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Insuring the unknown

Conversations surrounding insurance in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak have been complicated, simply because these are unprecedented times.

If you look at any industry and economic decision, when you are dealing with something that has not been dealt with in a generation, there is always going to be complexity. Where there is no practical or legal precedent, there will be a delay in decision-making capability and a lack of clarity. This is all compounded by the quickly evolving nature of the pandemic.

If event organisers purchased cancellation insurance with a blanket communicable disease extension, they are likely to be insured.

However, there are some instances where there could be exclusions specific to a type of communicable disease. The detail is in the policy wording and any extensions that are noted within the documentation. It is hard to give a specific example as not all policies are the same.

When venues are ordered to shut down by the government it can alter the insurance claim, but again, this will depend on the policy. In some cases, there can be a trigger for a policy to react if the government or a local authority stops an event happening by mandating that a venue shuts down. This is different to a venue choosing not to put an event on, in which case, it is less likely that the cancellation would be insured.

However, if the proximate cause is still excluded (communicable disease or terrorism, for example), then the government enforcing a shutdown does not change the terms of the policy, and a claim would not be covered.

We can look back on government and local authority decisions with the benefit of hindsight and most of us reading this will have different opinions even with that. In the UK, from the evidence of the government, as of the time of writing, social distancing and the shutdown of venues has helped to save lives. Whether or not the timing of that was perfect in terms of the loss of life or economic impact will never be known, as is the case with all future governmental decisions.

When you are dealing with something that has not been dealt with in a generation, there is always going to be complexity

Some organisers are also choosing to postpone rather than cancel events. Dependent on the insurance contract, postponing an event is likely to help with the insurer’s losses, but it may also help promoters.

It is likely that live music, sports and events are going to see an increase in insurance premiums after this. This class of insurance has seen catastrophic losses this year; last year saw some big losses, too. These increases will be coupled with a change in the wordings, and work is happening in the background by us, our clients and our insurer capacity to make sure that we can get the best balance possible in what is an extremely difficult time for live events.

We have set up teams specifically to look at the future and we are looking forward for our speculation to turn to plans and then reality, to help the industry get moving again and, most importantly, our attendees experiencing the world’s great talent live.

We are going to see a change in insurance policies. It has already happened. What we are looking to do is make sure that the changes ensure that our promoters, artists and all others in the value chain are protected in most eventualities. It is tough now to know what this will look like in two months, so forecasting six months is impossible. We just do not know the full impact.

For now, we would advise event organisers to be prudent and look at contracts carefully, and when taking an insurance policy out for event cancellation, talk to your broker and study it in detail.

Brokers are here to help and we work on the behalf of our clients, so please study the facts.

Tim Thornhill led the ‘Cancellation insurance’ workshop, along with Tysers colleague Gary Brooks, at this year’s International Live Music Conference. 

 


Tim Thornhill is director of sales, entertainment and sport at Tysers insurance brokers.

Cover Story: the cost of event cancellations

From Kanye West to Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Cardi B and a host of festivals, the tail end of the 2010s has seen no shortage of big-name cancellations and postponements – with illness, civil disorder and, especially, severe weather all doing their part to torpedo major live music events in recent years.

All touring productions are team efforts, and when it becomes clear a show won’t go ahead, the first person to receive a call is a stakeholder that’s otherwise largely forgotten about, jokes insurance broker Steven Howell: “When something goes wrong, we suddenly become the most influential and important people in the chain – but before that we’re just another P&L.”

It is, of course, yet another spiralling cost on a tour’s balance sheet. But with artist fees and production values trending ever upwards, and inclement weather conditions apparently becoming more common, insuring against a tour or show’s cancellation can be worth every penny.

Howell, of Media Insurance Brokers (MIB), which has offices in London, Glasgow, Dublin and Los Angeles, says that while he doesn’t necessarily see an increase in the number of cancellations, the size of claims is rising (in tandem with rising performance fees and production costs).

