, the Wholesale Brokerage segment of Brown & Brown, Inc., has announced that Tim Coles has been named CEO for the European brokerage operations of Bridge Specialty Group, effective 1 January 2024. Tim most recently served as CEO of Xenia Broking Group.


Insurance Insider has reported that Steven Stennett has joined Xenia Broking, succeeding Tim Coles. Steven was formerly the Commercial Director for the UK and Ireland at Allianz Trade. To read Insurance Insider's article go to https://www.insuranceinsider.com/article/2chk03nv46mvg9l5aqm0w/brokers-section/stennett-commercial-director-at-allianz-trade-to-succeed-coles-as-xenia-ceo.

WTW has appointed Jamal Bullen as Senior Associate GB – Financial Solutions, Trade Credit & Political Risk. Jamal joins WTW from Nimbla, where he was Client Director.

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Anchor 1
Credit Insurance News
New Appointments
CIN

Job Vacancies

Senior Trade Credit Underwriter, New Business

London. (ref JR2306235)

Who we are
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading global insurance organization. Building on 100 years of experience, today AIG member companies provide a wide range of property casualty insurance, life insurance, retirement solutions, and other financial services to customers in more than 80 countries and jurisdictions. These diverse offerings include products and services that help businesses and individuals protect their assets, manage risks and provide for retirement security.


What you need to know:
We are currently recruiting a Trade Credit Senior New Business Underwriter to join our Middle Market team. The successful candidate will be responsible for promoting the AIG brand through broker engagement and achieving new business premium and fees growth in line with AIG growth strategy and broker engagement drive. Collaboration between new business and account management to ensure we put our best terms forward first time round. The position commands a solid commercial underwriting discipline, which includes policy
structuring, pricing, and an existing broker network in the trade credit space.


Responsibilities:

  • Achieve new business targets by developing a pipeline and converting opportunities to AIG policies through the broker network, focused on a technology driven Non-Cancellable solution.

  • Discussing business growth strategies with Brokers and new business prospects to meet joint objectives and ensure positive outcomes.

  • Engage with internal distribution team(s) for growth opportunities and potential cross sell.

  • Maintaining first class customer service experience in line with agreed service levels.

  • Keeping up to date with market, economic, sector and country news.

  • Build and maintain strong relationships with brokers, intermediaries, and service providers.

  • Self-development utilizing available company resources to grow, including regulatory requirements.

 

What we’re looking for:

  • Previous experience working in new business development is essential.

  • At least 3 years work experience in trade credit sector.

  • Knowledge of non-cancellable Trade Credit Solutions beneficial but not essential.

  • Has an existing broker network in the Trade Credit sector.

  • Pro-active ‘team player’ who can deliver the team objective as well as individual goals.

  • Commercial ability to set correct pricing and structure policies to secure long term client relationship.

  • Client focused individual who can demonstrate good understanding of meeting customer requirements and not afraid to question the status quo.

  • Ability to build strong relationships based on integrity and trust.

  • Proficient with Excel, Word and previous experience using Salesforce will be beneficial. 

  • Good communication skills (written and verbal).

  • Excellent customer service disciplines, problem solving mentality, Ability to think ‘outside the box’.

  • Ability to self-manage, self-driven and desire to develop and grow.

  • Willingness to travel across the UK to meet customers and Brokers in unsociable hours as required.

To apply: Please click here to apply.

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Job Vacancies
Events
About the sponsor

Events & Professional Development

10th Annual Supply Chain Finance Summit, 25-25 January 2024, Madrid.

Events are moving fast in supply chain finance. The outlook for the sector is bright with the prospect of
greater freedom of operations brought by the Electronic Trade Documents Act and MLETR, new
development in SCF solutions such as in deep-tier fina
ncing, pre-shipment financing, supplying the long
tail, as well as AI. The 10th annual Supply Chain Finance Summit organised by our partner BCR in
cooperation with FCI is returning to Madrid for a two-day event to explore ways of better integration in
this new metaverse.
Join SCFS 2024 on 24-25th January in Madrid, at the offices of Cecabank, to hear from senior industry
experts and discuss the challenges of creating resilient, sustainable and harmonised payables finance
solutions, which will form the basis of the future of supply chain financi
ng.
Click here for more information and to register.

TXF Americas 2024: Structured Trade & Export Finance, 28-29 February. East Hotel Miami
Join the best structured trade and export finance event in the Americas with over 200 of the most active lenders, ECAs, exporters, borrowers, traders and more looking to finance deals and meet key clients. Special offers available – email marketing@exilegroup.com to enquire.
For more information go to https://americas2024.exilegroup.com/.

MENA 2024: Export, Project & Development Finance4-5 March. Dubai, Ritz Carlton 
Join us as we gather a deal-hungry attendee list from leading ECAs, exporters, borrowers, EPCs, developers, lenders, investors, ECAs and other key export and project finance players!

Special offers available – email marketing@exilegroup.com to enquire.

For more information go to https://mena2024.exilegroup.com/.

The 9th Alternative and Receivables Finance Forum, 28-29 November, London.

TXF Global 2024: Export, Agency & Project Finance,11-12 June. Athens, Divani Caravel

The most distinguished export finance event around returns and this year to Athens! With over 1000 in-person attendees, a stellar speaker list and a networking opportunity that is crucial if you work in this industry. 

Special offers available – email marketing@exilegroup.com to enquire,

For more information go to https://global2024.exilegroup.com/.

Professional Development

STECIS, the Trade Credit Insurance & Surety Academy endorsed by ICISA, offers a range of
webinars and classroom training courses.
Classroom training courses are organised once or twice per year or on demand, while webinars
are organised multiple times per year or on demand for groups of participants.


For 2024 the following courses have been planned in Q1:

  • 26 & 27 February: The Surety Bonds Foundation Course

  • 26 & 27 February: The Trade Credit Insurance Foundation course

  • 28 & 29 February: The Surety Bonds Advanced Course.

  • 28 & 29 February: The Trade Credit Insurance Advanced course
     

All classroom courses take place in the Steigenberger Airport Hotel close to Schiphol Airport/Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The courses include lunches and a dinner at the end of the first training day. Very experienced experts from the industry host the courses, and there is plenty of opportunity for asking questions, discussions and networking.

There is also the possibility of arranging in-house training, with a tailor-made outline for your staff based on the training demands of your company. The training will be effected at your own offices or at a venue of choice.


Detailed information about the webinar and classroom training courses is available on Stecis’ website: www.stecis.org. Also, further information can be obtained by sending an e-mail to info@stecis.org.




About this month's Sponsor: Tinubu
Tinubu is the business facilitator and exchange enabler that delivers fluidity and simplicity to the insurance industry by using the strength of collective performance. Our company is an alliance of technology software and insurance expertise offering the best combination to its clients. It covers the entire value chain of credit insurance & surety with one end-to-end platform, connecting every part of your business with one digital highway.
Created in 2000 and headquartered in Paris, France, Tinubu is an independent software provider and employs 170 people, located in Paris, London, New York, Orlando, Singapore, and Montreal. Its clients represent 30 of the top 60 Credit & Surety underwriters worldwide.


Read more on tinubu.com
Watch Tinubu’s video
Tinubu on Twitter
Tinubu on Linkedin

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