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Chief Executive Officer's Statement

"We see a multi-dimensional opportunity to show our agility and grow in response to changes in market conditions whilst continuing to pursue our sustainable long-term growth strategy."

Adrian Cox
Chief Executive Officer

Adrian Cox

Beazley’s combined ratio of 89% (2021: 93%) and gross premiums written of $5,268.7m (2021: $4,618.9m) are testament to our hard work of the last few years and are particularly pleasing given that 2022 witnessed geopolitical uncertainty unseen since the Cold War. The overall result, a profit before tax of $191.0m (2021: $369.2m), consisted of a strong underwriting performance, offset by a reduced investment performance, driven by mark to market losses as a result of the volatile interest rate environment.

I am proud of Beazley’s progress throughout 2022. We delivered a strong underwriting result, raised capital that will enable us to make the most of a structural change in the Property insurance and reinsurance markets, realigned our underwriting teams to better deliver for clients and launched Lloyd’s first ESG syndicate. All against a backdrop of high inflation, an energy price crunch and the overhang of war in Europe.

Specialty insurance in a time of geopolitical turmoil

The war in Ukraine has shaken us all, causing real human suffering; and, as we all take stock, it is right to reflect on the impact it has had on our business. Firstly, the conflict resulted in us provisioning for claims directly from the war itself, for which our estimate of loss remains unchanged since our 2022 interim report. Secondly, the energy price spike and rising inflation caused central banks to increase interest rates, leading to mark to market losses in our fixed income portfolio resulting in an $179.7m investment loss. 

Sustainable growth

Our business received a strong endorsement from the capital markets in November 2022 as we raised $404m in new equity capital to support our exciting growth agenda. We see a multi-dimensional opportunity to show our agility and grow in response to changes in market conditions whilst continuing to pursue our sustainable long-term growth strategy, which this additional capital will further support.

Firm foundations

Our ability to pivot our business to take up new opportunities as they emerge is part of our DNA. Platform strength, product and geographical diversity are cornerstones of this. Our strategy is to achieve the successful intersection of platforms and products to offer our brokers and clients access to our expertise and specialist underwriting capacity where and when they do business. We believe that a mix of international, wholesale and domestic platforms delivers straightforward access to us and adds real value.

What we say is what we do

Beazley believes that fundamentally we must deliver what we promise and in 2022, we did just that with the launch of the ESG consortium and Syndicate 4321, Lloyd’s first ESG syndicate. Since its launch on 1 January 2022 the new syndicate has offered additional capacity to clients that achieve high scores on ESG metrics, the syndicate is also helping Beazley to understand more about how high scoring businesses operate and test our hypothesis that companies that do well on ESG criteria are also likely to be less risky. We are using the lessons learnt as part of a wider effort, which got fully underway in 2022, to embed ESG thinking into all our underwriting. 

Insurance. Just different.

Beazley’s Cyber Team took a leading role in the market this year on the issue of systemic Cyber risk. If the cyber insurance industry is to achieve its potential and play its role in managing and mitigating Cyber risk, it needs to define and build parameters that will allow insurers to manage their balance sheet prudently, whilst encouraging more capital to come into the sector. We are fully committed to supporting this adjustment to happen.