“Every year we have lots of claims – there’ve always been cancelled shows – but the claims we’ve had [in 2019] are bigger than before,” he explains. “You’re also getting bigger production going into festivals as they try and differentiate themselves from each other, but it’s mainly because artist fees are higher.

“When something goes wrong, we suddenly become the most influential and important people in the chain”

“The value of claims is getting bigger year on year. And that’s not just by 5%, 10%, even 20% – recently we’ve seen some artists who were earning hundreds or low thousands [of dollars] per show, and they’re now earning hundreds of thousands. Then at the top end, you’ve obviously got the people who earn two or three million a show.”

The result is, of course, higher premiums, with experts telling IQ that premiums have increased, on average, 20-30% in the past year alone. And there are indications cancellation insurance could cost even more in the next 12 months.

“This year has seen an increase in cancellations compared to previous years on both sides of the Atlantic,” says Tim Thornhill of international insurance brokerage Integro (which is set to rebrand as Tysers in 2020 after a recent acquisition). “The US has been hit by strong winds, storms and fires, and when these happen during a tour – particularly a big one – or any mass-participation events, it will have a big bearing on the level of claims that insurers are liable to pay out.”

“There have been an awful lot of large claims, which has had a big impact on the insurance market,” agrees Miller’s Martin Goebbels, speaking to IQ from London (the company also has offices in Paris, Brussels, Singapore, and Ipswich, UK). “Whether the number of claims as a percentage has increased I don’t know, but certainly on the weather side they are growing.”

The impact of this cluster of large pay-outs, says Goebbels, is that premiums have increased recently, and several large insurers have pulled out of offering cancellation insurance altogether.

“This year has seen an increase in cancellations compared to previous years on both sides of the Atlantic”

Hard Time
This, explains Integro’s Tim Rudland, is “what’s called a ‘hardening market,’ where insurers have increased their premiums due to a number of losses in the contingency market.” (Examples of ‘contingency’ insurance products include policies covering event cancellation, non-appearance, terrorism and prize indemnity.)

“Some insurers have reduced the amount they are able to write, and some have stopped writing this type of business altogether,” Rudland continues, “which means that the size of the market is shrinking.”

According to Howden’s Robert Barron, formerly vice-president of accident, health, sports and contingency at US insurance brokerage giant Lockton, in 2018 loss ratios incurred by non-appearances reached the highest level since records began in 1999.

“As a result of such losses, there has been a scaling back in lines, and three market exits since last summer [2017],” he wrote last year. “Barbican and Travelers both exited the standalone contingency business for 2017, while ProSight Specialty Insurance, which wrote contingency as part of its media and entertainment book, placed its Lloyd’s operation into orderly run-off last June.”

“In the past 12 months, there have been five or six decent-sized insurers that have pulled out of event-cancellation insurance altogether,” adds Goebbels, who notes that there have been a number of high-profile, non-music cancellation claims in that period, too, including severe weather-hit rugby and cricket fixtures. “All those claims go into the same book of business,” he explains, “so insurers have a much wider view of the risks.”

“There’s a larger pool of artists who could cause an issue for insurers”

The same is true in continental Europe, says Matthias Grischke, the founder of Novitas based in Ahrensburg near Hamburg. “Some major companies, like Swiss Re, have left the market, and a number of mergers have also reduced the total number of insurers,” Grischke explains, although he notes, “we aren’t really feeling a lack of capacity yet.”

This, in turn, he says, drives up prices. “The insurers have united a lot more,” Goebbels says. “They have their associations and they get together and they say we can’t sustain this – we either cut each other’s throats or we close ranks to make sure we maintain a market standard.”

Other factors can also push up premiums – although, contrary to popular opinion, Goebbels says he isn’t seeing a disproportionate amount of cancellations by artists of a particular genre (urban acts are often described anecdotally as being especially cancel-happy), suggesting insurers are rather “keeping a watching brief in a lot of areas. Something like when Krept was stabbed, for example [the rapper, one half of Krept and Konan, was attacked backstage at BBC Radio 1Xtra Live in Birmingham in October], they’ll be keeping an eye on – but it hasn’t yet had any impact.”

