‘My role is very much educational,’ says Alistair Troughton, Head of Sales & Marketing at Hampden Capital. ‘Particularly in the current state of the market, we are looking for, and talking with, wealthy families and individuals who want to underwrite at Lloyd’s to make money primarily, but also because of the diversification, the non- correlation, the UK taxpayers’ benefits and the double use of assets that it provides.’
The largest Members Agents in Lloyds, Hampden Agencies Ltd look after more than 1200 UHNW families and individuals who collectively underwrite a premium capacity in excess of £2.5 billion. ‘We tend to work with UHNW individuals and families only – who are looking for low correlation, diversification and (UK) tax benefits- and to make money,’ explains Troughton. ‘We have consistently beaten our competitors through positive results, we have the position and strength to be able to represent our clients in a tough market place and fight successfully on their behalf. We are a force to be listened to.’
After a brief stint in the Army, Troughton joined Lloyd’s in 1973. ‘Insurance had always fascinated me and I become engulfed in the growing world of oil exploration and specialised in the treaty reinsurance of the Energy accounts of some of the larger Lloyd’s syndicates and international insurance companies,’ he explains.
After over thirty-five years, it was time to move on, he says, at which point Tim Oliver, Chairman and owner of the Hampden Group, asked him to come and join him and his team to help with the sales and marketing side of the Lloyd’s Members Agency and the business as a whole. ‘I could not have found a better place to work and to utilise the skills learnt after a career at Lloyd’s,’ says Troughton, who says he is ‘very proud’ of the advice Hampden gives today.
Troughton notes that oversight of the insurance market continues to be strict: the underwriting process remains subject to a comprehensive due diligence process – both externally by the FCA, and internally by Lloyd’s, who are also regulation-minded. This ensures that Lloyd’s Members’ Agents, who are also regulated by the FCA, are completely transparent, says Troughton.
‘The industry, certainly, has evolved and developed enormously over the last ten years,’ says Troughton. ‘Transparency and governance would be two words to highlight that evolvement.’
Clients are not always ready to trade, Troughton observes, particularly when they have accrued their own wealth. For Hampden Agencies, the right investor is one who understands risk. New clients are advised, at present, to underwrite a smaller figure than their ‘end target’ premium capacity limit. We are in interesting times and a changing market and we have found a lot of interest in underwriting has been generated over the last nine months or so.
The best part of his job is ‘meeting interesting people- every day and everywhere. I cannot think of a really bad part of my job,’ he says, stressing the importance of ‘knowledge, hard work and the ability to communicate.’