At least in Pennsylvania Avenue if nowhere else.

Aren’t yu just inaug of him?

Which is where we may as well start.  Wednesday saw the inauguration of Joseph R Biden jnr as 46th President of the United States of America and of Kamala Harris as the first ever Converse marketing executive to hold the office of Vice President.  All of which raised so many issues.

  1. How many American children born in the next few years are going to be lumped with the name Robinette?  And what legal recourse will they have access to if they are?
  2. Given the well established facts around how Caracas Joe came to “win” the election, was it wise of JLo to suddenly burst into Spanish halfway through her little stint?  Especially as, as far as I could make out, what she yelled was “estoy aqui para traer los felicitones de Nicola Maduro a su grande amigo Joe.  Y los de Evo Morales y Daniel Ortega tambien.  Las Americas libre o morir!”
  3. When did Bernie develop psoriasis? Because you only where that sort of thing on your hands when you are desperately trying to resist the irresistible urge to scratch yourself.  A new angle to “feel the Bern”.  And while we are in this territory, can I strongly recommend the picture of Bernie at the Yalta Conference that is widely available on social media.
  4. I presume that it is not thought de rigeur to request a fee for performing at the Inauguration.  But it was nice that Joe chose to mark his thanks to those that had turned out to make it such a special occasion by clearly hiring JLo and Gaga an Officer and a Gentlemen themed stripogram to accompany them to and from the podium.  And as for what happened after, given the low number of arrests in the wake of the events two weeks prior, we now know that what happens in the Capitol broadly stays in the Capitol, so we are left free to speculate.
  5. Kamala looked very, very pleased with herself – not without due cause.  But it did look like she was about to develop the giggles when she started to take her oath.  And we definitely did not need a revisit of the Constitutional crisis of 2008 when Obama fluffed his lines.
  6. The excellent Amanda Gorman produced a powerful and emotive performance that was hailed around the world as the stand out moment of the event.  People are falling over themselves in the rush to praise her as the beacon of hope a world in crisis needs.  Her admirers know no bounds.  So much so that I am determined to find something I don’t like about her.  Watch this space.

What are we up to?

As you may well have seen from the blanket media coverage, we published LIIBA’s 2021 agenda yesterday.  It sets out the work we will look to take forward on your behalf this year.  Helping members deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and supporting post-Brexit trading will continue to be priorities.  But we will also continue our core role of representing the broker community in market discussions – most prominently around the development of the Future at Lloyd’s programme.  And I am keen that we help you in your efforts to develop an ever more inclusive culture in our community.  We will expand our training on these topics, particularly so we can involve our smaller members who might not have the resources in-house to run their own training.  We are also keen to facilitate knowledge sharing between our larger members, who have more resources to dedicate to  diversity and inclusion, and our smaller members.

You will find a copy attached to this email.  Very happy to discuss any aspect of this if you would like.

I’d rather Mac than Fleetwood Jack

Whatever sacrifices we make to try and suppress it; and even though the hope of a scientific solution is on the horizon; it still won’t go away and continues to permeate every aspect of our lives.  I refer, of course, to this column and Jacqueline Hobbs’s irrepressible desire to make it about insurance.  I have held off as long as I could this year, but have had to submit to the following.

  1. LIIBA is working with Lloyd’s and Lloyd’s Europe regarding data privacy matters, specifically with regards to TOBA’s and what may be required if an adequacy decision is not taken before the end of the extension provided for in the UK/EU Trade Deal. Grant Thornton is providing a session for LIIBA members on Monday morning – there is still time to sign up to this. Please contact better way to start your week
  2. Whilst on the subject of Lloyd’s Europe, you will have seen the letter sent last week about the discussions it has been having with the Belgian conduct regulator FSMA.  Lloyd’s has been asked to consider other options for its business model that would allow it to continue to comply with Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD).  Obviously this is not ideal – in that some upheaval in your trading relationship with Lloyd’s Europe is likely next year.  But in the meantime there is no question that Lloyd’s remains an appropriately authorised entity and you can continue to trade with it.  (I actually added this bit in myself, so it is beyond mockery)
  3. SCAP relaunch continuing to gather pace. LIIBA has produced a quick reference guide for placing brokers that will be released shortly. The MRC guidance, due for release in the next month, is being updated to encourage brokers to amend MRC templates to increase usage. Further information on the work of the cross market group supporting SCAP will be communicated to the market but a refresher training session targeting claim technicians from all areas of the market is planned for 10th February. A video of the December session targeting placement areas is now available on the LMA website. Still a terrible name
  4. Following a very Lloyd’s focussed claims webinar last month, we will be running another claims webinar (sans Lloyd’s) on Friday 5th February at 11am. Details of how to book on this will be sent out to members early next week. This may feature our exciting new online booking system, which is not very exciting nor new, but is a step change improvement for us
  5. We are continuing to engage with Lloyd’s over the DA Programme, where there are a number of concerns we are working through with them regarding DCOM and DDM. LIIBA will also be conducting a review of the DCOM market user licence on behalf of the broking community and will continue to keep membership advised of developments here. LIIBA’s Facilities Committee are forming a number of sub-groups to enable the committee to focus on various components of the programme. We would encourage brokers to keep in touch with us about the programme if they have any particular concerns.  DDM being the thing Ken Dodd used to do, right?  One for the teenagers.
  6. Our tax working party met with HMRC and HMT yesterday to discuss the current consultation regarding the administration and unfair outcomes in relation to IPT (imagine how thrilling this meeting was!). LIIBA will be providing a response to the consultation, which closes on the 5th February.
  7. We continue to work with the Lloyd’s Part VII team to simplify the process requirements in relation to corrections. Expect to see an update regarding this from Lloyd’s next week.  Yay!

Sprouting new laws

Attached is a letter I have received from FSMA in Belgium setting out the scope of its run off legislation.  It can only apply to Belgian business, only lasts 18 months and is equivocal on whether endorsements are permissible.  But it is better than nothing.

Ovally familiar

Let’s recover from that by returning to our former colony.

It almost feels like a second home given the hours I have spent watching West Wing, Scandal and a myriad of other US TV series centred around the Presidency.  But each incomer to the job gets to decorate the Oval Office to make him (as thus far it has always been) feel more comfortable.  And Robinette has made some interesting choices.

  1. He has thrown out the bust of Churchill.  But, as the Prime Minister clammed up about, the one thing we do know is that Joe is woke.  And even the half hearted SJW knows that Churchill was a racist – you can read it intermittently on his statue in Parliament Square.  And as the PM’s spokesperson said “it’s up to the president to decorate it as he wishes…We’re in no doubt of the importance that President Biden places on the UK and US relationship”.  Indeed.  Very little.
  2. Joe has offset this statement decision by putting up portraits of slave owners George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson and slave trader Alexander Hamilton.  Although he has removed the one of Andrew Jackson – and Hermitage was quite the plantation.
  3. I initially misread this and thought it was suggesting he was attempting to restore relations with Mexico by displaying a bust of Julio Cesar Chavez.
  4. The busts of MLK and Rosa Parks are in Madeira Ronaldo territory for their awfulness.
  5. He has gone for a darker rug.  But, to be fair, he is quite likely to spill things when he falls asleep in the afternoons.

I’m off to do…exactly what I do every day of the week, just with varying degrees of work involved.


Letter FSMA of 22 January 2021 — London International Insurance Brokers Association