If anything, he adds, of more interest to insurers is the increasing average age of performers: “There’s a larger pool of artists who could cause an issue for insurers,” Goebbels explains. “Paul McCartney is 78, Patti Smith is 74… the implications [of artists getting older] is much, much higher premiums.”

 


Continue reading this feature in the digital edition of IQ 87 2019, or subscribe to the magazine here

Integro rebrands as Tysers

Integro’s entertainment and sports division has rebranded as Tysers, effective immediately, the leading insurance brokerage has announced.

Integro Entertainment and Sport – formed in 2015 following the acquisition of EIP (Robertson Taylor) – acquired Tysers, an historic insurance wholesaler based in the City of London, in June 2018.

The rebranding comes amid a wider shift across the Integro group, with all areas of its business moving to adopt the Tysers name. The combined business employs over 1,100 employees globally and places close to US$3 billion of insurance premiums.

Tim Thornhill, director of sales for entertainment and sport, comments: “By joining up with Tysers, Integro Entertainment and Sport becomes part of an incredible legacy.

“We’re excited to bring together these leading industry names under the unified brand of Tysers”

“We will continue to provide forward-thinking, nimble solutions for our clients who remain at the heart of what we do.”

David Abraham, Tysers’ head of global broking, adds: “Our Entertainment and Sport business has grown through acquisitions of a number of strong brands, including Robertson Taylor, Doodson, Ellis Clowes, ACJ and Integro.

“We’re excited to bring together these leading industry names under the unified brand of Tysers, celebrating our double centennial in 2020.”

Read IQ’s cancellation insurance feature, which includes contributions from Thornhill and Integro colleagues, in the latest issue, out now.

 


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National mourning: A state of commotion

The increased risk of event cancellation has led to growing concern for insurers in recent times, but how much are event organisers and artists – or other rights owners and broadcasters – aware of the implications? This applies not only to music events but also to sports, theatre and family shows.

National mourning (NM) is something often not considered by many, but in certain territories this may have a huge impact on all types of live events. Of course, NM can be triggered by the death of a president, a member of a royal family or another kind of leader, or a major natural disaster or tragedy causing large-scale loss of life. For a number of reasons, this has occurred more regularly in recent years.

National mourning
One problem for event organisers and insurers alike is that nobody seems too sure exactly what impact any mourning period could have on live events, or how long it may last. For example, would events be cancelled immediately after the bad news is released, or would it only apply to a period of time around a funeral – and if so, how long?

Maybe that depends on the venues or type of event involved, and – appreciating IQ has international readership – I use the UK purely as an example by asking: Would Royal Parks or the Royal Albert Hall or Royal Ascot or Wimbledon possibly be more affected than a local theatre event? Would such venues or maybe other stadia be taken over and used to televise the funeral, resulting in cancellations? Or possibly, if vast crowds were expected to gather (either to show respect immediately after a death, or to line the funeral route) would police and medical patrols be pulled from other live events to control these numbers?

Nobody seems too sure exactly what impact any mourning period could have on live events, or how long it may last

Information is sparse around the protocol in these circumstances. Earlier this year, a death in one of Europe’s royal families triggered a 12-day national mourning period in the country involved. That country is not one of the most high-profile touring territories, but it does highlight how quickly problems could occur for live events.

I realise it may sound flippant to say, but the old adage is that the one certainty in life is death (and tax – but I won’t go there!), so my points above will become reality to us at some time.

One further question is what happens for a coronation: would a country close live events for this – or, as mentioned above, would parks/stadia/venues or police and safety teams be utilised, resulting in event cancellation? In the UK, sadly, this will happen in the forthcoming years, and, of course, in other countries, too.

