The IRLA Congress returned to Brighton this week with a three-day event. As the Congress draws to a close, we caught up with Luke Tanzer, RiverStone’s CEO to get an insight on the main themes discussed and the key takeaways.

Q. The return of in-person events brought everyone back together in Brighton for this iconic appointment in the legacy market’s calendar. Can you tell us what makes the IRLA Congress so special as an industry event?

A. IRLA has a wide membership including buyers and sellers of legacy (re)insurance and a broad range of service providers, including the intermediaries that bring potential deals to the market. IRLA is ‘the voice of legacy’, encouraging and supporting the market, while also providing networking, training, and development opportunities. Additionally, they work with regulators to disseminate specific information and debate matters of interest to the legacy market. The Congress is special in that it brings all these parties together and encourages open communication and deep dives into some of the opportunities and challenges that the industry faces.

Q. On this last point, can you tell us more about the challenges and opportunities that the legacy world is facing right now?

A. Looking back at the past two years and the impact that COVID-19 has had on our industry, I believe that legacy has continued to deliver on the wider promise of protection, something that is important to all of us key players. Deals have become more sophisticated and while this is still a sellers’ market, we continue to focus on maintaining pricing discipline and resilience. The challenges faced by the industry including emerging claims and inflationary pressure, which were highlighted in panels at this year’s congress, should be also viewed as opportunities for the legacy market. We should continue to strive to provide innovative solutions to complex problems faced by the industry.

Q. RiverStone has been a long-term supporter of IRLA. Can you tell us more about the role RiverStone plays and why is it important?

A. We continue to recognise the importance of expanding a professional market for legacy transactions. Specifically, we believe in developing legacy market professionals and for this reason we fully support IRLA’s investment in the next generation of leaders. Their Young Professionals Group (YPG) is an outstanding mentoring scheme and will significantly contribute to fostering future talent. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Nicola Gaisford of R&Q on winning this year’s award and RiverStone’s Gian Luigi Di Franco and Robbie Vaughan for their nominations.

Q. And finally, what was your personal highlight of this year’s Congress?

A. First and foremost, it was once again fantastic being able to meet with so many industry participants in person. The Association did fantastically well to hold the congress in September 2021 after a wait of over 2 years, but with the congress back to its usual time of the year and with a record attendance and fantastic format this year’s congress felt very special after what has been a challenging time. Additionally, the Congress provides such a good platform to share insights in a collaborative, spontaneous and open manner. It was great that we took the time to recognise the outstanding contribution to the industry of colleagues who have recently or will soon retire, one of which was James Blake, senior manager, RSMA Claims, who had been with RiverStone for a long time. Finally, it was great to see the sun shining on the congress this year.

Left to right: Gian Luigi Di Franco, Luke Tanzer and Robbie Vaughan