Against the backdrop of some challenging market conditions and evolving risk profiles in the shipping community, it’s full steam ahead for chief executive Manos Sofronis and his expert team in SSL Endeavour’s newly formed Greek office.

It’s been a choppy time for the marine insurance market of late. From being heavily scrutinised in the London Market over the last 12 months, to challenging times in the Persian Gulf and new regulations on the horizon, the market has its work cut out to deliver the best solutions for clients moving forward.

But with challenges come opportunities. And  it is against this backdrop that we have been able to move forward with some good news. As we wait for the relevant regulatory approvals to go through, here in the new Greek office of SSL Endeavour, we have carefully been considering the opportunities that lie ahead.

The Greek and Cypriot marine market has always been a vibrant one and when you’ve been here for as long as we have and developed the relationships we are proud to retain with our clients, it’s exciting to think about the future and what the longevity of those relationships will hold for us.

Major inroads

Prior to forming the SSL Endeavour entity, over the past 12 years, we’ve made major inroads into the shipping community here.

We’ve mainly been focussed on hull, machinery and P&I classes, but following our merger and benefiting from  having JC Flowers as a partner, we now have the confidence to grow in a meaningful and relevant manner.

Let’s be clear, there is still a lot of room to expand in the marine market.

Choppy waters

The marine market has been a very interesting one over the past 12 months, but interesting isn’t always what we like. There’s no denying the fact that we have been facing a problem in the London Market with people underselling marine business, leading to scrutiny and as a result we have seen capacity shrink.

However, London will always be committed to the shipping market and Lloyd’s will overcome these issues. Between London and Continental European companies, we have still been able to offer good solutions, but the reduction in capacity has had an influence which we continue to monitor.

In addition, incoming regulations, particularly those around fuel emissions, are set to broaden risk profiles in the shipping community and as an industry, we need to ensure we are helping our clients prepare for those.

Non-marine expansion

But in addition to traditional marine business, the non-marine space is also an area which is looking increasingly interesting to us. There’s no doubt about it – risk profiles are going to grow and change as a result of the many infrastructure projects that are currently underway.

As a group, we’re very keen to bring our non-marine expertise into this space to try and assist in this progress. This means we’re looking at expanding our portfolio in the market, working closely with the London office, with  the acquisition of teams is also in the realm of possibility. Exciting times, indeed!

Smooth sailing

So, despite a few headwinds, the opportunities we see are exciting to us.

In the last few years, there’s been a lot of transformation in the market in general with brokers becoming much bigger. Now, scale can be a good thing, but it can also be restrictive.

With our independent, personal and entrepreneurial approach, together with the ability to freely innovate and navigate the opportunities in the market to come up with the best solutions for our clients, we are well positioned to grasp the opportunities that lie ahead. You’ll be hearing a lot more from us moving forward.