While most cancellation insurance policies will automatically include NM cover, often for those up to age 70, it is extremely hard, if not impossible, for insurers to know exactly to whom NM would apply in different territories – for example, the UAE and the countries of the Far East have more than one national figurehead whose demise would trigger a national mourning period, and sometimes for longer periods than in other parts of the world. The age limit could also be a concern as, for example, Elizabeth II (who is queen of 16 countries, as well as head of the Commonwealth), and the current US president are both over the age of 70, and other countries have leaders of similar ages. That is something perhaps agents/managers do not factor in when booking tours or insurance.

Weather and other risks
The world’s erratic weather patterns have caused increasing problems to touring parties and live events, and in areas not previously badly affected. Hurricanes, tornados, storms and heavy snowfall are obvious reasons, but, increasingly, so are extreme high temperatures, resulting in a risk to audiences.

It is extremely hard, if not impossible, for insurers to know exactly to whom NM would apply in different territories

Civil commotion seems to be an increasing risk to events. As I write this, the situation in Hong Kong remains hugely volatile; France, and Paris particularly, have had problems; and they are not the first cities to have such problems in very recent years.

Terrorism, or the threat of, is and always will be a concern to everyone, as it can occur anywhere in the world these days. These risks are excluded under standard cancellation insurance policies, but offered as an optional extra coverage with premiums calculated by insurers on each city and country.

The term “lone shooter” has had reason to become too common but confusion often surrounds whether that person acted totally alone, for their own “vendetta” reasons, or are aligned with a terrorist organisation. How does that affect responsibility under show contracts especially if it doesn’t happen at a venue but results in venues being closed however far away they may be from an incident?

I have not intended to scaremonger, but hopefully provide some food for thought. I will, however, reiterate comments I have made many times in the past: that show contracts are absolutely crucial in determining who would be responsible for paying who in the event of any of the above circumstances. I still see contracts with confusing or very vague versions of the dreaded force majeure clause.

I strongly urge everyone to take the time to consider the implications before the event – not afterwards, when it is too late and only creates business and relationship problems.

 


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ILMC launches 2020 edition, adds extra space

Organisers of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) today launched the 2020 edition, which sees a second hotel added and more meeting and networking space than ever before.

The 32nd edition of the invitation-only event will see 1,200 delegates attend the main conference, with around 2,000 professionals at ILMC events across the week in total.

As well as taking place at the Royal Garden Hotel, ILMC’s traditional home, the nearby Baglioni Hotel will be exclusive to ILMC delegates.

“With the top promoters, agents, festivals and venues landing in London from over 60 markets, meeting space is always at a premium,” says ILMC head Greg Parmley. “Adding a second site responds to this increasing demand, gives delegates room to do more business, and allows us to expand our programming.”

“With the top promoters, agents, festivals and venues landing in London from over 60 markets, meeting space is always at a premium”

As well as ILMC itself, satellite events around the main conference include Futures Forum on Friday 6 March which invites an additional delegation of 250 young executives to discuss the future of the business; The Arthur Awards, the live industry’s top awards which takes place on Thursday 5 March; and the ILMC Production Meeting (IPM) and Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) on Tuesday 3 March.

Last year’s conference programme included keynotes from Roger Daltrey and Dua Lipa, and guest speaker slots from executives including Klaus-Peter Schulenberg (CTS Eventim), Tim Leiweke (Oak View), Michelle Bernstein (WME), Alex Hardee (Paradigm), Marsha Vlasic (Artist Group Intl.), Steve Lamacq (BBC 6Music), Phil Bowdery (Live Nation) and Bill Silva (Bill Silva Mgmt). The 2020 agenda will be published in January.

Companies supporting ILMC’s 2020 edition include Live Nation, Ticketmaster, CTS Eventim, Integro, MOJO Rental, Showsec, WME, eps, Aiken Promotions, LiveStyled, Universe, Feld Entertainment and Buma Cultuur.

The new website, which invites the world’s top industry players to travel to London for three days of ‘The Game of Live’ with the greatest masterminds in the business, is here.

 


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Ex-Integro music team join Miller insurance

Miller, a specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, has made a play for a slice of the entertainment market with the appointment of four music insurance specialists.

