Private equity giant Blackstone and holding company Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited have invested $500m into an algorithm-driven insurance syndicate at centuries-old Lloyd’s of London.

The investment will boost the insurance marketplace’s plans to modernise with the use of artificial intelligence as the business, called Ki, plans to launch at the end of this year and write its first risk in January 2021.

Lloyds calls each firm on its trading floor a “syndicate”. Ki s the first fully digital follow-only syndicate to be approved by Lloyd’s of London, the firm said in a 17 September statement.

The introduction of the algorithm comes as the City institution pushes to modernise from doing everything on paper to embracing digital technology. Its strategy, dubbed “Future of Lloyd’s” was launched by chief executive John Neal in 2019 and seeks to “create the world’s most advanced insurance marketplace”.

Launched in May 2020, Ki is a venture led by global speciality insurer Brit in collaboration with Google Cloud. The algorithm, developed with the support of the University College London, evaluates Lloyd’s policies and automatically quotes through a digital platform accessed by brokers.

Ki will be used to underwrite on a broad range of speciality business that global specialty insurer Brit offers, such as cyber insurance, using an algorithm, and will allow brokers to reduce the amount of time taken to place their follow capacity.

“We are delighted to see Blackstone entering Lloyd’s at this key moment in our modernisation, illustrating the appeal of our market,” said Burkhard Keese, chief financial officer at Lloyd’s, in a statement.

“Ki is fully aligned to the Lloyd’s Blueprint, driving the adoption of new technology to deliver a more competitive market, and we wish the team success as it launches later this year.”

Source: Bloomberg 

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