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Broker-insurer underwriting facilities will remain a part of the London insurance market despite Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s slated withdrawal, sources say.
Such facilities have been criticized in some quarters for potentially marginalizing smaller players at Lloyd's of London by effectively ousting them from underwriting slips.
According to sources, Berkshire Hathaway informed Aon P.L.C. and Willis Group Holdings P.L.C. in January that beginning in January 2016 it would not participate in London-market facilities run by the brokerages.
Sources also said Berkshire Hathaway is withdrawing capacity from facilities used by Marsh L.L.C. to place certain specialty classes of business.
“The Willis G360 facility has now been up and running since late 2013. Berkshire decided not to renew their participation in the facility,” a Willis spokesman said Wednesday in a statement.
“Willis is currently focused on building out the G360 proposition and plan, driving towards a balanced long-term vehicle offering significant client value. We are in discussions with a number of capacity providers and have firm offers from others to participate,” the spokesman added.
The Willis G360 facility provides follow market capacity for certain specialty lines. The first insurers to sign up, along with Berskshire Hathaway, were Hiscox Ltd. and the People's Insurance Co. of China.
Under the Aon/Berkshire Hathaway facility, a sidecar-type vehicle, 7.5% of premiums placed by Aon into Lloyd's are underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway.
Both Aon and Marsh declined to comment.
While Berkshire Hathaway had been a major backer of such underwriting facilities, its withdrawal will not mean they cease operation, sources said, pointing out that facilities have been used in various forms for a number of years for specialty classes.
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