Martin Goebbels will lead the team, joined by former colleagues Rose Burgess, Holly Leary and Pamela Choat. Goebbels will report to James Hands, head of Miller’s accident and health business.

Goebbels has 40 years’ experience in the industry and joins Miller from global insurance brokerage Integro, where he held the position of director, UK and Europe. Goebbels previously worked for music and event insurer Robertson Taylor, which Integro acquired in 2015.

“The team’s knowledge of the music industry and insurance market will enable us to hit all the right notes”

Burgess worked alongside Goebbels at Robertson Taylor and Integro and joins Miller as a technician. Leary joins as an account handler and broker, having specialised in the music industry with Albemarle Insurance Brokers and, more recently, Robertson Taylor and Integro. Choat also worked at Robertson Taylor, before moving on to Stafford Knight, Windsor’s, Apex and most recently back to Robertson Taylor/Integro.

Collectively, the team has extensive experience of the music and entertainment insurance industry. They have worked with individual artists bands on major tours, as well as helping management companies, festivals, concert promoters and booking agents.

“Bringing a team of this calibre to Miller can only be of great benefit to our clients. Their knowledge of the music industry and insurance market will enable us to hit all the right notes with our offering to parties in the music and entertainment sector,” comments Hands.

 


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Brexit: The final countdown

Aviation

Adrian Whitmarsh, Premier Aviation

There are two vitally important points.

The first is that the UK remains a member of the European Aviation Safety Agency. Although the UK government has stated they want to, currently nothing has been agreed on the mechanism and how much we will contribute.

Without this, UK aircraft and operators would be isolated and unable to continue flying – they would move wholesale to other EU states, as many are already making plans to do. UK-issued EASA pilot licences would no longer be valid outside the UK.

The second point is flight permissions. Without agreements in place, UK operators will no longer be able to fly domestically within EU states nor fly internationally from one EU state to another, as they currently have automatic rights to do. Likewise, EU operators will no longer be able to fly domestically within the UK nor, for example, would an Austrian operator be able to fly from Germany to the UK.

Time is running out to agree these complex rules and, again, the result will likely be aircraft moving off the UK register to operations set up by their owners in other EU states – eg as EasyJet has already done.

This latter point has great implications for the chartering of aircraft on European tours. Already, we are quoting flights for next summer and having to advise clients that operators may not have the necessary permissions.

“We are quoting flights for next summer and having to advise clients that operators may not have the necessary permissions”


Road freight

Richard Burnett, Road Haulage Association (RHA)

There has been so much said and written about Brexit – but much less about what it will mean to the British music industry, an industry we know and love, and one that does so much to drive the British economy.

In August, I attended a pre-Brexit meeting at the Department for Transport (DfT), with the secretary of state, Chris Grayling, and his team, to discuss the implications of a ‘no deal’. Our intention was to establish the best possible outcome for our members and the haulage industry after March 2019.

Frustratingly, we left with very little – apart from a strong indication that neither the DfT nor the rest of government understands even the most basic needs of road-freight operators. Even now, with under six months to go until the UK leaves the EU, there is not even a contingency plan – standard practice for any business, surely?

So far, all we have is the proposal of a lorry park at Dover to prevent tailbacks on the M20 – a proposal that we have already spurned as unworkable. The response of one RHA member was, “We would be sat there for days and days, costing a fortune. […] The truck park would be full in half a day.” These comments were widely picked up by broadcast, online and printed media.

We have got to have a clear government commitment, that in the event of a no deal it will seek an agreement that doesn’t impose new permits, quotas or limits on UK international operators, particularly those for whom the ability to plan far ahead is critical.

For the movers of music, time is the critical element. Forward planning is essential. But with such long lead times, how can a logistics supplier accurately plan, when any date post-29 March is such a grey area? Yes, there will be a transition period but that too remains shrouded in mystery.

