Expansion into new geographic markets, new products and access to new distribution channels will be the primary drivers of profitable growth in 2014, according to a new survey released Thursday by global risk and reinsurance specialist Guy Carpenter & Co.
Executive SummaryAccording to a new survey from Guy Carpenter, expansion into new geographic markets, new products and access to new distribution channels will be the primary drivers of profitable growth in 2014, while undisciplined underwriting is seen as the top threat.
The second annual survey, which polled 115 insurance and reinsurance executives at last week’s annual meeting of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, identifies the key drivers and threats to profitable growth in the industry.
The survey reveals that one-third of respondents believe that the biggest opportunity to grow their business in 2014 will be through geographic expansion, followed by new products (24 percent) and new distribution channels (23 percent).
Respondents in this year’s survey were more than twice as likely as those in 2012 to cite mergers and acquisitions as the biggest growth opportunity for their business.
“In this evolving market, the industry is identifying new methods of deploying capital efficiently to generate returns,” said Andrew Marcell, CEO of U.S. Operations for Guy Carpenter. “We are seeing that the market is increasingly turning to strategic M&A opportunities to achieve scale, global reach and a more diversified product suite in order to realize growth objectives.”
According to Guy Carpenter’s Mid-Year Market Overview, the most effective deployment strategies will consider returning excess capital to shareholders, pursuing organic growth and seeking strategic M&A opportunities.
Other key findings from the survey:
- Undisciplined or unprofitable underwriting were cited as the leading threat to growth in the year ahead.
- The industry is placing an increased focus on internal challenges and potential threats, with 15 percent of this year’s participants citing operational inefficiencies as the leading threat to their business, compared with only 6 percent in 2012.
- Technology innovation remains a top priority; more than one-third of respondents said that if given a blank check to invest in their firm, they would spend the additional resources on bolstering IT.
- Talent and retention also remain an area of focus for the industry, with 37 percent of respondents commenting that they would allocate a blank check to this area of their business.