Right now, all we have is words. But words alone are not enough. We need clarity, we need a workable no-deal contingency plan in place and we need it now. Without clarity, the industry that employs 2.4 million people, including the operators and employers of the 600,000 HGV drivers that keep the UK’s HGV fleet of nearly half a million trucks on the road, contributing £2.54 billion to the UK economy, will just have to hope for the best.

But for the industry responsible for moving 98% of the UK economy, hope just isn’t good enough.

“Right now, all we have is words. But words alone are not enough”


Insurance

Martin Goebbels, Integro Insurance Brokers

With regard to our specialist area of insurance for the entertainment industry, there have been no indications of change, at this stage, from the insurance markets once Brexit kicks in. Due to the specialist nature of our policies, we generally use UK insurers regardless of whether for EU or overseas policyholders.

There are certain countries, both within and outside of the EU, that have always had their own internal rulings and restrictions on how insurance can be placed and where. Sometimes this has to be placed locally or in the local language, and for these reasons we tend not to work with music industry clients in those countries – any barriers related to insurance never really came down when the UK joined the EU, so leaving it probably won’t make too much difference either!

Perhaps on other types of insurance, such as large, industrial commercial policies involving international insurers, it may have a greater effect.

“Any barriers related to insurance never really came down when the UK joined the EU, so leaving it probably won’t make too much difference either”


Visas and work permits

Tina Richard, T&S Immigration Services

At the moment, only non-EEA acts need work permission to come here for tours, one-off shows, film shoots, etc. The UK government has not yet indicated whether EEA nationals might need some form of work permission post-Brexit.

Tours currently fall into three categories of immigration complexity:

Simple: EU/EEA nationals, who don’t need permission to travel to the UK and perform there. No costs incurred; no paperwork needed. This might change after Brexit.

Medium: Non-visa nationals, from countries such as the US, Canada, Brazil and Australia. They need permission to perform in the UK but just need to present it as an entry document upon arrival. This is very cheap (as low as £21 per act).

Complex: Visa nationals, which include China, Russia, Jamaica, South Africa and more. They need permission to perform in the UK, plus a visa. These are often a nightmare and expensive (several hundred pounds per person).

It’s possible that non-British EU/EEA nationals might be pushed from category one to category two after Brexit. This will mean slightly more paperwork but it’s not too onerous. If any EU/EEA country were to be pushed into category three that would make their lives more difficult, but it seems unlikely at this point.

However, for the last two summers, queues at UK airports have been hellish. It has become almost par for the course to wait two hours or more in order to clear immigration. If they add millions of EU passengers to the lines whose paperwork and intentions have to be checked, then it’s clear they need to hire a lot more immigration officers.

“It has become almost par for the course to wait two hours or more in order to clear immigration”


Taxation and social security

Dr Dick Molenaar, All Arts Tax Advisers

There will be mixed taxation and social security consequences post-Brexit as follows.

Artist taxation: this is based on the bilateral tax treaties and not on the EU treaty. This means that taxation in the performance state and tax credit in the residence state stays the same.

But the Gerritse and Scorpio decisions of the European Court of Justice have given non-residents within the EU the right to deduct expenses and file tax returns. After Brexit, UK artists cannot use this any more and will be paying more tax than now in, for example, Germany.

US artists are better off in the EU than UK artists because the US tax treaties have a minimum threshold of $20,000 per artist per year and allow an exemption for independent production companies. EU artists performing in the UK can keep using the same FEU system because that is a UK unilateral tax measure.

VAT: there will be no reverse charge system any more but goods and services will go in and out of the EU. Administratively, this will be more complicated but will not lead to higher taxes.

Social security: No A1s possible any more for France and other states. If the UK does not create an alternative, this will lead to higher social security contributions without any rights.

The ECJ has given non-EU residents the right to deduct expenses and file tax returns. After Brexit, UK artists cannot use this”

 


Currency exchange

Simon Liddell, Centtrip Music

Big Ben may have stopped chiming but time has not stood still in Westminster. On the contrary, it is quickly slipping away: there are now under 170 days before Britain leaves the European Union, and there is still much to iron out.

While the terms of a transition period have been agreed, negotiations are ongoing on the more contentious matters of the size of the divorce bill and the future status of Northern Ireland. Meanwhile, discussions over how the UK and EU will relate in the future have not even begun.

The biggest unknown remains the true cost to Britain of leaving the EU without a trade deal in place. Once thought remote, the chances of a no-deal Brexit are increasing and that’s already weighing on the pound, which has fallen to its weakest level in a year against both the dollar and the euro. A weaker pound is not good for musicians or labels that have to pay overseas whether for touring or recording. For promoters paying US artists in dollars, the cost per show will have increased by more than 10% over the past few months. Conversely, UK artists touring the US and Europe that are paid in those currencies will benefit.

But what will happen next? A ‘hard’ Brexit is likely to push sterling to parity against the euro and a multi-decade low of £1.18 against the dollar, while a good Brexit deal for Britain would boost the pound to £1.40 against the dollar and £1.20 against the euro.

Artist, managers, agents and promoters can escape the uncertainty of currency movements, though. Fintech companies like Centtrip, which specialise in international payments, foreign exchange and treasury management services, enable you to lock in a rate today for up to two years and mitigate any adverse currency fluctuations. Whichever side of the fence you are on today, you can still have control of your money.

“A ‘hard’ Brexit is likely to push sterling to parity against the euro and a multi-decade low of £1.18 against the dollar”

 


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Integro acquires Robertson Taylor

Global insurance brokerage and risk management firm Integro Insurance Brokers Holdings has acquired London-based Entertainment Insurance Partners Ltd (EIP), the parent company of Robertson Taylor Insurance Brokers.

Financial details were not disclosed, but the transaction has been approved by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, and the deal effectively means that Robertson

Taylor and rival firm Doodson are now both owned by Integro, bringing together two of the biggest brands in the live music insurance business.

“Integro and EIP have complementary skills and teams, which make this alignment of forces beneficial to clients and very exciting for all of us”

The purchase of EIP encompasses Robertson Taylor Insurance Brokers Ltd., Robertson Taylor International Insurance Brokers Inc, Walton & Parkinson Ltd, Longreach International Ltd, and ESIX LLC. Integro says that EIP has offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Nashville.

Robertson Taylor CEO John Silcock and James Davies, global sales and marketing director, will continue in leadership roles and report to Neil Clayton, Integro’s global entertainment and sport practice leader. “Integro and EIP have complementary skills and teams, which make this alignment of forces beneficial to clients and very exciting for all of us,” states Clayton. “Our strategy is to continue expanding our global entertainment and sport practice, employing the skills of our combined businesses to add new products and services for clients in all geographies.”

EIP provides customised insurance and risk management services to artists, promoters, venues, productions and companies across the globe. It has insured nine out of the top ten highest grossing music tours of all time and handled 14 of 2014’s top 20 grossing tours. EIP handled insurance premiums of over £100million (€138m) during 2014, with more than 60% generated internationally.

The most recent purchase is the latest in an aggressive acquisitions programme by Integro. Other deals include UK-based Ellis Clowes in November, serving the global motorsports industry; Entertainment Risk Management Ltd in August, primarily serving brokers specialising in the film and TV industry; Stonehouse Conseillers in 2014, servicing the needs of commercial film production companies and international advertising agencies; entertainment and sports specialist Doodson Broking Group in 2013; and Allan Chapman James in 2012, specialising in independent film, TV and media industry sectors. North American acquisitions have included Ventura Insurance Brokerage, Inc in 2014, serving the film, TV, media and theatre industries; Canada’s Multimedia Risk Inc in 2013, serving the international film and TV production industry; and Frost Specialty, Inc in 2010, which focuses on the music industry from its Nashville base.

Robertson Taylor’s Silcock comments, “Together, EIP and Integro will become a combined force with unrivalled expertise, client and carrier relationships. It’s the start of a fantastic long-term partnership with a company that has a track record for innovation and an unwavering commitment to clients.”